“And did you see what that little hussy was wearing?” One of the ladies said.”It is just scandalous! Imagine!” Another in the group said in agreement.I had just come home from work at the garage that day and Mom and a couple of the neighborhood ladies in the “Gossip Guild” were chattering away like a trio of angry squirrels.I didn’t pay them much attention – I rarely do when they get a burr under their saddles like this – until I realized they must be going on about whoever moved into the old Peterson place a few houses down the street.”Yes, and those so-called shorts she was wearing… why, there wasn’t enough material in them to make a good handkerchief!””And that top she was almost wearing… I mean really! Why bother wearing anything at all!”Mom listened to the two harpies as they riled and ridiculed the poor woman in question, smiling as she let them go on. Mom wasn’t the type to buy into the gossip and clothesline chatter of the local grapevine. But these girls were her friends, so she politely listened to their slander.I left the three of them cackling and criticizing this poor new neighbor woman who I had never met and went in to shower and change out of my dirty shop clothes.As I came out in my sweatpants and drying my hair with a towel, the other girls had left – I didn’t hear anymore sniping from the bathroom, so I knew it was clear! “So who were you and the Gossip Girls castigating today?” I laughed.”Oh, that new little tart that moved in down the street. Now all the women in the neighborhood are going to have to keep a wary eye on their husbands if they want to keep them!” Mom said.”Well, you don’t have to worry, Mom. You aren’t married and I am too damn busy at the shop to even glance sideways at another woman!” I said.”Work keeping you busy is it, hon?” She asked.”Yeah, but I’d rather be too busy than not busy enough. We have enough work to keep everyone employed and no one gets laid off.””That’s good. No one wants to get laid off. But try not to work too hard. You do a lot for me around here, and I hate having to ask you when I know you are tired from working so hard all day.””No problem, Mom… I always have time to help you,” I said.”Aww, thank you, sweetie. Now, why don’t you go put on a t-shirt and get ready for dinner? It will be ready in about ten minutes!”The next day was my day off and güvenilir bahis I was out front cutting the grass. It was a warm summer day, not too hot, and with a nice light breeze – the perfect day to do yard work.The grass had gotten longer than Mom liked it, and she had asked me to take care of it before she left for work that morning.I had just finished cutting the grass and was about to start edging along the sidewalk when a very attractive young woman came walking up the sidewalk towards the house.She was wearing a bright yellow cami top and jean shorts with sneakers and no socks. I could see from a distance that she had a knockout figure, but it wasn’t until she got up close that I saw a very cute face to go with it.”Excuse me, but are you John Davis?” She asked as she approached me.”Yes, I am,” I said.”My name is Kelly Franklin. I just moved in down the street a few houses,” she said.I knew exactly what house she was talking about because we hadn’t had anyone new to the neighborhood in some time. Our little neighborhood was about ten miles outside the city itself and set back off the highway a bit.Being isolated like that was nice – we knew immediately when someone new came into our ‘hood and we could keep an eye on each other’s houses. Sort of an informal Neighborhood Watch kind of thing.”Well, welcome to the neighborhood, Mrs. Franklin. It’s nice to meet you,” I said.”It’s nice to meet you as well, but it’s Miss Franklin. Or better yet, Kelly,” she corrected me with a smile.”Well, in that case then, it’s John,” I said, and we shook hands on it.”The reason I came over, John, aside from introducing myself, is that I have a problem. I understand from the talk around the neighborhood that you are a mechanic, is that right?” She asked.”Yes, that’s right. I work over at Highlands Automotive Center.””Oh good. Well, I hate to bother you… it’s obviously your day off, but I’m afraid my car is being difficult again. Could I trouble you to take a look and hopefully it’s something simple that you could get it running?”I wouldn’t ask, except I have to get downtown to sign the papers for the house. I haven’t had a chance to get the bus routes or I would just take the bus,” she said.”Sure, I can come over and take a look. Let me put this lawnmower to bed, and I’ll walk back with you,” I said. Our lawn wasn’t güvenilir bahis siteleri quite big enough for a riding lawnmower, that would be a bit of