The Neighbors - Chapter Four
Spring flowed into summer, summer into fall… I finally seemed to have the house in order, and a niche for everything by the time September rolled around. I made it my home and it felt good to finally ‘plant’ myself after years of floating from one place to another. I think being brought up in a military family gave me that gypsy spirit. But I was done wandering…this was it.
Rufus and Louise had become my dear friends and we got together once a week now. Because of Louise’s health, she was unable to leave the house, so I always went over and helped her cook wonderful dinners. I also assisted Rufus out in the barn with feeding and watering the horses. I loved it out in the barn; it always made me feel like I had stepped back into another time.
I didn’t get to the city much anymore either, maybe once a week to check in with my employer and get my weeks groceries. Technology -- wasn’t it grand…everything else I’m able to do online. Today however, an old friend of mine was coming out to visit and see the house. I was excited to see Gerry and to show off my new home. Apollo started barking at the front of the house and I knew Gerry had arrived. I jumped up from my desk and rushed downstairs.
Many hugs later and an extensive tour of the house, we sat out on the porch with some hoagies and a beer. “Remember the time we got caught sneaking out my bedroom window and my dad nailing it shut with boards?” Gerry giggled. I laughed, “You were grounded for a month!” I smiled…”I even remember the name of the reason we were going out your window…," “Adam!” Gerry blurted gleefully. We got in so much trouble because of him and his friend”. “I can’t remember his friends name, but you kissed him”, I teased. I gazed out into the early evening dusk…seeing the horsed grazing peacefully a couple of fields over. “Don’t the horses look beautiful” I said dreamily. “What horses?” scoffed Gerry. “Those horses…you can’t see them?” I asked with amazement. Gerry squinted into the fading light and replied, “No…and I think you’re drunk.” “On one beer!” I gasped in fake shock. “I may be getting older, but one beer hasn’t become an issue yet.” By then the light had faded away enough that I couldn’t see the horses any longer either.
We sat in silence a moment longer, when Gerry asked, “Isn’t there a house somewhere over there? I don’t think anyone lives there anymore…heard it was haunted.” “Haunted? What are you talking about, there is an elderly couple that lives over there – Rufus and Louise” I said turning to see if she was serious. “Oh, well maybe…can’t see the house, but the barn looks beyond repair” she answered. Beyond repair?…I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I mused silently. “I love going into that old barn” I told her. This time Gerry looked at me to see if I was serious. “If you go into ‘that’ barn, you are taking chances, that thing is ready to fall down” I laughed and told her it was perfectly safe. We gathered up our plates and headed into the house; I turned one last time and saw the distant glow of a light coming from my neighbor’s upstairs bedroom.