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Next to You

By @Asper

no sleep=death to others

I woke up to loud, heavy-metal music blaring next door. I looked at my clock, pulled my pillow on top of my face, and groaned.

7:19 my clock read. Normally, I’d be up by now, getting ready for school, but as it was snowing pretty **** hard, school didn’t start ’til 9.

Which meant I had a good hour of sleep left before I had to get up. But thanks to the idiot next door, I already was.

My anger rose the longer I had to listen to the crashing cymbals and electric guitars. I even checked my window to make sure it was shut: it was.

Snarling, I threw the covers off my body and slammed open my door, storming down the stairs. My twin brother Cody, heading up to his room with a mug of steaming coffee, flattened himself against the wall, eyeing me with wariness but keeping his mouth shut. Wise. Very wise.

I stomped down the stairs and my left heel stuck the bottom step with so much force, it jarred all the way to my bones. I ignored the slight throb, shoving my feet in my gray Uggs before kicking the door open with the same foot. The music was still blasting, not even lyrics but drums and guitars and screeching that vaguely gave me the impression of a dying goat.

I crunched my way across the yard and to the neighbor’s front door. The snow seemed to melt in my path from my anger.

I pounded on the door, boom, boom, boom, but no answer. I hammered my fists against it with a rapid-fire rhythm: bambambambambambam! Giving up, I made my way to the offending window, staring up. It vibrated with the force of the music. Reaching down I grabbed a rock the size of an orange, and ignoring how my fingers were stiffening up in the cold, I pulled back my arm and threw it.

Again and again I tried, along with screaming at the offender, but no one appeared in the window. The rocks kept falling too short, anf falling back to earth, sent up a spray of snow, soaking me in my Spongebob Squarepants shorts and tank top. I let out a guttural scream.

“What you doin’, Harp?”

I turned around. Cody leant out the window of his room next to mine, looking down at me with a slightly intimidated look, partly due to the fact that I had another rock ready for impact.

“It’s seven,” I said.

He gave me a confused look.

“I have another hour of sleep left.” I was gonna cry. Sleep was veeeery important to me. No sleep=death to others. 

Cody’s gaze went above my head and I turned to see a very shirtless, very hot guy leaning against his window with an arm braced on the frame to keep himself from falling out. My mouth popped open as I traced his delicious abs to his low-slung jeans that just hugged his hips…

“Can I help you?” His voice was deep and calm, slow like he was actually thinking about what he was saying. 

My mouth opened, closed, opened. Those pecs should be illegal.

His eyes-I couldn’t make out the color from below-seemed to laugh at me. I snapped my mouth closed and glared at him.

“Turn your music down please,” I said, trying to be nice.

He raised his hand to his ear. “Sorry, what was that?”

I gritted my teeth. “Turn your ******* music down, you ********** I heard my brother groan in exasperation as the boy above grinned, a dimple popping in his left cheek. He turned to his room and his lips moved, but I couldn’t hear or make out what he said. The music turned off and he turned his eyes back to me, smirking.

“I was knocking but no one answered,” I demanded. 

He shrugged. “I live alone basically.”


“What grade are y’all in?” He looked at me and Cody.

I crossed my arms, but Cody responded. “Michaelson High. Seniors.”

He grinned. “Ah. Nice. I’m also a senior, although I’m new.” He nodded at Cody. “Ash.”

Cody nodded back. “Cody. And this is my sister Harper.”

I raised a middle finger at Ash. He smirked, saying,” It was a real pleasure,” before withdrawing back into his room. The window slammed shut. The music blared.

Screaming, I launched the rock in a high arc, but it missed, hitting the side of the house.

Cody sighed. “Harper.”

I’m also a senior. What school do you go to. Blah blah BLAHHHH.” I kicked the snow, sending it sparkling in the morning sun.

“He didn’t actually ask what school we went to-”

“DON’T CARE.” I sighed, looking up. “What time is it?” I said quietly. 

A nervous smile. “8:05.”

I groaned, stomping back inside the house. Someone was gonna get murdered today.

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