City of Rumors (Part Two)

It’s been a little over a week since the new neighbor moved into the house across the street. A couple of families have attempted to try and start up a conversation with him, but he’s apparently much ruder than anybody ever expected. The Cotswolds greeted him with a basket of fresh baked goods, and he shooed them off like annoying bugs. The Jeffersons approached with a special bottle from their massive wine cellar, and he told them to shove the bottle up their asses. And then the Weis got it the worst. They invited him over for a large dinner, and he spat in their faces and scared them off.

At least, that’s how the rumors went.

Now, people are afraid of even walking past his home; they’ll just cross the street and walk on the other side until they get around. Kids on their way to school all huddle up into a group in the fears of being dragged into the house and never being seen again. Anybody and everybody simply wanted to avoid any kind of contact and confrontation from the man in the house. Nobody even knew what his name was, and they were okay with it. Whenever he was seen heading into a grocery store, people would quickly head down a different aisle so that they don’t have to be near him. When he walks into the coffee shop for his morning brew, the register clerk made sure to memorize what he likes in order to speed up how much they have to talk to him. And even in church, people wouldn’t sit in the same row as him.

Whoever this man was, he was feared. And hated.

One night, when my parents were holding a large meeting with the “Neighborhood Watch Committee,” there were at least two dozen people gathered around in the living room area. Even with my music blasting as loud as they could through my headphones, the loud commotion and riled up frustration was louder than any music I had. However, it was a rather interesting thing to hear so many people in the house. Wanting to get a better listen in, I left my room and quietly made it to the steps of the house, stopping halfway.

“We need to do something about our new neighbor,” My father announced to the crowd. “He’s done nothing but terrorize our children, made people fear for their safety, and contributes nothing to the city.”

Everybody began cheering for a moment before calming down. A woman, dressed in a light blue summer dress, stepped up from the crowd and began talking. “Just the other day I wasn’t paying attention when I was doing my weekly grocery shopping. When I looked up from my cart, I saw him approaching me with a disgusted look on his face, like he wanted to hurt me.”

People started shouting on top of each other, trying to get their words across. My mother managed to calm them down, and she began her speech. “Spitting on neighbors, throwing around hurtful and disgusting words without being provoked, and even rudely scaring children while they play: all unacceptable behavior.”

A man wearing a top hat cuts in, “He needs to be ousted from the neighborhood, but what can we do?”

Another man stood up from the crowd. He wore a plain-looking black suit. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a police badge, holding it up nice and high to make sure everybody around could see it. “The local police have received multiple reports and complaints about the man. Although they cannot do anything officially to force the man out of town, they are willing to… turn a cheek should the man come into harm’s way.”

The entire living room fell silent. Everybody looked at one another, all with the same thought in mind. Nobody wanted to say it out loud, but everybody was in unison about what needed to be done; even I knew, and I personally didn’t have any ill moments with the man.

My father looked at my mother with a concerned expression and said, “Do we want to do this?”

My mother nodded without hesitation, grabbing his hand to try and console him, “It’s the best course of action.”

Having my mother’s full support, my father faced the police officer and nodded, “We’ll inform you when plans have been arranged.”

After hearing the confirmation about what was to happen, I felt it was time for me to take my leave. With the noise in the living room picking up again, I walked back up the steps to my room and closed the door. I laid on my bed and stared at the ceiling.

“I can’t wait to see what kind of rumors spread from this.”

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Copyright © 2020 by Luka Tatsujo

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