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THE NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR

Before we moved, we lived next door to a family that had a swimming pool and a daughter who was once my babysitter. She always seemed so much older than me. When she was my babysitter, she must have been only a sixth grader, maybe 12 or 13 at the most, yet she was given the full authority of the house and the responsibility of a grown up when my parents left. I of course feared, respected, and mostly obeyed her authority when I was young. By the time I was in sixth grade, and no longer needed a babysitter, she was in high school. My attention to her had changed as my interested turned toward girls--though I knew nothing about them, hadn't dated any, hadn't even kissed one. So it fascinated me to spy on her whenever I could. My favorite was after school, before either of our parents had come home from work. On hot days, she would lay out beside the pool, unaware of my curious eyes, and the lessons she was teaching me.


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