by Jake Christie

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR.
a story.

This is a cautionary tale about the girl next door.

You don't even see her for a week after you move into the building, but why should you? She's got a job, you've got a job, she's got her routine, you've got yours. Then one day you're coming home from work and she's standing in the hallway at the door to the next apartment, holding her groceries in that beautiful way that girls-next-door do. And you smile and say hello, and she smiles and says hello, and you're off to the races.

Then you start to notice that the walls aren't that thick, and you recognize the beat of the song she's listening to – the whole album, actually. Not your favorite, but a good one, one you used to listen to. You listen to it again and bob your head.

Then you make up something about needing sugar or seeing a mouse, and you knock on her door and get about three sentences in before you're asking her out on a date and she's saying “yes.”

So you start dating, and you hang out all the time, and you laugh about the fact that after you kiss her goodnight she can hear you unlocking your door and going into your apartment. You start trading off nights in each other's beds. You start tapping “shave-and-a-haircut” on each other's wall so that you both know you're both still there.

Then you start fighting, and every time you fight and she leaves you hear her slam your door, stomp down the hall, and slam her door too. She picks the album with the most bass that you like the least and plays it at top volume. So you do the same thing and she starts pounding on the wall, so you march over to her apartment and knock and hammer on her door, but she won't let you in and you forgot your key when you stormed out, so you have to call the super and he says people are complaining about the noise.

Eventually you break up.

So before you date the girl next door, remember: These walls aren't too thick, and you're going to have to hear it every time she has sex until you move.


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