Short Story Fiction
The Jenkins House... Almost
Scott A. Gese

The homes new owners discover the neighbors don’t like them. Their reason made no sense, so the new homeowners decide to give them a better one.

Jenkins HouseClayton Bunn/Pexels

Robert Miles, along with his wife and young son had recently moved into a quaint neighborhood of older homes. The houses in the area were mostly owned by older, retired couples with well kept houses and pristine lawns. The neighbors seemed to have a good relationship with each other, but whenever Robert or his wife tried to introduce themselves, they would be treated coldly. For some reason their new neighbors, especially the one right next door were hard to meet.

Robert and his wife both worked long hours. He was in sales and she was a waitress. They had little time and less money to spend on such things as a pristine lawn or expensive landscaping like their neighbors.

One day Robert was out working in his yard. He had just mowed the grass when his next door neighbor came walking by. Robert greeted the man as he approached. He tried to make some small talk. The man slowed but barely gave him the time of day as he continued to walk on by.

Robert had had enough of his neighbors cold shoulder. He decided to confront the man. “Hey, wait a minute,” he called out. “You’re my neighbor. I’ve gone out of my way to be polite and friendly. I’ve tried to talk to you on several occasions and you’ve blown me off every time. What the hell is your problem?”

This stopped the old man in his tracks. He turned around and walked back toward Robert. His anger was apparent.

“You want to know what my problem is? I’ll tell you what it is. It’s you. You shouldn’t be here. This is a quiet and well kept community. All of us on this street are retired. We don’t have noisy children or these god awful plastic toys laying around in our yards. We mow our lawns and keep them edged, watered, and weed free. Everything is in order around here and you’re not. There’s a place for everything and everything in its place. You don’t fit in.”

“Hey, I bought this house to raise my family,” replied Robert. “It’s quiet here. My wife and I both work full time, so no, our yard isn’t as well kept as yours, and yes, there are toys in the yard. We have a kid. Besides, maybe we like our yard a little rough around the edges. It’s a yard, not a golf course… so live with it.”

This enraged the old man who started to spew out more venomous talk. “Listen here young man. You’re not suppose to be here. We had all agreed that this house would be sold to our friends Ron and Rita Jenkins, not to you. The Jenkins’ are like us, neat, clean and retired. They should be here, not you. I don’t know how this happened. I don’t know how you ended up here. This house was suppose to be sold to Ron, not you!”

Robert was surprised to get so much information out of the old man without even having to pry. “Well, I guess I just out bid the ol’ Jenkins couple now, didn’t I,” replied Robert rather snidely. “Maybe you should have been a little firmer with your ‘orders’ to the last owner. I guess money talks… as the saying goes.”

“How dare you talk to me in that tone. We neighbors held a meeting about you and we all agreed. We don’t like you. You’re not like us. Your yard is like a blight to this neighborhood. We take pride in our yards. You should too.”

“You’ve made that perfectly clear,” replied Robert. “I’ll take what you’ve just told me into consideration… NOT.”

The old man stomped off in disgust.

The very next day, Robert and his wife began tilling in the grass on their front lawn.

The old man happened to walk out into his yard while they were working. “I see you thought better about our ‘discussion’ yesterday and took my advice.”

“Oh yes,” replied Roberts wife. “You’ll just love what we’re doing.”

The old man smiled as if he had just won a large pot in a poker game. “I’m sure I will,” he replied, and walked on.

Two weeks later Roberts yard was starting to green up nicely.

The old man had came outside to work on his pristine lawn. He noticed Roberts yard was starting to look a little green. Out of curiosity, he leaned over the cyclone fence to get a closer look at what type of grass was coming up in Roberts yard. He did a double take.

“Good God!” He exclaimed in horror as he stared at the ground before him. “They’ve planted dandelions!”

© Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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