Algo Que Siempre Quiso
Cuando Greg construyó una nueva piscina, no tenía ni idea de lo popular que se haría. Era algo que siempre había querido para él y su familia.
Por fin había ahorrado suficiente dinero y se había prometido que pasarían un verano estupendo en la piscina. Pero no se imaginaba que los demás vecinos también pasarían un verano estupendo.
Un Sueño Hecho Realidad
Cuando Greg y Jeanne Miller se mudaron al barrio de Old Sacramento, su casa necesitaba algunas reformas.
No era mucho, pero había una cosa que realmente querían. Ahorraron todo lo que pudieron y, al final, tuvieron suficiente para empezar a construir una piscina. Sin embargo, no sabían que les costaría mucho más que dinero.
Aunque la pareja no tenía hijos propios, adoraban a todos los niños y eran fantásticos con sus sobrinos.
Un día, mientras estaban en el jardín tomando el sol, vieron unas cabezas asomándose por encima de la valla. Era su vecina Sandra y sus hijos, y tenía una pregunta candente para Greg y Jeanne.
La Súplica De Una Madre
La madre suplicó a la pareja que permitiera a sus hijos y a otros niños del vecindario utilizar su flamante piscina.
Dijo que, como eran vacaciones escolares y no quería que los niños se metieran en líos, prefería que estuvieran en la seguridad del jardín de alguien. Pero Greg no estaba convencido.
Greg No Estaba Convencido
Después de hablar y de mucho convencer a Jeanne, Greg acabó aceptando. Además, les encantaban los niños, y nada les haría más felices que verlos divertirse.
Aunque estaban de acuerdo, Greg llamó a todos a la piscina para establecer algunas reglas básicas. Necesitaba que supieran que seguir las normas era importante si querían utilizar la propiedad de otra persona.
Greg hizo saber a los niños y a sus padres que estaba encantado de que utilizaran la piscina cuando quisieran, pero que tenían que cumplir una norma.
Podían nadar todo lo que quisieran, pero no se permitían perros. Greg lo pidió expresamente porque el revestimiento de la piscina aún era frágil y las patas de un perro podían romperlo. Greg y Jeanne estaban orgullosos de que su piscina atrajera a tantos niños, pero ¿serían capaces de cumplir la norma?
Sonidos De Risas Y Algo Más
Los sonidos de la risa y la felicidad llenaban el aire mientras Greg y Jeanne escuchaban lo bien que se lo estaban pasando los niños en su piscina.
Pero en ese momento oyeron algo más que hizo hervir de rabia la sangre de Greg. Corrió hacia la ventana y sus mayores temores se confirmaron. Los niños habían roto la regla.
Aparece La Frustración
Greg vio cómo uno de los niños del vecindario se colaba en el patio trasero con su perro, un pastor alemán grande y enérgico. Pudo ver cómo el perro saltaba a la piscina, arañaba el revestimiento con sus afiladas garras y jugaba bruscamente con los otros niños en el agua.
Greg sintió que aumentaba su frustración, ya que había establecido explícitamente la norma de “perros no”. No entendía por qué los niños hacían caso omiso de su petición y metían un perro en la piscina. Sabía que tenía que tomar medidas.
Greg salió furioso de casa y se dirigió a la piscina, donde los niños estaban jugando con el perro. Les preguntó de quién era el perro y uno de los niños admitió que pertenecía a su familia.
Greg les recordó severamente la norma y expresó su decepción por el desprecio que mostraban hacia su propiedad. Les dijo que el perro tenía que irse inmediatamente y que ya no podían utilizar su piscina si no respetaban las normas.
A regañadientes, los niños sacaron al perro de la piscina y éste se marchó con un gemido de decepción. Greg observó cómo los niños abandonaban su propiedad, frustrado y disgustado.
Al mirar dentro de la piscina, pudo ver claramente el forro rasgado. Por eso no quería perros en la piscina, y ahora tenía que pagar las reparaciones. Se dio cuenta de que tenía que encontrar una solución para que su piscina siguiera siendo sólo para el disfrute de su familia.
Hora De Reclamar Lo Que Era Suyo
Sabía lo que tenía que hacer. Aunque Greg y Jeanne disfrutaban con los niños, no podían permitir que algo tan caro se echara a perder.
Ver esos arañazos en su piscina le recordó lo descuidada que podía ser la gente, especialmente los niños. Y necesitaba poner fin a eso antes de que acabara pagando más de lo que podía permitirse.
Se Acabó La Buena Onda
Por desgracia, los vecinos se habían aprovechado de su amabilidad durante demasiado tiempo, y él iba a ponerle fin. No le importaba si esto causaba una ruptura entre ellos.
