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A parked car in a driveway | Source: Shutterstock
A parked car in a driveway | Source: Shutterstock

This Is How I Won a Prank War My Neighbor and I Had Going for the past Year

Prenesa Naidoo
May 30, 2024
12:20 P.M.

It started off innocently enough. Selene parked her car in the wrong parking spot, fueling a prank war with Paul, the real owner of the parking spot. As the months went by, the pair continued their prank war, but Selen started to wonder about the future of these seemingly innocent practical jokes. She took matters into her own hands and asked Paul out for dinner, under the guise of someone else. Will it be the ultimate prank or something more?

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It all began with a parking mishap. It was just one innocent mistake that spiraled into a year-long prank war with my neighbor, Paul.

An apartment building parking lot | Source: Unsplash

An apartment building parking lot | Source: Unsplash

One evening, I accidentally parked in Paul's parking spot in our apartment building's lot. It was late, I was exhausted, and I just wanted to crawl into bed.

I didn't think much of it until the next morning when I was on my way to the office. There, on my car, on an empty takeaway cup, a note was scrawled in messy handwriting.

A woman sleeping in bed | Source: Pexels

A woman sleeping in bed | Source: Pexels

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Thanks for ruining my day.

"Oh, crap," I said to myself when I sat in the car. I needed to make amends.

A woman sitting in a car | Source: Pexels

A woman sitting in a car | Source: Pexels

The following morning, I left a warm cup of coffee on Paul's car roof with a note that read:

Sorry for the mix-up. I hope this makes up for it.

A person holding a cup of coffee | Source: Pexels

A person holding a cup of coffee | Source: Pexels

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If you're wondering, Paul and I didn't know each other. We just lived in the same apartment block and knew everyone's names and door numbers.

A few days later, I found a bill from a car-washing service under my windshield wiper. It seemed that Paul didn't notice the coffee that I left and spilled it all over his car when he drove off.

A car in a car wash | Source: Pexels

A car in a car wash | Source: Pexels

I refused to pay the bill, and thus, the little war began.

"I think that you and this mysterious Paul are either going to fall in love or end up despising each other," my friend Daphne said at work.

A smiling woman holding a folder | Source: Pexels

A smiling woman holding a folder | Source: Pexels

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"Probably the latter," I said. "It was all fine until he gave me a bill."

"Selene," she said knowingly, "I'm telling you, this is just the beginning."

The next day, I left my work phone number on his car.

Call me regarding the payment.

A piece of paper on a car | Source: Midjourney

A piece of paper on a car | Source: Midjourney

Paul called me later that evening.

"Really? You thought that leaving coffee on the roof of a car was a good idea?" he asked, going straight into it.

"How was I supposed to know that you'd drive off without looking? Besides, it was a peace offering!"

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A man using a phone | Source: Unsplash

A man using a phone | Source: Unsplash

"More like a disaster," he said. "It was all over my window. Pay the car wash bill, please."

"I'm not paying for it," I said, hanging up.

After that, the pranks escalated quickly.

Spilled coffee in the air | Source: Pexels

Spilled coffee in the air | Source: Pexels

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"I told you," Daphne said when she came home with me one evening. "It's going to get more intense. You need to listen to me. Trust me on this, you and this guy are going to get under each other's skin."

"I don't know about that, Daph," I said, dishing out the curry we had bought for dinner.

Bowls of curry and rice | Source: Unsplash

Bowls of curry and rice | Source: Unsplash

"But you're having fun?" she asked, tearing into a piece of bread.

"I am!" I said. "Mainly because it's nothing serious."

Flatbread on a board | Source: Pexels

Flatbread on a board | Source: Pexels

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One day, I found my car doors wrapped in plastic wrap.

The next week, I retaliated by covering Paul's car in sticky notes, each one asking him to fix his parking.

A person tearing through plastic wrap | Source: Pexels

A person tearing through plastic wrap | Source: Pexels

"If it rains tonight," Paul said, immediately calling me after seeing the sticky notes, "you'll have a mushy mess of paper to clean up."

"I think you'll figure it out for yourself," I said, hiding behind my curtain.

A car covered in sticky notes | Source: Midjourney

A car covered in sticky notes | Source: Midjourney

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I had to admit, I was attracted to him. I didn't know if Paul knew who I was, but it was easier for me to watch him from my apartment. I had gotten used to watching him wash his car.

It turned out that it was comforting. There was a sense of intimacy that we had built up.

A person hiding behind blinds | Source: Unsplash

A person hiding behind blinds | Source: Unsplash

After months of back-and-forth pranks, ranging from balloons tied onto car handles and window wipers, to fake parking tickets, I decided that it was time to end the war.

"But you need a grand finale," Daphne said as we sat in our office, trying to work through month-end reports.

A woman using a laptop | Source: Pexels

A woman using a laptop | Source: Pexels

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"Like what?" I asked, typing away at my keyboard.

