His Perfect Neighbor by Heather Reed

Chapter Two

At the sound scraping in the hall, Chris jumped to his feet and headed toward his door. He quickly ran his fingers through his wet hair, and looked down at his worn t-shirt and kaki shorts.

Probably not the best way to meet a neighbor, he thought wryly, but after several hours of hot, intense labor, he’d felt the need for a cool shower. He assured himself the casual clothes would also help add a sense of security to his invitation for a not-really-a-date, date.

Seconds later, he lifted his hand to knock just as the door creaked open. It took a minute for Chris to adjust his line of vision. When he finally looked down, he found a small, wrinkled face smiling back up at him.

At first, he was thrown. He almost forgot why he’d been about to knock in the first place. Then he remembered and with a mental shrug decided her age didn’t diminish her act of kindness toward him.

"Hi, I’m Chris Cameron. I live next door."

"Yes, yes. The new boy. I’ve been meaning to come by and say hello to you. I’m Eleanor." Eleanor jutted her hand out and grabbed Chris’, pumping it up and down several times before letting go. With a slight hiss of air, she smiled. "Strong hands. Means you know how to use them. That’s good."

Chris smiled. The spunky-haired, bright colored clothes wearing woman reminded him so much of his late grandmother. He immediately decided spending an evening with her would be a lot of fun. "Well, you see Ms. Eleanor, a sweet lady has been leaving me these delicious sweets for the past week and I just had to come by and say thank you for them."

"Oh, now, that’s a nice boy." Eleanor patted his hand.

Chris tilted his head to the side, and used the charming dimple he’d been blessed with to explain his proposition. "So, do you think the nice lady would allow me to invite her to a friendly dinner and the new aquarium opening on Friday as a thank you?"

"Friday, you say? Well, now, that’s tomorrow and a bit of short notice." Eleanor paused, squinted her eyes and bit her bottom lip. "We’ll see what we can do. How about if she meets you downstairs at six o’clock sharp?"

Chris smiled. "That would be great."