Russ was in his kitchen unpacking the boxes the movers had delivered the day before. A very organized guy, Russ was eager to get everything set up in the townhouse he’d just moved into, which is why he became irritated when he heard his doorbell ring. He thought about ignoring it and continuing to put the dishes into his kitchen cabinets, but then the doorbell rang a second time.
Reluctantly, Russ made this way through the boxes and got to his front door. He opened it up to see a young woman, fairly attractive, perhaps in her mid-twenties, standing there. With a big smile on her face, she thrust out her hand and said, “Hi, neighbor, my name’s Terri and I live right next door to you. Welcome to the neighborhood.”
“Nice to meet you, Terri,” Russ said as he shook her hand. “I’m Russ. Listen, I’d love to chat with you but my household goods were just delivered yesterday and I’m trying to get everything organized as in place, so if you’ll excuse me….”
Terri interrupted. “I was hoping you could give me a hand. My car has a flat tire and I’ve never changed a tire before. I have no idea how to go about it. Could you change it for me, please?”
Never one to resist the call of a damsel in distress, Russ agreed to change her tire. She led him to her car and when Russ saw the shredded tire he was shocked. “Holy shit!” Russ said. “This isn’t just a flat tire, it looks like it exploded.”
“Yeah, well I didn’t realize it was flat and I’ve been driving around on it for a few days,” Terri admitted. “I did hear a thumping sound, but I thought it was just road noise.”
Russ shook his head, mumbled “women” under his breath, and set about changing the tire on Terri’s car. To show her appreciation to Russ, Terri offered to cook him dinner that night. It was the first of many that she would prepare for him over the course of their forty-plus years together.
Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction For The Purposeful Practitioner. Also for Linda G. Hill’s Just Jot it January prompt, where the word in “neighbor.” Photo Credit: Morguefile. Apologies to Roger for exceeding his recommended 200 word limit by about 75%.