The story is called "Four Doors Down" I'd love to hear what you all think. Please leave a comment. Thanks
Alex Perez is a talented artist, lives in a nice quiet community in bucolic Lancaster Pennsylvania. He lives a simple life and has everything he needs except someone to share his life with. The house four doors down has stood vacant for a long time until a moving van shows up and someone moves in. But welcoming the new neighbor proves elusive for Alex and he wonders if the mysterious man in black is hiding something.
If there was one thing Alex Perez loved it was art. He started drawing the minute he could hold a pencil. It didn’t surprise his friends and family when he became an artist, albeit a starving one. To keep a roof over his head he became an art teacher.
Alex was not a city person, he couldn’t breath there. So here he was sitting in front of an art easel on the front porch of his house in the middle of Lancaster Pennsylvania. The mountains stood majestically before him the fall foliage dressing them up in brilliant colors of orange and red as far as the eye could see. The morning sunlight was shining on them perfectly and he was determined to do the scene justice with his paintbrush.
The peaceful quiet was quickly disturbed by the arrival of a moving van. Alex wondered if the vacant house that was four doors down was ever going to be sold. It had belonged to a retired school teacher named Mallory Clark, he was a friendly old guy, he’d come over to watch Alex paint. He’d even bought some of his artwork. Alex missed the old guy when he passed away eight months ago. His family had put the house on the market and it looked like he was going to have a new neighbor.
He rushed inside to get a cup of coffee, curiosity getting the better of him. It wasn’t like a lot happened in this sleepy town, so watching a new neighbor move in was a spectator sport; at least it worked for him.
“Hi Bob,” he said hello to his roommate; Bob barely gave Alex a passing glance as he continued to groom himself. He was quite comfortable sitting on the top tier of the cat scratching post that Alex had bought recently; he’d finally gotten fed up with Bob clawing at the furniture in the living room.
“Looks like we’re going to have a new neighbor, Bob.” Alex scratched the back of the black and white cat’s ears. He always wanted a cat but his mother never liked them so first thing he did after he moved into this place was visit the local shelter and picked out this guy, although it was more like he picked him.
One thing about cats was you didn’t own them, they owned you. And quite frankly Alex wouldn’t have it any other way. Bob turned out to be an excellent companion, he listened to him without complaining, didn’t mess up the house, kept himself clean and as long as he made sure he bought the right brand of cat food, after Bob stuck his nose up to several kinds of dried kibble, he was a happy camper. Of course Alex still had to clean up the litter box, but all in all he loved his buddy.
Alex returned to his vantage point on the front porch. Settling onto the comfortable white wicker chair he watched the movers parading boxes and assorted furniture from the truck and into the house.
He chuckled when the movers had a hard time maneuvering the large couch through the front door. The same thing happened to him when he’d moved in a few years ago. Somehow just like a magician, the movers got the stubborn piece of furniture into the house.
Alex wondered who the new neighbor who was joining the hodge-podge of inhabitants in this sleepy town was going to be.
He hoped they were nice people, no one who was too noisy or had rude out of control kids. It’s not that Alex didn’t like kids, but he never saw himself as a father, he enjoyed the independence of being able to come and go as he pleased, never being tied down by anything or anyone.
It could be why he was single, which was another consideration that crossed his mind. He hoped the new neighbors weren’t homophobic, because Alex was gay and a member of the nearest LGBT group and damn proud of it.
The afternoon was winding down, the sun heading low over the western sky, before the new neighbor made an appearance.
A black Audi SUV drove up and parked in front of the house. Alex had managed to finish his painting in the ensuing hours and now leaned on the railing of his covered porch; he could feel the anticipation welling up inside him. He was on pins and needles waiting forever, it seemed. The car door opened up and a figure dressed in black stepped out. Alex’s heart stopped when the man got out and closed the car door, only to Alex’s eyes he wasn’t just a man, he looked more like a work of art that one of the masters might have painted or sculpted, the tall dark haired Adonis was certainly someone Alex would be itching to get to be his muse.
He watched the stranger stroll down the walk and disappear over the threshold.
Yes this was one neighbor Alex would personally give a warm welcome to.