Chapter 2: BEHOLD, THE NEIGHBORS AGAIN
Peter is in his late twenties or early thirties.
Not too old, my mind as usual goes off on a tangent and manages to inform me.
Not bad looking either, but is in fact rather attractive in a yummy-professor sort of way (yes, I did in fact said ‘yummy’). Or, if one likes the ‘up-tight businessman’ look, he is all stiff collar, spiffy shoes and starched suit.
My back hurts just looking at him.
But I figure we have already pretty much established that it is just his posture which is stiff, and not his personality. Otherwise, I will have my work cut out for me in getting him to interact with the other neighbors.
Truth be told though, he looks like he needs someone to show him a good time, or at least to introduce him to other people who can show him a good time.
Shut up, I snap at myself. Introduce the fellow to people first before you start planning to get him to party with other people.
I give myself a pat on the back and pretty much drag Peter to the other neighbors on our floor. The poor man is bewildered enough with the turn of events to follow without resistance.
Resistant is futile, I chortle internally.
Reaching the nearest neighbors’ door, I give a couple of sharp but polite knock. I’m almost certain said neighbors were home.
Almost immediately, the door swings open. An adorable little girl stands at the door, grinning widely.
How cute, she had a tooth missing, look at the gap in her mouth!
Yes, my mind can multitask, the more you know.
“Nysa!!” Her shriek is sure to wake the elderly Mrs. Potts, who is living a floor above us, I’m sure of it.
“There she is! Hey, baby, how’s my favorite girl doing today?” I enthuse back.
Little three-year old Beatrice looks like she has just woken up from a nap, her curls in disarray and a couple of her ribbons perched precariously on her hair.
Regardless, she is an adorable little person and a complete sweetheart.
She also has a tendency to shriek my name as loud as possible when ever she sees me.
I babysit Bea sometimes when her mom has to do shopping or other errands and has to leave her baby-girl behind. I don’t mind the occasional helping-out. Like I said, Bea is a sweetheart.
Before Bea can answer me, a loud female voice calls out, “BEATRICE!! What did I tell you about opening the door without me near? I asked you to wait.”
Walking towards us is a woman in her late thirties, trim and pretty. Susana is Beatrice’s mom.
“Is juss Nysa, mama. She wif a man,” is the little rugrat’s helpful explanation.
“Oh?” I can literally see Susana perks in interest, “Nysa’s with a man? That’s a first!” She teases lightly, coming to a stop before us. She doesn’t bother to hide her curious gaze from the man practically hiding behind me.
Susana however is a friendly person. She smiles at the both of us while at the same time snagging Bea’s hand without looking at her. The little sprite was getting ready to dash out the open doorway.
“Inside, young lady!” Susana orders in a firm but gentle voice. Bea obediently toddles back into their living room, having already lost interest in all the grown-ups filling up the doorway.
“Hello, Nysa and Nysa’s man!” Susana says with a cheeky grin.
I silently groan and then roll my eyes good-naturedly at Susana.
“Ha-ha. Very funny. So he’s my man now, and you don’t even know him yet. And why do you assume just because you’ve never seen me with a man than that would mean I’ve never been with a man?” I retort.
“Oohhhh, really now, you’ve been with a man? Do tell!” Su practically chortle in delight.
Behind me, Peter coughs and then pointedly clears his throat.
Puzzled, I look at him. He rolls his eyes at me (what even is that?!) and looks like he is trying not to laugh.
I start to ask him what is up with him, when a dreadful thought hit me.
Was it something I said? He’s acting like it is.
I think back to what I just said. Then blush bright red as the other meaning of my words hit me.
Yep, I practically dug that one.
However, that shouldn’t mean that people *cough-Susana-cough* has to jump into it and drag me with her!
“SUSANA, YOU…you know what I meant….with a man as in spend time talking or walking with him, not with him like, you know!” I splutter, while at the same time hoping belatedly the man behind me has suddenly lost his hearing and ceased to hear the bizarre and embarrassing exchange between me and my loud-mouthed, nosy friend.
I mean, seriously!
Su just snorts in laughter.
“Er, can we not do this now? This is embarrassing! You’re embarrassing!” I throw back at her.
Let her deal with that, she deserves it for trying to embarrass me, I think somewhat petulantly.
“Oh, relax, my dear, I was just teasing you. Of course I knew what you meant.” The cheeky woman actually has the gall to wink at me.
She continues before I could fire back a retort at her, “And hello. You must be our new-old neighbor.” This is said to Peter.
I sigh in resignation and say, “Sorry, where’s my manner? Susana, this is indeed our neighbor Peter. The one you’ve been dying of curiosity for months to know about.” Never let it be said that I don’t bear grudges.
Susana just rolls her eyes at me, however.
I give her a smug grin and carry on the introduction.
“Peter, this is Susan and that little imp, err, I mean angel, earlier, is her daughter Beatrice. Susana’s husband Brennan is our resident doctor. He’s working right now of course.”
There, first introduction is done. It is all up to Peter now. Hopefully, he is up to making more friends.
Peter holds out his hand, “Hello, ma’am.”
Is this guy for real? Please, let him be real!
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