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The Girl Next Door

By starnorma All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Fantasy

Chapter 1

Looking back now, I wonder how much different my life would be if I had never lived in this house. But then, what person could say that they have been as blessed as me? I cannot but smile as I watch my son through the window, just as I am sure my father once did with me. A chuckle escapes my lips, heh, what a sight is a six year old chasing a dandelion. What a sight- just as I must've been. I sat back in my seat, musing, just like my son, I had been only six when I first saw the girl...

A little six year old boy stared openly at the strange girl who laughed and twirled crazily as she blew away dandelion seeds. He had never seen such a happy look on any girl before and with the innocent manner of youth stealthily crept to her yard. Whenever her gaze came near him, he became as silent as a nocturnal animal, but soon saw that no matter how many times the girl turned to him, she never noticed him. Soon the little child was following the girl around and soon he hid like a cat waiting to pounce with wide eyes as he watched the strange dances of the timeless happiness.

Day after day came and the little boy would follow the girl about her yard. The boy at first was startled as sometimes the girl was smaller than him and other times she was bigger, but he finally decided that it was some peculiar feature of his new friend. She never noticed him, no matter what antics he did, and soon the little boy decided that the girl lived in a world separate from his world even though he could see her; and by the time he was nine, he was determined that if he could not bring the girl into his world, he would drag himself into her world. For days he tried his best, and on his tenth birthday, for the first time the girl noticed him. He was ecstatic and followed her around, noticing that at the times she glanced at him, her body would seem so thin that it was almost translucent. Suddenly for the first time, the boy suddenly became concerned about his peculiar playmate,'Could it be, she was sick?' As he glanced at her worried, she seemed to brighten and carefully plucked a four-leaf clover from the ground. Beaming she held it out to him. Stunned by this unusual action the boy carefully received it, and the girl smiled wistfully at him,

"If you keep it with you always, I'll play with you, she promised, but if you don't bring it, I can't play with you."

The boy nodded and with all the gravity of childhood swore on his liver and guts that the four-leaf would stay with him for always.

That night, the boy reverently placed the four-leaf upon the nightstand beside his bed. Before the sun arose, the boy awoke, he could hear the girl calling him, and quickly grabbing the little four-leaf, he sneaked out of his house to the girl, who sat waiting in her yard. She put a finger to her lips, and called the boy to place his clover upon the stone that lay in her yard, and then pulled the lad back into the weeds that grew about her house. They hid- the boy completely uncertain of what the girl was waiting for. Slowly it grew cold as dewdrops landed upon them.

Suddenly the sun beamed upon the world. For a minute, the sleepy boy rubbed his eyes confused as to what had occurred. Looking around, he didn't see the little girl anywhere and then horrified, remembered the four-leaf. He turned about and found the stone where the little girl had left it. And there to his awe, he found the four-leaf carefully preserved in a rock as clear as the freshest spring water, and as cool as obsidian and as smooth as marble; yet by the tears and bug bites placed upon the four-leaf, was very obviously the clover the girl had given him the night before. The little boy shrugged and ran to his mother, as she called him to breakfast.

Years passed slowly and as time went, the friendship of the strange pair continued, every spring the girl and boy would laugh and chase the dandelion seeds, every fall the pair would kick and squeal as they jumped and raked the leaves of the girl's yard. When night came, and the fireworks began, the pair would climb to the highest roof of the girl's house and watch the flowers that bloomed in the sky and disappeared in the shrieks and squeals of glee. One such night, the boy turned to the girl,

"I'm joining the army tomorrow since I turn 18 then. I won't be able to come anymore."

He pulled the rock out of his pocket,

"I'll take it with me, and that way you'll be with me, even when I'm in danger, is that alright?

The girl blushed and hid her head and muttered,

"I wish you didn't have to grow up."

The boy reverently touched the girl's shoulder,

"Hey, just because I'm leaving doesn't mean I won't come back. I give you my word."

The girl smiled at him with tears in her eyes and sighed, "Be careful, okay?"

The boy promised, and they spent the rest of the fireworks display sitting in silence together. With the fireworks over, the boy helped the girl down her ladder, and then awkwardly said good-bye.

"No, not good-bye,"the girl said firmly.

"Farewell! Fare thee well until we meet again!"

The boy smiled and replied, "Fare thee well!" and waved as he passed into his home. The boy never noticed the tears falling down the girl's face, perhaps because of the mist that was settling in.

Two years later, a young man returned home. He looked up shocked to see that the house across the street had burnt down and the weeds that had always been prominent around it had completely taken over most of the yard. To his horror he found that the two old residents had died in the fire. His shock turned to confusion as he realized that no one spoke of the girl, nor even seemed to know that a girl had lived with the old couple.

For a year, he searched for his answer but found nothing. Slowly he moved on with his life, but he still clung to his four-leaf clover.

Eventually it was packed away with the things that once precious were no longer needed in his life.

The young man grew older, fell in love, and had a beautiful and healthy son, who laughed and cheered and giggled at his grandfather's tales of faeries.

When the boy was six, he sneaked onto the property across the street and watched the wind. His father watched him, and that night dug into his old things, and found the old four-leaf stone. He placed it upon the ledge and when he awoke, on the ledge was left nothing but the traces reminiscent of a soap bubble. He smiled, and that evening watched as his son crept to the property across the street to dance with the dandelion seeds.

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