Being a Good Neighbor

Info JDDunne
28 Sep. '22

A few weeks ago he started mowing her lawn. He had no idea why. It grew tall and the edges got weedy. It was a Sunday. Her car wasn't in the driveway. “Fuck it!” He muttered. He was sweaty from cutting his own lawn. Grass clippings stuck to his hairy chest and legs and he couldn't get any dirtier he supposed. What's she going to do, call the cops and tell 'em her neighbor is doing her a favor?! It was technically trespassing, but if he finished before she got home, how could she prove it was him?

He did manage to finish before she got home, just in time to watch the sunset. He emptied his last beer of the night and went inside. Later that night, he saw headlights turn into her driveway.

The next morning, he found a note in his mailbox. “Thank you! -R” was all it said. Okay, he reasoned, next week I'll cut it again. She doesn't seem upset. He should go introduce himself. He had lived next to her for almost four years and still didn't know her name. She kept odd hours. When she left the house, he would mow her grass. First the front patch and then the back. He carefully trimmed around the flower bed and beside the porch. He did this for a few weeks until, one Saturday morning, there was a knock at his door. He looked through the curtains and saw her standing there, so he opened the door.

“Hi.”

“Hello, I'm Rachel.”

“Hi, Rachel. I'm the one who's been mowing your grass.”

“I know. I have one of those Ring doorbells, the ones with the camera.”

“Oh,” his face paled. “I was hoping you wouldn't mind. I wasn't sure why I did it, honestly. It was just getting tall, and I figured I already had the mower out, and I was already sweaty... When I got your note, I just kept doing it, since you hadn't told me to stop. You didn't seem upset.” He laughed nervously, trying to get a read on her.

“No, It's fine,” she laughed too. “My phone kept sending me pictures of you cutting the grass. It was kinda funny.”

“I tried to do it when you were away, I didn't want you to think I was trying to spy on you or something weird.”

“Oh, no! I got the camera because I asked my boyfriend to move out. We broke up months ago but he just kinda kept living with me. I found out he would come around after I went to work and take showers, watch TV, eat, etc. He's a whack job.” She made a twirling motion with her finger next to her head pantomiming crazy.

“Oh, I never saw him. I was probably at work too.” He thought briefly. He couldn't remember seeing a man there at all, really. He mustn't have gotten out much. Maybe he worked from home? Worked nights? He couldn't be sure. He had only ever seen her car come and go.

“He's an 'artist', but he spends most of his time playing video games and watching porn,” she said flatly. “And I spent most of my time paying his bills and cleaning up after him.” There was an awkward silence while they waited for the other to speak. Rachel broke in first. “I didn't catch your name.”

“I'm Hayden, Hayden Cross.” He put his hand out to her. She shook it gingerly. Her hands were soft and her skin smooth.

“Rachel Warren. Again, thank you for mowing my grass. I'm not sure I could do it; I'm working two jobs.”

“What do you do - if you don't mind my asking?” Hayden found himself admiring the highlights in her hair as she pushed it back from her face.

“I'm a teacher. 7th grade English.”

“I'm in sales,” Hayden volunteered. “I sell automotive parts and kits, oil, filters, and tires; you name it. We mostly sell to auto repair garages.”

Rachel nodded. “I wanted to give you this for your effort. You can put it toward the gas or something.”

She handed him a wad of dollar bills folded over. About twenty? He couldn't be sure. It would be rude to unfold it and count it in front of her. He wasn't going to take it anyway, so it didn't matter. He knew what this was. It was tip money. He had seen his mother pull a similar wad from her pockets many times when he was a kid.

“No,” he handed it back to her. “I can't take this from you.”

“I really need to give you something.” Rachel pushed the money toward him.

“It's okay, really. I know how hard you worked to get that.” He looked down and noticed the black pants and black faux-leather sneakers. He was now sure he would not take any money from her. “I'll keep doing what I'm doing, no strings attached.”

She looked at the money and then at him. She saw the resolve in his brown eyes and put the money back in her pocket. “Thank you.” She smiled.

“You're welcome.” He smiled back. He watched her walk back to her door and wave before she stepped inside. A few minutes later, he watched her through the window. She got in her car and left. He finished his coffee and looked at the grass. Both lawns could use a trim. He put his mug in the sink and went out to his front porch and sat watching the cars slowly roll past.