Esta cantidad de falta de respeto. La cantidad de dinero que tendría que desembolsar para arreglar su piscina. No valía la pena. No valía la pena la cantidad que tendría que gastar en reparaciones.
A la mañana siguiente, temprano, el técnico de la piscina vino a inspeccionar los daños y lo que encontró dejó a Greg sin habla. Las patas del perro habían causado daños astronómicos.
El arreglo no sería barato, y Greg se lo esperaba. Lo que no esperaba era que la cantidad que tenía que pagar por la reparación fuera tan elevada.
No Hay Otra Opción
Con el corazón encogido, Greg desembolsó el dinero y vio cómo el técnico arreglaba la piscina. Tardaron dos días enteros en vaciar el agua y reparar los arañazos. Y tardaron tres horas más en volver a llenarla.
Por desgracia, acabó costando mucho más de lo que Greg podía permitirse. Y eso le hizo darse cuenta del gran error que había cometido.
Enfrentarse Al Vecino
Una vez arreglada la piscina, Greg se enfrentó a su vecina. Le contó que los niños habían infringido las normas y los daños que habían causado.
Ella no tuvo ninguna compasión y, aunque Greg no quería que le devolviera el dinero, ni siquiera se ofreció. Fue otra cosa más que le hizo darse cuenta de que compartir su piscina era un error.
Aquella noche, Greg reflexionó sobre todo lo ocurrido. Advirtió a su vecina y a sus hijos que se mantuvieran alejados de su piscina. Pero Greg tenía la persistente sensación de que esto estaba lejos del final.
Y tenía razón. Aquel rasguño era sólo el principio de los horrores que traería la piscina. Era una lección que Greg aprendería muy pronto.
Unas Vacaciones Inesperadas
Unas semanas después del incidente, Greg tuvo que salir de la ciudad durante un par de días. No le dio importancia, ya que no había tenido ningún problema con la piscina desde que habló con su vecino.
Pero no sabía que algo estaba pasando a sus espaldas. Sus vecinos no eran tan inocentes como parecían.
Cuando El Gato No Está
Lo que Greg no sabía era que sus vecinos se habían estado aprovechando de su ausencia desde que habló con ellos. Estaban pendientes de su coche y, en cuanto lo perdían de vista, entraban a hurtadillas.
Al principio, iban con mucho cuidado. Tenía sentido, ya que no querían ser atrapados. Pero esta vez, se volvieron descuidados.
De Vuelta A Casa
Cuando Greg llegó a casa el domingo por la noche, se dio cuenta de que algo no iba bien. El borde de la piscina estaba mojado y los juguetes estaban fuera de lugar.
Era casi como si alguien la hubiera utilizado unas horas antes. Eso irritó mucho a Greg, pero no fue ni de lejos tan malo como lo que sintió al día siguiente.
Una Visión Impactante
Greg fue a revisar su piscina a primera hora de la mañana siguiente, y lo que encontró le hizo hervir la sangre en las venas. Había otro arañazo en su piscina.
Estaba exactamente en el mismo lugar que el anterior y, por el aspecto de las cosas, Greg podía decir que había sido el mismo perro el que lo había causado.
Losing His Mind
Greg had had enough. Greg couldn’t believe that his boys hadn’t learned their lesson yet. He knew he would have to find a way to get them back or, at the very least, stop it from happening again.
He’d have to think of a good plan and set it into motion. It was risky, but what other choice did he have?
The sight of the damage, along with the bill he had to pay the last time, had Greg seeing red. He thought that the issue had been resolved, but that clearly wasn’t the case.
The children weren’t going to respect his pool so he would have to make some drastic measures. But the neighborhood wouldn’t look so fondly on Greg after what he’d do.
Putting An End To It
The deep scratched meant that was the last straw for Greg. He needed to put an end to this once and for all. If he didn’t, it would only get worse.
He knew that there was no amicable way to settle things. He was a fool to think that the neighborhood could share his pool and not wreck it. He didn’t care if he was the bad guy.
The first thing Greg did was confront his neighbor. She denied everything, as he expected her to. But she had no idea she was playing right into his hands.
He had planned for this. He already knew what kind of neighbor she was which meant there was no way to do this nicely. He’d have to be brutal in order to win.
The First Piece Of The Puzzle
Greg already had a plan, and her denial was the first piece of the puzzle. Once he had that, he could proceed, and that was exactly what he did next.
He had laid out an ingenious plan that she would hopefully play right into. If she took the bait, then this would be the revenge of the ages. He just had to contact a few people.
