Molly lives in a small house in a quiet street. She bought her house 20 years when it was new. Jim and Iris Waterson bought the house next to Molly’s at the same time. They were good friends and good neighbours for 20 years, but now the Waterson’s townhouse was empty. Jim and Iris have moved to Florida to live near their daughter and grandchildren.
I hope my new neighbours are as nice as Jim and Iris, thought Molly. I will be very upset if some young people buy the house. They will be noisy. They might have children. They might have pets.
A few days later a moving truck parked outside the house next door. Molly stood at the window of her living room and watched.
She saw sofas, armchairs, tables, chairs and beds go into the house. She saw the moving men carry many boxes into the house. Then she saw a little bicycle. It was pink. A man carried it to the garden behind the house.
Oh no! she thought. A child!
Next the man carried a red bicycle into the garden. It was bigger than the pink bicycle, but it was too small for an adult. Another child! Shouting! Screaming! I don’t want to live next door to children.
Molly looked at her watch. It was time to go to the community centre. Every Friday, there was a concert at the community centre. Gustav Baer played the piano. He played beautiful classical music. He was a very good pianist. When he was younger, he was very famous. He gave concerts all over the world. Now he was retired, but he still liked to play the piano. So he gave free concerts at hospitals and retirement homes and community centres.
Molly put on her coat. She took her bag and went out of her house. She locked the door and hurried down the street. The men were still taking boxes and furniture out of the truck.
I don’t know if I will enjoy the concert today, thought Molly. I am so unhappy. I love my house. I love my quiet street. But now there will be noisy children. Everything will change.
Molly was very surprised when she arrived at the community centre. Gustav Baer was not there. “Mr Baer cannot come today,” the manager of the community centre said to everyone. “He is too busy. He will come next week. Mr Baer’s friend has come. He plays the guitar and he sings. Please enjoy the concert.”
The concert was very nice but Molly thought Mr Baer’s piano playing was better. After the concert she went home. The trucks had gone and it was very quiet.
Before Molly went to bed, she went outside to put some garbage in the garbage bin. It was very dark. There were lights on in the house next door. Molly could hear a piano. The music sounded beautiful. She walked over the fence and looked at the house next door. The lights were on in the house and she could see inside. I guess they have not had time to hang curtains yet, she thought.
She could see many boxes on the floor of the living room. She could see a grand piano, but she could not see who was playing it.
The next day, someone rang the doorbell Molly went to answer it. She was very surprised. Gustav Baer was there.
“Good morning,” he said. “I am your new neighbour.”
“You!” said Molly. “I thought it was a family with children! I saw the bicycles. A pink one and a red one!”
“Oh,” said Mr Baer. “They are my grandchildren’s bicycles. Sometimes they come to visit on Sundays. It is nice for them to have something to do at my house. If they have nothing to do, they get bored and very noisy. Most of the time, there will only be me living there. I’m sorry. It will be very quiet. I think maybe you like to have children and pets next door.”
“Oh, no. No,” said Molly. “Please come in and have a cup of tea! I saw you have no curtains yet. Maybe I can help you. I want you to be happy in your new home.”