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When the Neighbor Drops By to Borrow a Cup of Money

We asked for your renter horror stories, and you responded. Here is the second of two contenders in a vote that starts at 2 p.m. Thursday (today!). Winner goes on to compete nationally for a free month's rent.

When I was in college, like many students of the Colleges of the Fenway, I rented a little third-floor walk-up apartment in Mission Hill. Affordable, walkable to a few bars, and well, filthy. But I was willing to let that slide. I moved in with another girl from my college, and we had to find our third roommate on Craigslist. We ended up choosing a nice enough guy with long curly hair and a giant four-post bed that took up 95 percent of the tiny room he was renting. The three of us were doing O.K. until we started meeting THE NEIGHBORS.

The first neighbor we met happened to have, by her own estimation, over 90 cats living in and around her house next-door. She left food out for them, which only attracted more cats (and raccoons!) and when the summer came, the smell was horrendous. Cats and raccoons everywhere, the stench of piss spreading through the neighborhood; we still resumed our daily lives and tried to make the best of it.

Then we met our other neighbor. Now, I don't know much about drugs... but I know he was on them... and I know he weirded me out. He always seemed to be outside whenever I came home or left the house, and I couldn't come or go without having a little "neighborly chat" with the delusional drug addict next door. He was nice enough, but eventually I was starting to get creeped out.

One day, he knocked on the door and asked us if he could borrow some money. I instantly closed the door and told him we were sorry, but we were broke college kids and couldn't help. Apparently, that didn't get the message across. The next day, we were watching some TV and we heard a weird noise, like scratching on the outside of our house. We ignored it, just as we did with the cat meows, cats in heat, and cats fighting.

Then, in a moment of shock and horror, we look over and in our third-story window is our neighbor, the drug addict... smiling at us. He had leaned a ladder up against the house, climbed up, and started smiling and waving, as if we'd be thrilled to see him. His mood turned a bit and he started banging on the window and telling us he needed money.

We freaked out—I mean, really freaked out. In fact, we MOVED out!
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