I’m really not a vindictive person, however when my new neighbor decided he was going to sue me over my refusal to remove a tree from my back garden, I felt very upset. As a result I suppose my response may have been considered a little harsh.
This neighbor had come crashing in to the neighborhood, having his garden landscaped by a crew with a digger andturf laid down by a team of workers. It was like watching an instant garden being installed. Highly efficient and totally lacking in taste.
You see, Victor is a lawyer. I would say he was ‘born a lawyer’ but it was more like he came out fully formed – or was issued or something.
I could try to fight him in court, but it would be expensive and time consuming, and I would have to retain a lawyer to do the legal side of it. The business would cost me a fortune. Besides, I can’t loose my apple tree. I have some bees, and they love that tree. I often sit in the shade of the tree, and while it probably did use more water than my neighbour appreciated, I really don’t think it was, as he said ‘starving his garden of water’.
Victor is quite a bully, you see. His wife, bless her, is very cowed. And his son lives in fear of him. He’s a nice boy. Slim, bright, but not so very confident. In fact, it was in him that I saw my opportunity for retribution.
I tentatively agreed that in the fall I would cut down the tree, and in so doing I slowed my neighbors legal action. In the meantime, I quietly invited young Vincent, Victors son, to tea. It didn’t take me long to notice the way he watched me move about the room. His eyes followed as I leaned over and picked up some shoes carelessly left on the floor. As I served him tea, and leaned over him my cleavage was quite lasciviously exposed. Hormones really do turn the brightest young man into a gibbering imbecile.
I admit to being something of an exhibitionist. I enjoyed the way his eyes lingered there. Of course, I was playing with him and yet he so easily followed along as I subtly led him into my web. Several times he came over to my place, and each time I found an excuse to wear slightly more revealing and exciting clothes. And then, that fateful morning, just as young Vincent was feeling nice and comfortable with being in my house, I asked him to come upstairs to help me with something.
“You can help me with my zipper, can’t you?” I asked.
“Err… yes. Sure.”
“I just can’t reach around and get it up,” I said suggestively. “I feel sure you could help me get it up, can’t you?”
He followed me, an obedient puppy, as I stepped up the stairs, and then paused allowing him to bump into me.
“Oh, Vincent. Do be careful. I’m only small, you know. And you’re so…big!” I bent down in front of him pretending to wipe a little dust from the bannister. My bottom was almost aligned with his face as I did so, and I could feel his eyes penetrating me as much as he wished other parts of his body could.
“I must tell that cleaner to do her job properly!” I said and continued up the stairs to my bedroom, where I’d laid out a dress to try on.
One evening a week later, after Vincent had returned to college, I asked his father to look in for a little chat about removing the tree. As he stepped into my living room he saw the two martini’s on the coffee table, and my computer.
I sat, legs crossed and feeling quite calm and satisfied. He sat down opposite me looking very professional, and I moved on of the drinks in front of him. He took it and looked a little suspicious.
“I don’t think we have to worry about removing that tree, do we?” I said as I turned on the laptop.
A series of images of Vincent dressed quite delightfully in my lingerie began to cycle across the screen.
“I’m sure I wouldn’t let these pictures go anywhere, but who can tell who hacks computers these days!” I said. “I should probably delete them, but with all this worry about that tree I just don’t seem to get the time! Now, if I were to find that my friendship with your son – which is entirely plutonic – were to indicate you’d told him about these pictures, or perhaps got angry at him even… well who knows how long it may take me to remove these images.”
Victor sat ashen faced opposite me as I sipped my martini.
“What do you want?” he said quite plainly.
“Nothing. Merely to have my apple tree. I’m sure it’s not really affecting your garden, and I love the shade. You even get a little of the shade yourselves. I’m sure you and Mrs. Vincent can learn to live with it. And besides, that way these images sit quietly on a USB drive far from anyone and never get accidentally leaked onto Instagram. I think that’s better for all of us, don’t you?”
“Yes, Meg,” said my new neighbor, almost choking on the words, and swiftly finished his martini.
I do so like it when we can all agree!
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