Hayden's mind wandered. So he's an artist who was living with his girlfriend and watching porn? Why?

What he wouldn't give for a little action. Since Hayden's wife moved out and filed for divorce, he'd had quite a dry spell. He also watched dirty movies and jerked off, but nothing was as good as the real thing.

The fantasy was nice, but not fulfilling. It was like a picture of a glass of water when you are thirsty. You can imagine how it slakes your need as the ice-cold liquid fills your mouth and begins the cool descent down to your belly. You almost feel that nice shivering sensation as the water chills your throat before acclimating to your body temperature.

It's a nice diversion but after the revelry, the need for sustenance remains, perhaps even stronger from the false catharsis such indulgences beget. Eventually, you need water, the real thing. Even if it's not ice cold, even if it has that slight metallic aftertaste or that stale taste that most water has out of the tap. Eventually, you need the skin-to-skin touch, the taste of someone's lips, the smell of their body, a person to listen to you and ask you “How was your day?”

Later that day in the evening, he rolled the mower out of the shed and gave the starter cord a pull. It roared to life and he pushed it along the same paths he had for the last few weeks. He made nice, even passes, up one way and down the other. It was dusk when he finished. The fireflies blinked as they began their procession skyward. The crickets sang and the locusts hummed but he could think of no music to answer their song.

Rachel's porch light flashed on. She pushed the screen door open and stood on the porch admiring the lawn. She was also admiring Hayden's form silhouetted by the low light of the porch and setting sun. He was rinsing himself off with the hose before going inside.

“Hayden, I brought you some ice water,” Rachel called. She had on her black pants but took off the obnoxious green polo of the diner she served at. She wore a champagne-colored camisole and a red bra. It was an odd combination to him but more on his mind was the tall glass of water she held for him. Her blonde hair in this light was stark in its sheen. It was how he imagined ghosts looked, bright and translucent. He had noticed her beauty before but had not been so taken by her as he was now. He came over to the porch and took the glass from her. She smiled, and he smiled as well.

“Thank you!” He took a long pull from the water until the ice clacked together. The cold water washed down his throat and immediately quenched his thirst. “That really hit the spot.”

He watched her go as she took the glass inside to refill it.

She switched off the porch light.

“Um, Rachel?”

“Yes?” She was very close to him. She closed the distance so quickly that the ice jingled inside the glass. She was whispering in his ear, “I'm right here.”

He felt a hand trace up his arm and slender fingers rake his chest hair. As his eyes adjusted to the twilight, he could only see the sheen of her eyes and her moist lips.

Hayden's voice was barely above a whisper. “What are you doing?”

“I think you know what I'm going to do.” She breathed on his shoulder, biting him a little. “It's been a while and I'm, well...”

“You don't have to.” He could feel the water on his forehead begin to dry. He was starting to show his excitement.

She pressed her palm on his groin. “You say that, but...”

“What if someone sees us?”

“It's pretty dark, and it's the back porch...” She ran a piece of ice over his stomach, and he sucked it in. She giggled. “Hold this,” she said as she handed him the glass. He took it and she lowered to her knees, peeling down his shorts. He could feel her breath on him in the cool evening air. She playfully licked the tip. He was already pretty hard. She put him in her mouth.

It felt really good to be touched, to be accepted into someone else after so long. He lifted the glass to his lips and sucked in another long draw of that cool, refreshing water. It eased his desire as much as her mouth. She lifted her head and lowered it, teasing his balls with her fingertips. He wouldn't last much longer. He had fasted for too long and now felt gorged at the buffet. He was going to pop like some goofy kid having his first in the backseat of a car.

She gently ran her hand along his entire length, licking the tip.

“I'm gonna cum!” He barely got the words out before the orgasm started in his groin. It was a good one, too; it went all the way to his knees. His thighs tingled and buckled. He could swear he heard the splash of it on her chest and clothes. He could see the beads of cum on her decolletage and camisole. She moaned and then laughed.

“I see it's been a while for you as well, Hayden.”

“I needed that! My God, you are beautiful!”

Rachel smiled, “I'm also hungry! I'm going to go get cleaned up. Why don't you go shower, and we'll order a pizza? Come back in fifteen minutes?”

Hayden kissed her. He whispered, “What's for dessert?”

Rachel bounced her eyebrows. “Wouldn't you like to know?”








 

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