My Neighbour Small
My neighbour Small is a strange and squirrely fellow. I often see him puttering around his garden muttering to his plants and kicking the weeds. There has always been something off about him. He exudes a vaguely creepy vibe and the comments he makes often come from nowhere. I’m never one to gossip, but my friends and I have often discussed the peculiar behaviours of Mr. Small when they come round for a glass of wine or to admire the beautiful flowers in my garden.
Mrs. Small often used to join us on these occasions but none of us have seen her in some time. We of course would never presume or suggest that anything untoward has befallen her. But it is hard not to notice that Mr. Small has grown increasingly erratic since the last time anyone of us saw his wife. She was one of the most beautiful, charming, and passionate women I’ve ever met. They were childhood sweet hearts who had really never been with anyone else.
As the head of the local gardener’s society I try not to judge people too harshly, but it’s hard not to consider one’s garden a reflection of the person. My lawn for instance is finely manicured with not a weed to be seen, my flowers are the tallest and straightest in the neighbourhood, why the rose bushes I recently planted are already showing signs of being prize winners. The trick of course is good quality fertilizer and lots of love and attention.
Now the Small’s garden is always unkempt and its clear they take no pride in it. Which is probably why he watches me so intently when he thinks I’m not looking. I can feel him staring at me through the windows of his house. It’s nothing more than envy. Not something I’d ever stoop so low as to feel. Poor Mrs. Small must have battled with his paranoia daily I’m certain. That’s why she preferred my company to his. Those little looks she gave when we were together, the times our hands accidently touched. It was so obvious what she was trying to tell me even if she was too afraid to do so.
I think that Mr. Small must have suspected that she had feelings towards me. I’d often see them looking towards my house through my window blinds. Mrs. Small was my dearest friend so I kept a vigilant watch over her. It was always surprising how much we had in common and how many accidental encounters often befell us. The number of times I’d run into them at the grocery store or her at one of the many charity events she organized could only be fates way of bringing us together.
When the universe is giving you such signs and she herself has made her feelings plain for only me to see it would have been a crime to not act. Mr. Small was out of town that weekend his dutifully wife home alone and no doubt in need of friendship. I happened to have a number of chilled bottles of her favourite white wine on hand when I went to visit. The wine flowed copiously that night. She had a wistful wanting look in her eyes and succulent red lips. I couldn’t help but kiss her with all our pent up passion.
It must have been the wrong moment she was surprised and startled. She pulled back in what someone who didn’t know her as well as I did would call shock and disgust. What happened next was hardly my fault but she somehow ended up struck repeatedly in the head with a bottle. There was hardly any blood. Normally there was so much more. I wrapped her tightly in a garbage bag and under the cover of the moonless night I buried Mrs. Small in my garden. I planted a rose bush over where she lay, so that everyone could enjoy her beauty.
Mr. Small must suspect. His increasingly erratic behaviour can mean nothing else. Those sideways glances, the way he refuses to meet my gaze. Something will have to be done on the next moonless night. He’s not suitable for flowers but there are always other things to grow in a garden.