2. Living Next Door to Jennifer

2. Living Next Door to Jennifer

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



Mrs Bingley loved her son. Of course she did. She’d had a wretched nine months after he changed from an egg that bumped accidentally into a sperm into a baby that tore his way out of her through her own naughty bits. The pain during that latter stage had been excruciating and she knew right away that she must either love or hate the pink lump of squawking flesh that had newly appeared in her life.

She decided to love it. Or him. After all, it had a willy.

But loving him had never been easy. For starters, and this was a shock when it dawned on her, he had a mind of his own. No sooner had he learned to speak that he understood the various nuances of the word “no”. Then, as he morphed from helpless to charging here, there and everywhere, he began to show an almost satanic interest in his own bodily parts, in particular what ought, by everything that was sacred under the sun, be private.

Then came the girl next door.

She rued the day when that family had moved in because the girl next door was spectacular in just about every way, and Mrs Bingley herself might have fallen for her had their ages not been so different. The girl, after all, was a teen and she was, if abbreviations were permissible, by then a fift. She’d been a thirt when Darren had been born, had slithered through her forties and was now in her fifties. Too old to consider herself a suitable if rather ambiguous lover for the wonderful girl next door, who can’t have been a day older than seventeen.

Not that she was the sort to favour her own sex, but the opposition was Mr Bingley and, well, he had put himself into a fast gear when the ageing process had grabbed him, and though about her own age was displaying all the worst features of a prematurely old man, like a love of his slippers and the odd drop of whisky.

And gawping at the girl next door. What was her name? Jennifer.

It was so unfair. Jennifer was, what was the word? Perfect. Yes, she was perfect in every perceivable way. Mr Bingley clearly thought she was worth spending most of every day staring at her when he thought she wasn’t looking. He even contrived special circumstances, like pretending to dust their bedroom window sill and cleaning every pane of that window, the one that looked out over the fence to where the girl lay in obscene near-nakedness. Mr Bingley never cleaned anything!

And that brought her mind to Darren, her angel, her pride and joy, the source of the worst pain ever.

He looked over the fence at the girl, and when he wasn’t looking over the fence he was looking through it. There were so many knot holes: tools of the devil, and he knew the whereabouts of every single one by the look of it. She’d told Mr Bingley to block them up, of course she had, and the man had managed to put putty in a couple, but the wrong couple.

And all she herself wanted to do was drift out dressed in something like chiffon or silk, something diaphanous that she didn’t actually own, something that would swirl and waft about her, tease the very air with her womanly loveliness, the loveliness she’d never actually had, and smile when she heard the gorgeous Jennifer calling to her.

But it was all a dream. A wonderful, sparkling dream that nearly always tipped over this or that edge into the land of the nightmare.

And in that nightmare was Darren with a gleam in his eye and a secret in his heart. And other less palatable indications of his wretched little mind. That is, if Mr Bingley was away at work.

Because if he was back home and no longer at work he’d be in the mix too, and she would begin to feel that her own sanity was departing on a day trip to cloud cuckoo land. Because Mr Bingley could be more blatant than the shy Darren could ever be.

She’d even seen Mr Bingley in shorts, for goodness sake!

He’d been a boy once, had Mr Bingley, in the pre-slippers, pre-whisky years, when she’d first been aware that he was more than a smudge of testosterone blowing with the wind. He’d been a schoolboy, and schoolboys played football and he’d played football. He’d even complained that he’d had to. In shorts. P.E. shorts. The same shorts that he’d dug out all these years later from somewhere in the attic where only rubbish went and actually worn in the garden where the heavenly Jennifer would see him and admire his legs.

Not that they were particularly admirable. With the exception of the recent times when he’d pranced around the garden in those shorts he’d worn jeans. Always jeans. Never anything else. And his legs looked as if they’d always been encased in denim. It seemed that the very trousers themselves had compressed his shins and emaciated his thighs so that what looked like the withered bones of a skeleton stuck out of those shorts. And the dire tragedy was the man didn’t see it like that. He obviously saw himself as some kind of sex symbol complete with a bronzed set of pins.

You shouldn’t wear those old school shorts of yours,” she told him when she couldn’t bear it any longer.

Why not, beloved?” he asked in that pervy voice that she hated because it simply wasn’t him.

Because they don’t suit you,” she replied when she might have told him quite bluntly that they made him look both silly and bordering on the senile at the same time.

I need the air on my legs,” he mumbled, saying ‘air’ when in truth he meant ‘Jennifer’s eyes’.

Bit he had taken notice of her, which surprised her. Instead of wearing those old school shorts and their unsightly tight bulge he bought a new pair from Primark.

Darren was almost as bad, and he didn’t have to wear his own school shorts, which were modern enough not to look out-dated. No. He sauntered into the garden dressed only in his boxer shorts and an oversized tee-shirt and let her see, if she chose to look, just about everything his flesh possessed.

Darren! Dress in something decent!” she chastised him, but he took no notice because, to him, nakedness was sort of decent.

Well it was if Jennifer was looking.

© Peter Rogerson 29.04.21


© 2021 Peter Rogerson

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Added on April 29, 2021
Last Updated on April 29, 2021
Tags: neighbours, beautiful girl, shorts


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..