The Neighbor

The Neighbor

Miss Georgia smiled as she gazed around her sunny living room on that early spring morning. Her decision to move into town had been a good one. Her friend, Abigail, lived in the middle of three houses. She was on one side of Abigail, and, on the other side, a new neighbor recently moved into the house where Miss Dodson had lived. She hadn’t yet met this new neighbor, but she’d remedy that one day soon.

     She shook her head, remembering the episode with Miss Dodson and the hidden tunnel. It had been frightening; but, if she were honest, that little bit of excitement had given her a new lease on life, and that was just what she needed to jar her out of retirement doldrums.

     After many years of teaching, Miss Georgia had been at loose ends. Continuing to live in her family’s ancient homestead so far out in the country, with no interaction with children, and very little from adults, just did not appeal to her. Things had worked out nicely, though, with the Marshall family needing another home. They had gladly moved into Miss Georgia’s house and she had come to town.

     “This has all been most fortuitous, Elmira,” she said to her cat who was dozing in front of the fireplace. Elmira stretched and yawned, which Miss Georgia took as agreeing with her.

     With warmer weather, she would plant flowers and maybe even a vegetable garden in the small plot out back. The sun shone and birds sang. Her world was peaceful and happy. She had no premonition whatsoever that this was about to change.

     A movement outside her front window caught her attention. Abigail was coming up the walk and with her was a rather elderly, rather portly gentleman. Who could he be? Did Abby have a new beau?

     Miss Georgia opened the door before Abigail could knock.

     “This is a nice surprise,” she said. “Do come in, umm, both of you.”

     The man swept off his hat and gave Miss Georgia a courtly bow. His head was almost completely without hair, except for a silvery fringe just above his ears. Something about his eyes, the mischievous twinkle, seemed familiar, but then, at her age, probably half the people in town would seem familiar.

     Abigail was grinning like the Cheshire cat. “I’ve brought our newest neighbor to meet you,” she chortled. “You’ll never, in a million years, guess who this.”

     Raising her eyebrows, Miss Georgia took a deep breath. Sometimes Abigail was just a mite irritating. But, she prided herself on not letting that irritation show to this stranger.

     “No, I’m sure I can’t guess,” she said.

     “This is Roe! Would you believe it? After, how many years? Fifty? Sixty?” Abigail’s exuberance changed to concern. “Georgia, are you all right? Do you need to sit down?”

     Miss Georgia squinted at this stranger standing in her living room. She put out her hand and he immediately grasped it.

     “This can’t be Monroe Williams,” she whispered. “Not after all this time, surely. No, no. Monroe is dead.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: