Remember how my mom was always annoyed that her neighbor across the road was watching her? I thought she was just being cantankerous. Overly-suspicious. Casting aspersions because the old neighbors that she liked had passed on, and in her mind, nobody could replace them.
Maybe, just maybe, Mom was right.
This afternoon, Hick decided to load his riding lawn mower on his trailer, and take it to town to mow Mom's yard. It has been growing like a weed, ha ha, and he didn't have time until now. He had a doctor's appointment, and wanted The Pony to help him mow afterwards. I got stuck at school (but not in a head-under-the-faucet-of-the-women's-faculty-restroom-sink kind of way) and didn't leave until 4:00. So I took The Pony out to Mom's to drop him off.
Hick had just arrived. His 1999 Ford F250 Long Bed Crew Cab was already parked in the driveway, the long, long trailer attached, and the metal ramps let down for offloading the riding mower. Hick was on his first pass of the yard, up along the mailbox. I pulled into the driveway (nyah nyah nyah, Mom!) and let out The Pony. Hick stopped to talk when he saw me.
No sooner had I rolled down the window than a man appeared in my side mirror. He reached out his hand to Hick. Men are like that. See? No weapon. Shake my hand so I can commence to stealing you blind by distracting you.
"How are you doing? For the past three or four weeks, my wife and I have been watching the house, expecting your mom to come out. It seems like she should be here, working in the yard. Have you decided what you're going to do with the house?"
Okay. I don't mind him coming over. Even though it seems a bit creepy that he's been watching the house. Just like he did every day when I lived here! I hear my mom saying. Now maybe you'll believe me! Yeah. Maybe I will. It's really none of this guy's business WHAT we're going to do with the house. Hick told him to ask me, because I had a half interest in it.
What did he think, that we would offer him a tour? Or quote him a price? You just don't know about some people. He's a former city dweller. So I suppose they're just more forward in their manner of speaking. Down here, we might say, "That would make a good house for an older couple." Or "My son would love to have a place like this." Just some way to broach the subject, without being nosy. So I could mention that I might want to sell it, or declare that I am not ready to give up a part of my memories yet.
The guy didn't stay long. I left The Pony there with Hick. All the way home, I imagined the sheer curtains of that guy's house rippling as if somebody was behind them...watching.