tagMatureLove in the Lights

Love in the Lights

byMSTarot©

(all characters are over 18 when involved in sex.)

*

We moved away from the house I was born in when I was five. In a way I was to blame for it, I guess. The quality of grade schools in that area was not as high as in the area we moved to. I can't take full credit for it though, as you could say Dad's promotion had an equal amount to do with the move. He earned a promotion, and with it came a transfer to the central office. Better pay, bigger office space, even an assistant. For him it was wonderful.

Except for the super-long commute into town to work at that central office.

So closer to work for him, better school for me and with more money to spend, thanks to the promotion, Mom wanted a bigger, nicer house.

So, it was my fault. From a certain point of view.

Anyway, the new neighborhood was, I soon discovered, where a lot of older couples lived. They had, for the most part, bought their homes when the neighborhood was first constructed. Their kids were long gone off to colleges or were raising families of their own. To put it simply, there were no kids my own age in any direction for several blocks. The closest one, a girl who I could not stand after meeting her at school, lived father away than I was allowed to ride my bike to. At least till I was in my young teens anyway.

Oh, the school was top notch. My teachers were great. Dad's commute to work? Ten minutes, maybe fifteen if he caught a few lights bad.

So we moved into the new house.

A sad, mad adventure for a five year old. It was fun, till I discovered we were not going to move back to the old house once we got everything unpacked. How I got that idea in my head, I don't know, but it was there. We were moving, yeah, and then when we got everything unpacked...we were going to move back. The logic of a five year old at its very best.

I spent the first few months there as depressed as a kid can be, which is surprisingly pretty severely depressed. A lot of that time was me just trying to get used to the new place. I liked my room. I loved the big backyard, my new swing set. Dad mentioned maybe getting a pool, but Mom shot that idea down before it got going.

I soon just wanted to go home. But...I couldn't. There were some new people living there. That bothered me, that there were strangers in my house. Strangers that I didn't know were in my bedroom. I had nightmares about that for a while, till Mom had Dad take us back by the old house. The new owners had painted the shutters a bright blue. I thought it was funny.

Dad didn't see the humor in it.

We sat there, parked in our car across the street, while Mom tried to explain to me just why that was no longer our place. That it was now someone else's home. Looking back on it, I'm not sure she was talking to me. She may have been, in fact, talking to my dad. He kept up a steady grumble about how the grass wasn't cut properly. About how the blue shutters made the house look tacky.

He grumbled about it all the way back to our new house, and he never would take me back by the old house ever again. Not even when we were close to it.

Summer, as summer always has a want to, slipped into fall. There were far more leaves to rake at the new house than the old, something else Dad was often known to grumble about, so I made huge piles of them. Then I would spend hours just trying to climb to the top of Leaf Mountain.

Halloween was upon us before I could even blink and, armed with a brown paper sack and a Knight Rider costume, I discovered the first bit of joy in my new home. There were a lot of new houses to go get candy from. I raked in tons of candy. I ate mouthfuls of it even as I went on to the next door. I was happy.

And I was so sick.

My bellyache, however, was only just beginning to fade to memory when the second big joy of our new home appeared. As the holidays came roaring in, our new neighbors began to put up Christmas decorations. Tons, and tons of Christmas decorations. The whole street was like a winter wonderland by Thanksgiving night.

Except for us.

Well, Dad wouldn't stand for that so...out he went, with the turkey leftovers still warm. Hours later he brought home the car with the backseat full of lights and the trunk full of fresh cut cedar. He must have clear-cut a small forest over the next two days, but every window had a wreath and garland at the top of it. And that house had a lot more windows than the old house. Something else dad had was a collection of choice words I was not supposed to hear. That first weekend he worked through the night, by flashlight, held by me, till finally Mom said enough was enough and put me to bed.

Not that I was probably being much help by then anyway. I had quickly gotten bored, and for the last hour, that flashlight had become a lightsaber.

By the end of that weekend our house was ablaze with lights and smelled like it had been attacked by a pine tree. Dad was almost obnoxiously proud of what he had managed to get done. He was wont to go stand in the yard and just look at his masterpiece of twinkling bulbs and twisted greenery. That pride lasted till the next weekend.