an overkill. And yet, it was a lot for our self-propelled walk-behind mower, especially on a hot day.Luckily, this wasn’t that bad a day and the breeze helped cool things down too. I put the mower away in its designated spot in the garage and shut the door. I would still have to edge the driveway, but I could do that later.I grabbed a few diagnostic tools that I had in my tool chest and then turned to Kelly. “Okay let’s go have a look at that car,” I said, and we started walking back to her house.The Peterson place – now the Franklin place – was about eight driveways down the street and on the other side of the street from Mom and me, so it wasn’t a long walk.As we walked, I asked her how long she’d been here. I was surprised to learn she had been in the house for about a week already.”Well, I go to work pretty early in the mornings to get things ready for the day. So that’s probably why I haven’t seen you around yet,” I explained.”I haven’t been out introducing myself, either. Between getting the utilities arranged and moving a few things in, I’ve been pretty busy myself. Plus work keeps me pretty busy too,” she said.”Oh? Where do you work?” I asked.”I’m the new loan specialist at Hancock Bank. The main branch over on 14th Avenue,” she said.”Yeah, I know the place. I drive by there to get to and from work. I’ve never been inside, but now I think I might have to open an account there!” I said.Kelly smiled coyly. “Well if you do, be sure to tell them I sent you there. We get a bonus for every new account we land!” she said.”I’ll do that. Well, we are here, let’s have a look at your car,” I said. She took me into her garage and I saw her car. It was a red 2015 Chevy Malibu that had seen better days.The car had a lot of miles on it – over 150,000 actually – and the engine was tired. The suspension also was shot, I could tell that from the tires. The tread on the inside edge of the tire was worn down almost to the bias, and the right front tire was leaning noticeably. The body was in fair shape, although a good wash and wax would help, and the interior too was showing its age.I popped the hood of the car and took a look around. It wasn’t good. I could iddaa siteleri see evidence of a front seal leak, and the radiator hoses were all worn out. The fan belt was starting to fray a bit, but it was still serviceable for awhile. “Does it start?” I asked Kelly. I wasn’t being sarcastic, I just wanted to know if it started so I could listen to it.”It starts, but it runs really rough and then dies about a minute later,” she said. I hooked up my diagnostic computer and told her to start it up so I could see what was going on. She got it running, and I looked at the display screen on my computer. I didn’t like what I saw.”How long has it been like this, Kelly?” I asked.”It started yesterday on the way home. I was lucky it began acting up a few blocks from the house here. I had to restart it three times to get it home. Now I’m afraid to drive it anywhere,” she said.”Kelly, I’m afraid your car has some serious issues – more serious than I can fix here. We’ll have to bring it to my shop so I can delve deeper into this. Unfortunately, because it won’t run for more than a minute without dying, that means it will have to be towed to the shop.”Now we have tow trucks at our shop, or you can call one yourself. And of course, you don’t have to use our shop either – it’s up to you. But this car can’t be driven anywhere.””Dammit! This is just great! How am I supposed to get to work? Or get groceries or my other running around?” she asked, sitting down exasperated.”Well, Kelly, as I said, your bank is on my way to and from work. I could take you to work and back. And I usually go to the store at least once a week, sometimes twice a week. You could come along and do your shopping at the same time.”As for your other running around, I’m sure a lot of it can be accomplished over the phone or the Internet. These days you almost don’t have to leave your house to conduct business. Everything is online anymore. But if you need to go anywhere, let me know and I will see what I can do to help. At least until your car is fixed.””Really? That would be so wonderful! Thank you, John!” she said.”Well, what are neighbors for? I mean we all need a little help now and then. If we can’t count on our friends and neighbors, who can we count on?” I said simply.”So tell me, John… which am I? Friend or neighbor?” She asked with a kittenish grin. It was a question that would foreshadow what was to come.I let the question go for the moment and went to unhook my tools from the car, closing the hood. I wrote my phone number on the back of one of my business cards and gave it to her.