What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

Ardent Ardee

After ending my violent first marriage, I moved with my three year old daughter to an tiny apartment in a shabby complex. The apartments boasted a variety of dubious individuals, including the landlady's middle-aged alcoholic brother, Ardee. I met my current husband, Dean, that summer, and he either crashed at my place in the evenings, or we went to his home. Dean came by one late fall evening, beat from his day at work. He stretched out on the living room floor and immediately fell asleep. My daughter was asleep in her bedroom, so I read, watched TV, and puttered around the apartment. There was a knock at the door, and I peeped out and saw Ardee. Thinking he had something important to tell me, I opened the door, Ardee had never visited me before. Ardee was quite intoxicated, and wanted to tell me that he was there for me. He wanted me to come live with him, and included my child in his invitation. He was in the door way and I pushed back on the door, trapping him. Ardee continued to discuss how he would take care of me and my child, and I continued to prevent him from coming all the way into my apartment. I never really thought of Dean snoozing a very short distance away, but focused on getting Ardee out of my kitchen. Ardee then asked me to open the door so he could come in. I said that I would open the door and he could get out. He responded to my directive, and I locked the door and went into the living room. I woke Dean to tell him what had occurred a few feet away. I joked that I could have been assaulted while laying next to him on the floor. He was quite upset, and did not see the humor in it, not even the dark humor that I enjoyed. Shortly afterwards, when notifying the landlady that I was vacating the premises to move in with Dean, now my spouse of 25 years, I mentioned Ardee's late night visit. She assured me that her brother was lonely, and he was simply seeking companionship. I guess he wasn't into doors.


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Have a Next-Door Neighbor Story?

As part of our new webcomic, Next-Door Neighbor, we thought it appropriate to have a little contest. Tell us your best true next-door neighbor story, and the winning tale will be matched with an artist and transformed into a webcomic and included as the final installment of Next-Door Neighbor.

About Next-Door Neighbor

No matter how close or how far, we all live next to someone, and we all have a Next-Door Neighbor story. With that in mind, editor Dean Haspiel asked some of his favorite storytellers and cartoonists to create their favorite NDN stories so we could share them with you.

The Fine Print & Contest Rules

By submitting an entry, you are granting SMITH the right to reprint or republish that entry online or in print, as well as make any necessary edits. See SMITH's terms of service for complete details.

This contest ends September 1, 2008. Prizes are not redeemable for cash and must be accepted as awarded. Winners are decided at the discretion of SMITH judges and all decisions are final. SMITH reserves the right to change the contest rules. Enter as often as you want. SMITH reserves the right to reprint or republish all entries.

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