When the man across the street, who had no small display already, went for more lights.

Thus was joined the first battles of what would become known as the Eighteenth Street Wars. My Dad and this man, Mr. Jackson, would every year from that day forth try to one-up each other's display. A friendly competition that would truly grow to warlike proportions. Cry forth HOLLY! And loose the candy canes of WAR!

As their men went to the "Halls of Christmaszuma" my mom, and Mrs. Jackson would sit in our kitchen, sipping coffee and laughing at their husbands. Both had given up at trying to restrain their spouses. Probably because it was too funny an insanity to stop. Or maybe they recognized a lost cause. Not even the weather could stop them! Sleet, freezing rain, snow, golf-ball-size hail, blizzard warning...nothing deterred them. So, I don't think Mom and Mrs. Jackson really tried too hard. They just sat back and enjoyed the show.

Now, when the greatest day of the year finally approached, Grandma and Grandpa would come to stay with us for a few days. Now they loved to see me, and I equally loved to see them...but looking back on it, I think I must have gotten on everyone's nerves. I would be constantly asking how much longer till Santa came. Would he be able to find the new house? Did they think he really got my letter and had read it?

I would, after a bit, be sent outside to play in the snow with a shovel. With "Don't come in till supper is ready" instructions. Not that I would have really wanted to go inside, but I would quickly become a red-eared, snuffly-nose, block of ice with green mittens and a red toboggan hat.

There were times, when I was in that yard with a shovel pretending I was Han Solo on Hoth, that I would hear the crunch of snow underfoot. Turning around, I would see Mrs. Jackson crossing the street to our house. I would go out there to meet her and make sure she didn't fall. She would smile at me, and more often than not, hand me a steaming Styrofoam cup of hot chocolate.

I would always tell her thank you. She would always say, "You're welcome, Timothy."

She had such a nice smile.

** ** ** ** ** ** **

As the years of my youth rolled away and I neared my teens, I got to witness Dad and Mr. Jackson refight every major and minor battle of World War Two. With lights.

Our yard and theirs would often sprout nativity scenes so real, animal control would show up about the livestock. Giant herds of lighted reindeer would be seen to graze on the brown grass. At first they were still, but as the years passed they became motorized and their heads would lift and lower. Then there were the huge plastic snowmen that guarded our driveway. Massive creations with night-black top hats, they glowed like round, white sentinels every night.

Every tree had its hundred strands of lights. Every bush, hell, every twig that blew through our yard or theirs got some part of it lit with colorful strands. It was sheer madness.

And then it would end.

When December became January an amnesty would be signed. Peace, till sometime in the next November.

It was the strangest thing. Spring would see the two of them often standing for hours discussing the best lawn seed, fertilizers. Dad would take his tiller across the street and turn over Mrs. Johnson's little kitchen garden for her, every year right after he tilled up Mom's. We would caravan to the beach together when summer break started. Then to the mountains every fall when the leaves began to change.

They would come over to our house on Saturday nights, bringing food, and they would stay till late, far later than my bed time, playing cards with Mom and Dad. They were possibly the best friends my parents had...and maybe that I had as well. Theirs was always the first house I went to trick or treat at each Halloween. Ah yes, Halloween. Threats of divorce from both ladies kept that holiday to a single lighted Jack-o-lantern on each porch.

Then in the middle of all this friendship there would be a Pearl Harbor of lights, either from Dad or Mr. Jackson and the war would be joined yet again. And it was not a bloodless battle either. It got to be quite common for one or both of them to fall of the roof at least once a year.

I, being a patriotic and loyal citizen of 7424 Eighteenth Street, was drafted into Dad's army when I was ten. They called you up young in those days. Hell, I was nearly conscripted the year before, but Mom came to my rescue before I got too far up the ladder. I learned a lot during those cold winter wars. How to string lights from tree branches too thin for Dad to climb on. How to find that one dead bulb in a strand of two hundred. How to get a damn mechanical reindeer to move its head and just how much weight it takes to keep a plastic baby Jesus from blowing out of his manger.

Life-altering stuff. I still have nightmares from my time in the trenches.

