I Saw My Neighbour Naked

I saw my neighbour naked. There were nipples bobbling, a free fall of pubic hair and a hint of a vaginal lip. I didn’t know whether to scream, faint or declare myself blind forever. All I did know was that I had seen a forbidden forest and things were never going to be the same again.

My neighbours have always been an acquired taste. They’re the type to knock on your door just to say ‘hi’ which I’m sure hasn’t been legal since the 1960’s. They like to leave jigsaws by the front door in case anyone is feeling, in their words, ‘adventurous’. It’s as adventurous as discovering a verruca. They like to put the post in alphabetical order for all those that, I can only assume, can’t read their own name.

One such neighbour that lives directly below likes to announce what he’s eating as he’s eating it. I always get slightly concerned when the word ‘fish’ is screamed. Next to him lives a couple that seem to be able to set the fire alarm off using only two slices of bread and a piece of ham. At the bottom of the stairs are a group of souls that regard themselves as ‘hippies’ which I’m sure is a more politically correct term for having a gang bang. On ground floor, there’s a man that seems to dial an 0800 number for all those lonely nights and next to him is a woman that is more Sweeney Todd than Nigella Lawson in the cooking department. The house smells like dead people.

This is all part of living in a block of flats in an area where foxes are allowed to sit on your doorstep whilst your neighbours strum a guitar singing Kumbaya.

I, too, have my faults. I like to play Westlife at a night time to remember the glory days of the nineties. I can also hold my hands up and admit that I have cooked a fried egg or two at an inappropriate time on a Saturday morning however, no one has been scarred by the sight of my au naturel under parts.

I always knew she was one of those ‘open’ women who shared their deepest darkest secrets with the entire population from the moment she moved in.

“I just love watching Countryfile.” She said on introduction. I bowed my head in embarrassment, had she no shame?

After this came the washing machine incident. My clothes were in the middle of their weekly spin, enjoying themselves no doubt, when they were stopped by her. She wanted to know what was in the washing machine. It doesn’t exactly take a trip from the phantom of Einstein to reveal what was in the machine but she had to be sure. When I came down to see her fondling my sopping underwear, it became one of those socially awkward situations where there was nothing to say but ‘erm’.

“Lovely bras.” She said, smiling with her I’m-a-pervert style lips.

This could only mean one thing, she was either simply commenting on my fantastic taste in women’s lingerie or she was having a jolly old time with my smalls.

I decided to let that slide. After all, she hadn’t done the worst thing in the world and stolen my two pounds out of the machine door. But then came that fateful Sunday evening.

All was well in the house. I was enjoying a repeat of Golden Balls and everything was just as appropriate as a church sermon…until the screaming began. It was a high pitched scream as though she was in pain but enjoying the rollercoaster of life at the same time. I pondered whether to ensure her safety from what could possibly be an attack from the jigsaw maniac or ignore the rude interruption of my programme. Suddenly, without a thought for my own wellbeing, I hurtled across to her flat with my dressing gown floating in the distance. This was finally the moment that I could be a caped hero. What greeted me next was only for Hugh Hefner’s imagination. I saw things that fully grown men would weep at having come face to face with and I, for one, was ready to weep. As I squinted my eyes and slowly walked backwards, some Golden Balls that didn’t quite match what was on my television appeared.

After that, I remember nothing. It’s like a sordid cloud of smoky perversion sent me into a coma. When I woke, I knew I never wanted to see nipples darting towards me ever again. I knew I never wanted to help a neighbour in need ever again. But mostly, I knew I would never trust someone that liked Countryfile for as long as I live.

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A Couple of Married Twenty One Year Old’s

I’m twenty one and married to him. He’s twenty one and married to me. Before the inevitable flurry of ‘aren’t you too young?’ questions, I haven’t done a Kim Kardashian and married a gangster for a vagina-waving video that will be leaked to ensure my future millions. I am in love with a beautiful man and age is irrelevant.

At eighteen, we fell in love. At twenty, we got engaged. At twenty one, we said I do. Admittedly, I have never felt twenty one. Twenty one is meant to be the moment where you feel brave enough to try that forward roll that you couldn’t quite master back in PE lessons. It’s a time where you can wear a jumpsuit without walking around worrying about the camel attached to you. It’s being brave at its most envious. If asked what I’d choose as my mental age, I fear I’d be closer to the pensioner than to my twenty-one-year-old-skinny-dipping-in-a-mould-induced-pond-for-the-sake-of-it friends. So in that respect, I am somewhat of a cougar marrying this delicious twenty one year old toyboy.

The reality of it is that we’ve come up against a wall of negativity as though we’re claiming to be the next BNP leaders once we’re married. At one point, a Robin Hood style ambush nearly pushed us to elope somewhere in the Caribbean and skinny dip in those waters instead. But we didn’t. We made a choice to take life and love into, as our good old friend the cliché says, our hands. We decided that a small gathering at a pleasant registry office with five or six people would suffice for a long enough bedtime story for the future grandchildren.

When the day arrived, it wasn’t all fields of gold with Kool and the Gang giving some heartfelt rendition of ‘Celebration’. It was more like Rylan Clarke howling into my ear at it’s-too-early-o’clock.

                I woke furious for no other reason than the fact that morning had come and slapped me in the face too soon. I wanted a coma-like sleep where not even the smell of Johnny Depp’s dreadlocks could raise me from the bed. But on one occasion, a woman has to accept her bride duties and muster the effort to actually put on a dress and hide her dishevelled self beneath a white veil. Once I had, I felt like Cinderella albeit with a slightly transvestite-like tallness.

Arriving before the groom isn’t tradition but I wanted to sit down without sweating through the layers of netting that had stuck to my nipples. I wanted to be still without the worry that my hair would blow so far back in the open car windows that I’d eventually turn up bald. I wanted to throw myself in front of a mirror to ensure my fake eyelashes didn’t look like two slugs chasing each other on my eyelids. I arrived mere minutes before him and was ushered into an office whilst he gallivanted like some gladiator through the halls of the building.

I walked into the ceremony with my best friend of eleven years to Mariah Carey’s voice. Although, we had discussed how romantic it would be to play Kesha’s Timber and allow for a country dance down the aisle, we opted for the sensible choice.

                Once we were stood facing each other, we couldn’t help but laugh. The registrar silenced us and we began to say our vows to one another. It was when love pulled through and showed everyone that it really does conquer all even for those who can’t cook eggs properly.

With all the meaningless jokes pushed aside, it was as beautiful as the warm, orange sun setting on a summer’s evening. It was like all your favourite memories merged into one black and white film. It was like hearing all the angels sing together just for you. It was like our lives had stopped and a new one had started where we had new titles and new beginnings. It was, and still is, the best decision we’ve ever made, twenty one or pensioner.