Friday, 10 April 2009

Two summers ago, Jeff and I were getting the kids ready to go to Seven Peaks (a water amusement park in Provo) when we both heard the screeching tires of a car against the pavement. I looked up and I saw two cars racing each other in our circle. Then, unbelievably, one of the cars crashed into the house two houses down from ours. And then, to my horror, the car that had crashed backed up of the wreck, and came in our direction. We were standing in our driveway, loading things in the car. Jeff and I looked at each other; we had no idea what was going on. My body went completely cold; I was frozen. And then, as if from a dream, I heard Jeff’s voice frantically yelling, “Take the kids inside!!!!!! Get down!!!” 

Pause for a second: Jeff and I are from Latin America, and all the survival instincts came rushing to us. I thought the guy was going to shoot us for witnessing the wreck or something like that. 
OK, going back to the event
I scanned the driveway quickly, and I noticed the children were not there. Good thing because as I said the car was coming in our direction at top speed, zigzagging. Jeff thought the guy had lost control of the car. We saw it disappear in the curve, and we both expected to hear another crash. Behind the car, a sobbing boy of about 14 or 15 came running, covered in blood.
Jeff ran to the house where the car had crashed, and he later told me he was terrified someone had been killed. The front of the house was completely destroyed, and fortunately, the lady who had been there was shaken, in shock of course, but unscathed. 
Our poor lady kept saying, “The children were playing in the sidewalk just a minute ago…” and it was true; El Cangri had been riding his red Little Tykes car to that same house and then back to our house, just minutes before the crash.
And then, we saw him. The haughty 16 year-old coming with his father saying, “It was me. Yes, I’m stupid.” But he showed no remorse; to him it was like he had been playing a video game.
Ever since that day, we DO NOT like those neighbors. Even less since the father took the boy to get his driver’s license the day after the accident, before the “other neighbors” could press charges. Thank you very much dad, great job.
I see him driving four wheelers, super fast, in our street. I call the cops every time. When the kids take our dogs for a walk, they cross the street instead of walking by their house. We don’t even know them, but we don’t like them for what could have happened that day.
And then last Sunday, our whole family went for a walk. Jeff doesn’t like the kids to walk ahead of us in case someone is backing up from their driveway and doesn’t see them, but El Cangri had ran ahead of us. 
Before we reached the house, I saw the boy. He has a new look these days: dark hair all sticking up in an enormous afro, black leather clothes, made up face. All of a sudden, I heard my younger son cry in fright. He couldn’t run fast enough! He came to me, mouth wide open in terror, and pointing wordlessly at the boy. The neighbor was getting into his father’s truck, and El Cangri followed him with his index finger, crying in terror.
Jeff and I exploded in laughter. I wonder what the poor kid thought of a little boy pointing at him and crying. I wonder what the father thinks. Our whole family laughs every time we remember El Cangri’s horror. I REALLY do hope fate doesn’t laugh at us if one day our kids decide to wear extreme fashion.  I hope we never have a Scary Neighbor in our midst.  

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2 responses to “The Scary Neighbor”

  1. Beck says:

    I remember The Girl bursting into tears of just UTTER TERROR when she saw a fat teenaged girl with multiple piercings, a big neck tattoo and bright green dyed hair one day in the store. The teenager had the good grace to look embarrassed by this, at least.

  2. I am completely stunned right now!!! I had no clue y’all witnessed something like that just a year ago!! I am also in complete disgust over the response of the boy AND the dad. Unbelievable!!!

    When do you and the kids gear up for the summer?? I’m sure y’all are all soooo excited to be going to Florida. How fun!

Yamile Saied Mendez

Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American, Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult author.

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