Later that week, Ben came over to see Abby. Ethan was outside hitting tennis balls over trees pretending to hit game-winning homeruns. On one particular monster shot, Ethan’s home run trot was interrupted by Ben, “Hey, Ethan.”
Ethan, shocked out of his imaginary world, stopped and looked up, “Oh. Hey, Ben.”
“Thanks. It was a hanging slider. You don’t hang sliders to me and think they won’t leave the yard,” Ethan said.
“I’ll remember that. So, I was wondering, did you gather any information about my neighbors?” Ben asked.
“Yeah, as a matter of fact I did.” Ethan went into the story about getting bitten by their dog and all the stuff he noticed about the inside of their house. “The layout of their rooms is the opposite of your side of the duplex. The house is a pre-fab built by Birchwood Homes in the 80’s.” Ethan went on to describe the history of Birchwood Homes, which he found online.
Ben was slightly amazed at the depth of information Ethan had, little of which was helpful to any extent, but still, the kid did good work! “Wow. That’s a lot of information!”
“Yeah. I hope it helps.”
“So, you think it was just a man and woman living over there?” Ben asked.
“I didn’t see anyone else, although there were toys I think in one room.”
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure they have a kid. He’s not around much, goes to daycare or something.” The conversation ran out. They were two guys after all. After an awkward pause where Ethan scanned the trees for his tennis balls and Ben got real interested in the planter on the picnic table, Ben continued. “OK, well any more information you can get, let me know.”
“What kind of stuff do you want to know now? Like, what should I watch for?”
“Somehow they are getting in our house. The cops found drugs in our bedrooms that we didn’t put there. We set up a camera in my dad’s room, but things have been quiet lately. I don’t know. Just be aware of what’s going on. Try to think of how they could get in our house. Notice anything weird. Just pay attention, I guess. I don’t know.”
“OK, I can do that. Paying attention is one of my skills. Ask those people who live in my house, whatever their names are.” Ethan said.
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