Greg went home and made a few phone calls as he began to set his plan in motion. A few hours later, a huge truck was parked in front of Greg and Jeanne’s house.
He could barely contain his excitement for the plan to work in his favor. The truck was sure to catch his neighbor’s attention. But it wasn’t the only vehicle there.
The truck was accompanied by a few smaller vehicles. And pretty soon, Greg and Jeanne’s house was filled with workers. But what were they doing?
He knew that he couldn’t keep his prying neighbor from seeing what he was doing, but that didn’t mean he had to tell her anything that didn’t involve her.
Spreading The Word
The neighbors whispered about what was happening at 23 Maple Lane. Everything seemed hush-hush.
But Greg would soon make the big reveal soon enough, and it would leave more than a few neighbors unhappy. At this point he didn’t care about putting their happiness first when they couldn’t look after his stuff.
More Than Just A Rift
He knew his plan was coming together nicely. Between the neighbors spreading rumors and the constant building on his property, he stirred up quite the spectacle. But he didn’t care in the slightest.
What Greg had up his sleeve was something that his neighbors would never see coming. It would cause more than just a rift.
When he would feel bad for what he had done, he just thought about who had really caused this. Even though Greg never wanted to go that far, he knew he had no other choice.
His neighbors were blatantly disrespecting him, and that was something he wouldn’t stand for. They did this to themselves for being spoiled by his kindness.
Teaching Them A Lesson
He would teach them a lesson the hard way, and if they chose not to learn from their mistakes, he would go even further. He felt that he couldn’t be beaten.
He had already laid out several contingency plans. But what did he have up his sleeve? Nobody in the neighborhood could guess.
One of the smaller vehicles that arrived belonged to an IT company. They had come to install a surveillance system. One of the key pieces in Greg’s plan.
Now that the first part was active, Greg called his neighbor into his backyard. They were standing right under the camera when he warned her about her children sneaking into his yard.
He could tell that the woman was infuriated by what he had done. This in Greg’s mind was an admission of guilt, why else would she react that way?
Either way, it didn’t matter to Greg now that he had installed his cameras. He would know if they snuck into his pool and be able to show her the evidence. But how did she react?
Once again, his neighbor denied that her children were sneaking into Greg’s backyard. She was completely unaware of the cameras that were installed. But that was exactly what Greg wanted.
When he had his evidence, she would be going down. He’d have to wait a while for that, though, but he’d be patient and play his cards right.
A Bit Of Calm
Greg knew that the kids wouldn’t immediately try to get into the pool now that it was fresh in his mind. But knowing kids, he knew that they would try something sooner or later.
He decided that he had to lay a trap to incentivize his neighbors to try something. He thought of a brilliant idea that was sure to get them to slip up and make a mistake.
The First Attempt
A few days after the cameras were up and running, Greg decided to test his theory. He told his neighbor that he and his wife were leaving town for a while and went on his way.
But the truth was that they weren’t leaving at all. They would just be driving around for a little while.
A Few Hours Later
When they returned a few hours later, Greg caught the kids in the act. He didn’t even need his surveillance cameras to catch them, it was before his very eyes.
The neighborhood children and the dog were having fun in his pool, even though he made himself clear on more than one occasion.
Greg instantly confronted his neighbor, and her response left him floored. “You can’t stop the children from using the pool,” she said.
Greg balled his hands into fists at what she had said. “The pool” was his pool and no one else had a right to use it without his permission. He saw in a blind rage, but decided to play ball.
Greg knew what his neighbor said was false, but he didn’t care about that. What he did care about were the constant repairs and the amount of money he had to pay because of them.
He handed his neighbor all the bills and informed her that yet another bill would be coming since the dog was in the pool once again.
Greg’s neighbor looked at him with big eyes. It was clear that she didn’t know what to say, but her stubbornness refused to let her back down.
She pushed the invoices back into his hand and said, “You can’t force me to pay this.” She called the kids and walked off, leaving Greg exactly where he wanted to be.
As she waltzed into her house with her children, Greg couldn’t help but smile. His poker face meant that she had played right into his hands. He wanted her to refuse to pay for the repairs.
That was because now he had one thing that she probably hadn’t even thought about. He had proof on his cameras for all to see.
With all the evidence at hand, Greg went to his lawyer. He never wanted things to go that far, but these people pushed him past his breaking point, and he couldn’t back down anymore.
Greg tried his best to resolve the issue peacefully. But they didn’t want to cooperate, and now they had to suffer the consequences of their actions.
Small Claims Court
A few weeks later, Greg was in small claims court, facing off against his neighbor. He was grateful that she had stuck to her story of denying everything against her. He knew it wouldn’t end well for her.
