Things ain’t always what they seem

I’d hated her copying me. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but this was just getting too much.
I’d thought about doing something really cheesy to see if she’d follow suit, but then I thought that was a bit cruel.
Instead, I decided to confront her. We were neighbours afterall.
I knocked on her door, and heard a safety chain and locks being adjusted.
She peeped out from behind the chain and smiled shyly.
‘Oh, hello. Anything wrong?’
Taken by surprise at her soft and concerned voice, I said there wasn’t and tried to make a joke of our houses looking like mirror images again.
‘I know it’s silly of me, but I so love your creativity. You don’t mind do you?’
I didn’t know what to say.
‘Would you like a cuppa?’
I nodded and she pushed the door partially closed so as to release the chain.
‘I don’t get any visitors,’ she said. ‘Since my husband died, I tend to keep myself. I don’t even have a cat!’
She laughed, but there was little humour in it.

Her house was as neat as a pin, but homely, without being a show house.
Tea was in china cups with biscuits on a matching plate covered by a paper doily.
‘Please, sit and make yourself comfortable.’
I was glad that the inside of her home was not a reflection of my own. There had been some changes with an extension and the decor was calming and tasteful.
‘How long have you lived here?’ she asked.
I said about three years.
She replied she had been here five but knew little about her neighbours. In fact, I was the only one who had knocked on her door.
I felt dreadful as I sipped my very good tea and refrained from dunking my biscuit.
She grinned, and it altered her entire face.
‘Go on. I can tell you want to! My name’s Anna by the way.’
‘Christine,’ I replied.

What followed was a most enjoyable hour in her company. We had quite a bit in common as we both lived alone now, were retired but whilst my kids had grown up and flown the parental nest, she and her husband had been childless.
Before I knew it, I was inviting her to Christmas lunch and also suggested we go shopping together for our next outdoor decorations.
‘I’d like that,’ she said. ‘It’s gets awfully lonely sometimes.’

Written for KL Caley’s Write Photo challenge

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About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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16 Responses to Things ain’t always what they seem

  1. Your story lifted my Christmas spirit, Di.

  2. murisopsis says:

    What a heart warming story!! We never know what is going on behind the closed doors – sometimes it is horrors and at other times we find wonderful but lonely people!!

    • Thanks Val. We’d been here about a year when I was talking to a lady over the road. A lot of people drove by and I waved. She said how did I know so many people as she had lived here over twenty years and knew very few. I said it was all through walking the dog and meeting up with other owners. We are aware of a lot of people now living on their own and always say Hi.

  3. Sadje says:

    A very sweet story Di

  4. Nope, Not Pam says:

    Sometimes appearances are deceptive

  5. glyn40wilton says:

    ‘Love thy neighbour’ as the saying goes. I remember the TV series too πŸ™‚

  6. willowdot21 says:

    What a lovely story just goes to show that there is often more to people than meets the eye.πŸ’œπŸ’œ

  7. Pingback: #Writephoto Round-Up – Neighbours – New2Writing

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