As those years crawled by, our family and the Johnsons grew closer. Those endless days of my childhood seemed to pass so slowly compared to nowadays. Those long winter holidays, spent sledding, making snowmen and trying not to hang by the neck until dead from a strand of Christmas lights. I would help to plant those two kitchen gardens in the spring. I would bake on the hot sands at the beach every summer, always on the look out for jellyfish to poke with a stick. And the fall, my god it seemed those days of leaf-raking were endless.

Mrs. Jackson always had a smile for me. Hot chocolate in the winter. Lemonade in the summer.

I was truly happy.

** ** ** ** ** ** **

As I began to push my way into my teen years I started cutting grass to earn spending money. At first Dad complained that I was wearing out his mower to cut other people's yards. Then, when I had about given up on continuing my career as a junior landscaper, Mom and Mrs. Jackson got together and bought me an old mower of my very own to use. With no other kids nearby, I had a lot of older people who loved the idea of someone young to do their yard work. Dad may still have grumbled a bit, but so long as our yard was cut the way he wanted it, he seemed reasonably happy.

And the Jackson's was the first yard I cut every Saturday morning. Right after cereal and morning cartoons. "Wonder Twins powers activate!"

Mr. Jackson worked for a company that installed elevators in high rise buildings. Because of this he would often travel during the week. Now, Mrs. Jackson couldn't drive, she told me she had never learned how. So I began to run errands for her during the week, after school. She would give me the money and a list of things she needed and I would hustle off to the store on my bike to get her what ever she needed. Once I began doing that for her she spread the word around, and I quickly found myself, not only a landscaper, but a delivery man to the neighborhood. The money I earned, well, except for soda money, went into a bank account Mom got started for me. She told me it was to save up for my first car, since Dad had already said he wasn't going to be buying it for me.

Mrs. Jackson always gave me more than the other ladies in the neighborhood. I told her it wasn't necessary, but she would just smile and say yes it was and insist I take it. I never could refuse that beautiful smile.

Now as much as I liked riding my bike, when my sixteenth birthday was in sight, I was eager to do anything to bring in more cash for that car. So when she called me over to her house that day while waving a piece of paper, I was glad to go. I pedaled my feet off through that nice spring day, down to the store and back with the milk, bread and other things she had sent me for. I must say, that I was surprised, when getting back, I knocked on the door and there was no answer. I knocked and waited, knocked and waited. Nothing.

Crossing over to our house, I got on the phone and called their number. The phone rang and rang.

"Who are you calling?"

I looked up as my mom came into the room.

"Mrs. Jackson. She sent me to the store to get a few things for her, but now she doesn't seem to be at home." I sat the phone back in its recharge cradle.

"Well, maybe she went for a walk. Their key is in the drawer of the table by the door. Get the key, take her stuff over there and put it in the fridge." Mom lifted the sweating gallon jug of milk a bit out the bag. No doubt checking to make sure I had looked at the date on it. "Leave her a note, where she can find it, then make sure you lock up on your way out."

Getting the key, I carried the groceries back across and unlocked the kitchen door. I called out to make sure she hadn't come home while I was away, but there was no answer. It was as I was putting the groceries in the refrigerator when I began to notice a strange sound. Water running. Closing the refrigerator door, I went through the dining room and into the living room.

There was a very large wet spot on the ceiling, in the corner of the room, and water was pouring out through the drywall!

When I was walking to the room, my feet squished through the sodden carpet. Looking up, I saw a small waterfall pouring down the stairs. Going up the wet stairs, I followed this river towards its source. The bathroom door. When I opened that door a inch deep minor flood went across my shoes. I didn't even notice that though. I was seeing just two things. The water pouring over the side of the bathtub like Niagara.

And Mrs. Jackson, naked on the tile floor...the water under her head a bright red!

Grabbing a phone, off its base in the hall, I was dialing 911 by instinct I guess. Going to the tub, I turned off the taps, then knelt down next to her. Ignoring the water soaking the knee of my bluejeans I held the phone to my ear and listened to it ring, as I brushed sodden hair back from her face. Placing my fingers on her neck I took her pulse the way I had learned in CPR class at school. I could see from the rise and fall of her naked breasts that she was breathing.