She kept denying that her children snuck into his yard to use his pool and stated that the dog was never there.
He couldn’t help but smile when she made these claims. He stood up and gave the USB stick with the evidence on it. Her eyes went wide in disbelief.
But as soon as Greg produced the video evidence, there was no denying it anymore. It not only showed the children, but it also showed the dog.
The judge ruled in Greg’s favor and ordered his neighbor to pay all the pool repair costs. Greg was happy to get the money back, but he still wasn’t satisfied.
Even though he could see that his neighbor had learned her lesson, he wasn’t sure how long it would last. And he wasn’t willing to go through all this again.
After much contemplation, Greg decided to install a tall fence around his backyard to keep the neighborhood kids out. He also put up a sign that clearly stated that the pool was for private use only and that trespassers would be prosecuted.
He hoped it would work, but would that really be the case? Or would they persist?
Greg knew that his decision would affect the relationship he had with his neighbors. It would make him unpopular, and some might even start disliking him.
It was a risk that he knew he had to take. Otherwise, he would be stepped on by his neighbor and that wasn’t right. He imagined her taking advantage constantly and that made him furious.
He felt a fire in his belly, the community might hate him after this. But he was determined to protect his property and his investment.
And he couldn’t let that bad feeling that was lingering in his heart affect him. If it did, he would just be giving in to them and their needs. He couldn’t lose to this woman, he had to look out for himself and his wife.
Backlash from Neighbors
As expected, Greg’s decision to put up a fence and restrict access to his pool didn’t sit well with some of his neighbors, especially not the one next door.
The entitlement came from every corner of the neighborhood. It seemed that no one supported the decision that Greg had made to his own property.
Some of the kids and their parents were disappointed and angry, and there was some tension in the neighborhood.
But what else could he do? If they didn’t want to take responsibility, he couldn’t trust them with his property. The saddest thing was that one rotten family had ruined it for the entire neighborhood.
Greg had a few unpleasant confrontations with his neighbors, who accused him of being unwelcoming and selfish.’
Some even said he was being “unamerican,” whatever that meant. He let the comments roll off his back. Comments and confrontations like that wouldn’t make him suddenly change his ideals.
Thinking Of Fixing Things
The comments were harsh, However, he stood firm in his decision, knowing that he had to protect his property and his family’s enjoyment of the pool.
But that didn’t mean he wanted to keep fighting with everyone around him. He wanted the neighborhood he loved back, and it was in his hands to fix things.
A Beneficial Agreement
After a while of thinking things through and talking it out with his wife, Greg came up with a solution.
He couldn’t believe he was going to give the neighbor a second chance, but it was the only way to make amends. It was mostly his wife wanting there to be no conflict, but he did want the community back.
When the kids were supervised, and the dog wasn’t around, everything was fine. Could he use that to his advantage?
After speaking to one of his neighbors, his mind was made up. The solution was simple yet perfect. He managed to find a compromise that everyone would hopefully be happy with. But was it enough?
Once A Month
Greg decided to open his home to all his neighbors on a monthly basis. That way, the kids could have the fun they were missing out on, and he could start repairing his relationship with his neighbors.
But having kids in his pool wasn’t the only part of Greg’s plan. The kids didn’t make up the neighborhood. The neighbors did.
A Community Thing
So Greg decided that the monthly opening of his backyard would be a community thing. It would be a massive barbecue that would involve everyone in the neighborhood.
The kids could have fun in the pool while the adults discussed what was going on in the area. And while doing that, they could ensure that nobody’s property got damaged.
Over time, Greg’s neighbors began to understand and respect his boundaries. They realized that Greg wasn’t just being an unreasonable old man.
He simply wanted to keep his pool in good shape so everyone around him could enjoy it without any disruptions. He just wanted his rules to be obeyed because he was tired of constantly repairing the thing.
Some of the kids and their parents even apologized for not following the rules earlier and thanked Greg for allowing them to use the pool once more. They even promised to respect his property going forward.
But some weren’t so willing to understand his point of view, and it seemed like that relationship could no longer be mended.
Even though Greg tried to keep everyone happy, he couldn’t get his next-door neighbor to look past the court case. He understood that it had cost her thousands of dollars, but she couldn’t understand that her dog caused the burden.
But one day, as the community gathered, everything changed. She approached him, and the two of them had a very serious conversation.
Once Greg explained his side of the story, his neighbor apologized. She stated that she had no idea that her son had brought the dog over and that she would’ve disciplined him if she did.
That, however, wasn’t what bothered Greg. It was her lack of responsibility that forced him to take action. He just wanted her to understand that.
Disclaimer: In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.