Neil Smith

1 year ago · 1 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Living next door.

Living next door. 

I'm getting really good at not winning writing competitions but at least the standard of my failures is rising. This is not autobiographical except in the sense that we've all been there.

But I've never liked Graham.



Smokie floated out of the old jukebox and across the union bar.

'Sally called when she got the word...' 

Across from me Allie; desirable housemate, final year social work, all legs and lipstick, swears loudly.

‘Not this shite again! Who keeps putting it on?’

I leap in to defend the band’s honour ‘Nah, you’re all wrong. This is the epitome of the classic pop song. Walks a fine line between cheesy and profound. Telling a timeless story, of unrequited love and eventual loss’

‘Pish! He’s a wanky bawbag going on and on. “Poor wee me” if he’s that into her ask her out’

‘Then she says no and they’re still living close, seeing each other every day?’

‘Tough! Teach him to man up and get a move on. Anyway, she’s not interested’

‘She doesn’t know, he’s never said ‘

‘Balls! She knows. Every woman knows. Do you think he’s hung around like a dribbly dog for twenty-four years and she’s not noticed?’

‘Maybe she’s as shy as him?’

‘Then she’ll die a virgin too’

‘What if he’s her ideal man though’

‘Nothing ideal about a tongue-tied dummy who can’t say what he wants.’

‘She could be missing out.’

‘Then he should have tried harder’

‘Bu . . .

Allie’s current beau, the immaculate Graham, has sauntered over from the football crowd at the end of the bar.

‘Heading into town. Sub Club. Who’s coming?

I wave away the offer but Allie gets to her feet and prepares for the off.

A minute later heads swivel as those elegant legs carry her past tables and out the door, arm in arm with Graham, just as Chris Norman’s taunting vocal wafts over the bar.

‘Now I’ve got to get used to not living next door to Alice’


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