He was holding a gun. It was blue and rather large – it was a plastic water gun. Regardless of all those facts, it was still a gun. He pulled the trigger.


He stood there, laughing at me, as I cried.

It was then I knew he was going to do some bad things when he was older.

And if at five, I already saw signs of him going to the dark side, then at seventeen?

Oh, dear Lord.


Contrary to popular beliefs, next-door neighbors don't have to be friends, enemies, or even frenemies. And we were never really friends. Nor were we related to each other, or soul mates. Because, Martin didn't have a soul, as five year old me would like to believe.


He never actually went by the name Martin, though. He abhorred it.

When he was five, he went by Zorro. He also wore a black mask that he had gotten for his birthday.

At eight, he went by Clark. It was his Superman phase. He tried to wear his underwear over his pants, but his mom had put a stop to that immediately.

At ten, he wanted to be the next Michael Jordan. But, by eleven that nickname had left – he was awful at basketball.

At thirteen, many girls secretly referred to him as Prince Charming. Which, I never really got. He didn't look anything like the Prince Charming from Cinderella, nor did he act like one. He was a good-looking guy.

At fifteen, He officially became known as Matt. I don't know how our peers went from Martin to Matt.


My friends claim that he is the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome.

But, he isn't that tall. He's only three inches taller than my 5'4.

And though his hair may be currently dark brown, it's really blonde.

And he is good-looking – though, personally, I think his nose is a bit too big for his face.

That is still only 1 out of 3, making him, simply, the epitome of handsome.


"Martin? What the hell are you doing at a football game?," I asked him.

He ignores me. What a jerk.

"Martin!" I will not be ignored.

He probably didn't hear me….

I see him go into the creepy building that is close to our school. Of course, I knew he wouldn't be here to support our team. But what is he doing in that building? I walk to the building, and begin to creep on him through the windows, when I hear a "what the fuck are you doing" behind me.

Obviously, I jump and let out a small squeal. "Oh hey," I say, trying to play it cool.

It didn't work, though – he rolled his eyes.

"Okay, look. I'm not going to judge you, you know, but seriously? You bought drugs on school premises! How stupid can you be? I mean.."

"Shut up, stupid. You really need to stop making assumptions," Martin states, before turning on his heel and trying to walk away from me.

"Stop that! Your parents are really proud of you, and you can't let them down like this. I know it might be tempting and shit, but you have to look at the big picture here. I don't want you to end up disappointing your parents!"

"Would it disappoint you?" What a weird question. Do I not sound worried enough?

"I mean, it is right now…"

Now, if I understand correctly, this is the point in a cliché love story, that the significant other confesses his undying love for the protagonist (me), and I call him an idiot for not realizing sooner, and then we ride off into the sunset.

He begins to walk off again, but this time it isn't me who stops him.

"Matt! It has been, like, forever since we last talked!," Gracie squealed.
Gracie is the girl who has formed quite the attachment towards Matt, who seems unaffected by her. She is truly pretty, and is very graceful, like her name would suggest, but her voice is very unappealing.

Martin grunts. He is so expressive, it is crazy. Gracie does not take this grunt as dismissive, so she starts talking. It's a mostly one-sided conversation, with Gracie going on about a movie she had seen and how she and "Matt" should hang out more, and with Martin trying to figure out how to leave. I think I should help him.

"Martin! Sorry it took me so long to catch up. Who's this?" Thankfully, Martin isn't an idiot and realized my plan. Now that I think about it, this was a stupid idea.

"Oh, this is Gracie. Gracie, this is my girlfriend Anna," Martin says.

"Oh. Well, I've got to be going. Toodle-loo!" Gracie squeaks, clearly embarrassed to have been caught flirting with another girls' man.

As she skittles off, I turn to Martin. "What? I don't even get a 'thank you' in return for the ass-saving I just did?"

"Sure you do. How does a ride home sound?"

"You are such a peach," I exclaim, pinching his cheeks.


The ride home was quiet. As he parked alongside the curb, I blurted out something that made it seem as if I cared about him, a lot more than a mere friend should.

"Martin, I would hate it if you died from a drug overdose."

Martin just stares.

"Well, my homework awaits me, so see you tomorrow!," I go on to say.

"Wait." I look back at him, turning around completely. He leans in towards me, and is getting closer – what the fuck?

"What are you…" His lips cut me off.

He's kissing me. Martin, the crazy next door neighbor, is kissing me, the girl next door. I am so confused.

My stomach feels really weird and I have the strange urge to purge. Not that the kiss was disgusting, but I didn't want to kiss him.

He finally pulls away.

"Please don't tell me you've been wanting to do that for a while."

"It's wrong if I say yes? That kiss meant something, didn't it? I felt something."

"I don't know. All I know is that I wasn't ready for you to kiss me. I don't think I understand the reasoning behind it! You could have kissed me a long time ago, but you decide to do it now? Why now? We've known each other since birth, practically. I don't understand you Martin."

"Of course you don't," he replies, "we've never been the best of friends. Obviously, I don't love you. There might be something between us, but I don't know. I just wanted to kiss you. There's no law against kissing."

"Not if I call it assault."

He snorts. "Like you would. Anyways, you better go do that homework."

"Yeah." I close the car door. Martin is too complex for a simple girl like me. He's frustrating and annoying, and I can't deal. I need stability not spontaneity.

Martin calls out from behind me. "Think about us, okay? Don't be too rash."

I laugh. Though we may not be the best of friends, he knows me too well.