"This is 911. What is the nature of your emergency?"

"My neighbor has fallen and hit her head in the bathroom!" I quickly gave the address. The woman told me to stay on the line till the ambulance arrived.

As I knelt there on the phone, answering the woman's questions as best as I could, I watched Mrs. Jackson's face to see if she would wake. I wanted to try and find where she was bleeding from but the woman on the phone told me not to move her. My eyes went to the window when I heard the sirens in the distance. They were coming fast. Looking back at her, my eyes went from her face to her chest, then down across her belly. I grabbed a towel from off the bar behind me and laid it across her.

I heard the big trucks turn the corner down the street and the roar of those sirens! Keeping the phone with me, I ran down the wet stairs and opened the front door. When the firetruck,with the ambulance right behind it, pulled up and stopped a second later, I saw my mom walk out onto our porch. Seeing me on the phone and the firemen getting out she sprinted across the street.

"Tim?"

"Mrs. Jackson fell in the bathroom. She's unconscious!" The paramedics reached us and I pointed them up the stairs. My mom followed them with a worried look on her face. I stepped out onto the porch and got out of their way when the firemen began to bring in a gurney. It was then I realized I still had the phone in my hand and that the lady from 911 was still on the other end. I thanked her and hung up.

When they brought Mrs. Jackson down the stairs, covered in a blanket, strapped to a backboard with a neck brace on, Mom was right behind them. She still had that worried look on her face.

"Tim? I'm going to the hospital with Emma. I need you to call Mr. Jackson's company. The number is on their fridge. Tell them to call Tom and tell him what has happened. When you get that done lock up their house. I'll call you and Dad from the hospital. Okay?" she asked.

"Sure, I've got it," I answered.

I watched the ambulance pull away. Standing there on the porch listening to its siren disappear into the distance, watching the firemen move their big truck back down the street, I noticed two things. How sick I was with worry over Mrs. Jackson and the fact I still had that damn phone in my hand. Taking it with me to the kitchen I found the number and called it. The secretary on the other end transferred me to someone higher up who listened and then asked several questions, that I didn't know the answers to. The man thanked me, then promised that he would call Mr. Jackson right away.

He thanked me? What had I done to be thanked?

For some strange reason I suddenly felt like I needed to do something to earn that thank you. Looking around, I found where they stored their mop and went up stairs to the bathroom. Draining the tub, I spent the next few minutes mopping up water and blood from the floor. I grabbed up the wet, brown-stained towels from the floor and hung them over the shower curtain rod so they would at least dry. When I went back down stairs, the wet squish of the carpet in the living room drew my attention.

Going over to our house, to the garage, I somehow managed to dig my way through the million Rubbermaid's full of lights, around the plastic terracotta army of Santas, and through the endless herd of white-wire reindeer to get to the dehumidifier. Carrying it back across the street I hooked it up in their living room. I felt like I should do more, but I couldn't think of anything else. I shut the door and gave a final check of the locks.

Dad brought home pizza. It was one of the stranger dinners I ever had in the house since we ate not in the dining room but in the living room. We munched pizza and watched wrestling while sitting on the new sofa. Dad cheered on the good guys and cussed the heels, something Mom would have thrown a fit over, and didn't even look at me cross-eyed when I once did the same.

Dad talked to Mom on the phone before I went to bed. He told me there was not much change, whatever exactly that meant.

Mom came home in the morning and went over to the Jackson's house. She came back with a bag of things for Mrs. Jackson.

"Emma, has a severe concussion. They had to put eight stitches in the back of her scalp as well. The doctor wants to keep her there for the rest of the week. They may let her come back home this weekend if she's doing better. She woke up last night for a bit, and we talked a little. I've been on the phone with Tom several times. He's got a flight coming in this morning." Mom got a change of clothes for herself and then left to go back to the hospital.

Still looking for something to do, I kept the dehumidifier going through out the day. I was over at their house emptying it when Mr. Jackson showed up. I was standing there in his living room, holding the empty tray, as he walked in the front door. His shoes squelched in the carpet, but not as badly as they would have yesterday.

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byMSTarot© 36 comments/ 56696 views/ 86 favorites

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