He was sitting in the dark. His arm chair strategically placed before his large picture window to observe the house next door. Angie was moving gracefully about her living room as he listened to a light cello jazz solo on his stereo. The string music seeming to make the perfect counter point as his neighbor replaced a book she'd been reading on her bookshelf. Examining the shelf more closely she left the room for a moment, returning shortly with a rag she began dusting most of the surfaces in the room as he watched.
He knew all of the labels people might apply to what he was doing. All of the terms by which they would refer to him, Voyeur, Peeping Tom, Stalker and because of the age difference, Dirty Old Man and Pervert. None of that mattered to him. He loved Angie. He had loved her for over five years now. He had loved her since shortly after she and her then husband, Mort, had moved into the house next door.
Mort was gone now. She'd thrown his useless ass out months ago and was now simply waiting for sufficient time to pass for the divorce to be final. Both homes had swimming pools in the back yard. He'd met her when she'd called the local Pool Service company to find a leak in her liner and patch it. They were there only an hour. He'd talked to her over the fence after, asking about the problem and found they had charged her almost $200.00 for the repair. There were only two Pool companies in the county, and both were owned by bandits. He made her promise to call him first if she had another problem. He heard his first fight between she and her husband that night.
In the last five years he'd helped with problems around their home many times. He'd been to parties and barbecues over there and had them over to his place. But only because of her. Mort was an asshole, through and through. From the top of his already bald head to the tips of his hairy toes the man was all ass. He used to ask himself how she could ever have chosen a person like Mort, until she finally tossed him out on his ass. Now he truly wished he was twelve years younger and in better shape.
Angie had finished dusting and moved out of view to the left. Coming once more into view she left the room turning out the light as she left.
He rose then, taking his beer with him as he paused at the stereo and turned it off. Remembering how he'd never liked this type of music until he'd seen her shadow dancing to it on her home's rear patio. Since then, he'd developed a taste for it from repeated listenings, her lithe form dancing before his mind's eye each time he heard it.
Climbing the stairs he wondered for the millionth time if he should really make an approach, ask her out for dinner and a drink. He'd swear that in some of their recent conversations she'd left him openings for an approach. But he'd never been good at the dating thing, had never been able to really see opportunities until they were past. He'd made mistakes in this area too, thinking he'd seen something that wasn't there. His heart had been broken many times over the years and he was afraid of going through that pain again. He was more afraid of losing her as a friend, of driving her away and making her afraid of him. That pain would be even worse.
Upstairs, he opened the door to his office and, without turning on the lights, rolled the chair from his desk over near the window, opposite the window of her bedroom. He was seating himself when her bedroom light came on and he felt his stomach drop through the floor. Her curtains, over the broad sliding bedroom windows, which had remained open for the last month, was closed. He couldn't see. Crestfallen, he simply sat staring when suddenly the curtains opened and Angie was there. She leaned forward and slid open the window before turning back into the room. At the foot of her bed she crossed her hands across her waist and in one elegant move raised the hem of her sweater over her head and removed it. Her lacy white bra was a half-cup, pushing her breast up and together, creating a lovely cleavage between the pale creamy mounds. He swallowed and felt himself going hollow inside, once again, at her beauty.
He knew that he had to get his nerve up soon. He had to make a move of some kind if only to know, if only to end the heartache he felt whenever he saw or thought of her. If he didn't, someone else would snatch her up and any opportunity he might have had would be gone. But he was a coward in matters of the heart. Afraid to trust once again. It was simply so much easier to simply coast along and let be what will be. Of course, he knew that what would likely be is continued loneliness unless he did something, anything. He had to decide...
Angie was releasing the catch on her skirt as he watched and allowed it to slide down her legs. Stepping from it, she folded it once and smoothed out some wrinkles with her hand before draping the garment over the back of a chair. Dressed now in half-slip and bra Angie reached up and with deft moves unpinned her hair where it was piled neatly atop her head. She had always seemed to wear it up and it suited her. Revealing the long graceful curve of her neck, it gave her a statuesque quality lending a light regality to the air about her. Once free, her dark hair fell in waves, brushing her cheekbones and cascading over her shoulders until the slightly curled ends rested atop the mounds of her breasts. Running her fingers lightly through the thick tresses, Angie shook her head and the unruly mass seemed more ordered in how it lay.
She was standing sideways to his view as she raised her slip and reached beneath to slide her hose down her legs. Those long tapers of silk he had seen so rarely in the last five years, but had seen more frequently in the last two months since he'd begun his vigils. He decided he had graduated. He was now officially a dirty old man, since gazing at her in this fashion always made him hungry. Hungry for the touch of her, the feel of her and, yes, even the taste of her.