Falling for my NeighborBy: Lila Younger
A Virgin Babysitter and Single Dad Romance
The little bell attached to the door rings as my mom and I walk through the door of the local computer store. We’re here because she needs to fix her Macbook Pro, and in our little town, there isn’t anywhere to go but here. Here being Summerdale, my home for all of my eighteen years. I’ve never known another home, and even though it might be quaint, I don’t ever want to either.
The store is small and long. It used to be a house, and on the outside it still looks like it, but inside the walls have been knocked down. On my left side, there’s a counter with lots of different laptops and computers for people to try out, and there’s a big glass wall of small electronics on the right side. There’s a few cardboard setups in the middle for phones from different companties- T-Mobile, Verizon- along with the newest smartphones and the various plans on offer.
Harvey, the man in charge of the whole place, pokes his head out from the door of the back office, breaks out into a smile when he sees us and slowly ambles out while we make our way to the service desk.
“Diane, what a surprise,” he says. “And Vanessa too! How are the two of you doing?”
“There’s something wrong with this piece of metal,” my mom says, slapping the Macbook on the counter. “I knew that I shouldn’t have gone electronic.”
Harvey pulls the Macbook over to him, and pulls down his small round glasses over his face.
“Let me take a look at this before we condemn all electronics,” he says easily. “I think it shouldn’t be too hard to fix.”
“I don’t know. There’s just a blue screen whenever I try to boot it up. I mean, I did get it to work once it a while, but it won’t open any of the programs or anything.”
“You’re in good hands now though,” he says. “I love a tricky problem.”
“So how’s your wife doing?” my mom asks conversationally.
My mom knows just about every person in this town. She’s the local real estate agent after all, and at one time or another, she’s helped every last person buy or sell their home. Or try to anyways. She’s also one of those really outgoing people, who can strike up a conversation with strangers and leave them as friends too. She loves talking to everyone. When I was growing up, I dreaded leaving the house because I knew that ‘quick errands’ were never quick.
It’s kind of funny now that I really think about it, because dad and I are quite introverted. Dad more than me, but we definitely are shy and prefer our own company. It always takes me time to warm up to someone, to tell my personal things to a friend. That’s why it always embarassed me when my mom had no filter at all and told everyone everything. A lot of my childhood was spent with my nose stuck in a book, which is also why I needed glasses in the first grade. I’ve got contacts now, but those glasses really helped cement the idea that I was a nerd, and I was never the popular or pretty one growing up.
As Harvey tinkers away, I let my eyes sort of wander through the store. Harvey sells everything electronic here on Main Street, including computer games and stuff too. I don’t know how he’s able to stay in business, especially now that you can buy whatever you want from the internet, but there’s always people like my parents I guess, who would prefer to hold something in their hands before they buy it.
Harvey’s not the only guy who has a place here on Main Street either. All of the places on the street are owned by locals who live here. That’s how it’s always been in Summerdale, my home. It’s sort of like a postcard, that’s how cute and pretty the place is, and lots of families like to live here because of it. Low crime, good education, and that small town community feel. At least, it seems that way, from how busy and successful my mom is.
That’s why I really hope Harvey can fix the laptop. Her whole business is on it, and there’s definitely going to be trouble if we can’t get the information back. At first, I thought maybe she’d made a mistake or something. She’s awful with technology and electronics, and she always has to ask me how to do things with her smartphone that I taught her a million times before. We got her a MacBook for Christmas thinking that it would be the easiest one to work, but now it’s broken. Oops.
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