"You're into him, right?" she asked, sipping her coffee.

"I think so," I said. "But I don't know much about him."

A woman drinking coffee | Source: Pexels

A woman drinking coffee | Source: Pexels

"Then get to know him," my friend pressed on. "There's something there; if not, this would have ended a long time ago."

"Fine," I said. "But you write the note. He knows my handwriting now."

We intended to write a note from a secret admirer.

A person writing a note | Source: Pexels

A person writing a note | Source: Pexels

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"She can just be someone from your apartment," Daphne said. "And it's not like you and Paul have even interacted in person, Selene. To be honest, I don't know how you've managed to stay anonymous for so long."

"It's the thrill of it," I said.

A smiling woman | Source: Unsplash

A smiling woman | Source: Unsplash

Early the next morning, I left the note that Daphne had written on Paul's car.

Hey, I saw you leaving your car and couldn't help but notice how handsome you are. Let's have dinner?

I added my personal number that he wouldn't recognize at the bottom.

A folded piece of paper | Source: Midjourney

A folded piece of paper | Source: Midjourney

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To my surprise, Paul called me later that morning.

"Selene, you'll never guess what happened!" he said excitedly. "Some woman left me a note on my car."

"Really?" I asked, feigning surprise. "What did it say?"

A woman on the phone | Source: Pexels

A woman on the phone | Source: Pexels

"She said that I was handsome and she wanted to have dinner. She left her number, too. So, I'm going to text her and go."

Paul took the bait and texted me. We set up a date, and I, still pretending to be someone else, agreed to meet him at a local restaurant.

A table at a restaurant | Source: Midjourney

A table at a restaurant | Source: Midjourney

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I was already seated, suddenly nervous. We had been at this for so long; what if everything blew up in my face?

What if I was living in a romantic comedy and Paul actually couldn't stand me?

Almost ready to leave, Paul walked into the restaurant.

A man in a restaurant | Source: Midjourney

A man in a restaurant | Source: Midjourney

"Hey, you're here! You look familiar," he said. "But I suppose I have seen you around the building."

He spoke quickly, as though he was just as nervous.

"I'm sure that's exactly it," I said, smiling.

A smiling man | Source: Pexels

A smiling man | Source: Pexels

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"Your voice reminds me of my neighbor, Selene. I'm sure you've seen us pranking each other recently," he chuckled, his eyes glazing over as if lost in a memory.

"What's that been like?" I asked.

A smiling woman at a restaurant | Source: Midjourney

A smiling woman at a restaurant | Source: Midjourney

"Well, Daphne," he said, as I had introduced myself over text, "it's been hilarious. It's been the best few months of my life."

"It sounds like she's grown on you," I said, smiling.

"She's feisty, all right," he said, ordering himself a whiskey.

A man holding a glass of whiskey | Source: Pexels

A man holding a glass of whiskey | Source: Pexels

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The rest of the evening went by smoothly, but the more Paul spoke, the more I found myself genuinely enjoying his company. He was charming, funny, and surprisingly sweet.

By the time our meals arrived, I couldn't keep the truth from him any longer.

Plates of food at a restaurant | Source: Midjourney

Plates of food at a restaurant | Source: Midjourney

"Paul," I said, picking up my cocktail, "there's something I need to tell you."

"What's that?" he asked, looking me in the eye.

"I haven't been very honest about this date," I said slowly. "I'm Selene."

A cocktail on a table | Source: Pexels

A cocktail on a table | Source: Pexels

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Paul's jaw dropped.

"Wait, really?" he asked. "Why did you want to meet like this?"

"I don't know," I replied honestly. "Call it insecurity? Daphne is my best friend; I asked her to write the note, and I used her name. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have deceived you."

A shocked man | Source: Pexels

A shocked man | Source: Pexels

"No, no," he said, a large smile forming on his face. "I've never had this much fun with anyone. I'm glad we got to meet. Finally."

The rest of the evening went much smoother, knowing that we had something in common. It was something to bond over. And more than that, there was chemistry between us. It wasn't just me.

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"I'm glad we did this," Paul said as we went our separate ways in the parking lot. "It needed to happen."

An empty parking lot | Source: Pexels

An empty parking lot | Source: Pexels

"And now, we're here," I said, taking his hand, suddenly feeling brave.

I don't know where our relationship will go or what it will become, but I do know that I've taken the first step toward something.

What would you have done?

A couple holding hands | Source: Pexels

A couple holding hands | Source: Pexels

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If you enjoyed this story, here's another one for you.

My Daughter Called Me Telling about a Screaming Woman in My Bedroom – I Rushed Home but Was Not Ready to See This

Teenage girl on the phone | Source: Pexels

Teenage girl on the phone | Source: Pexels

When Tammy gets a panicked phone call from her 13-year-old daughter, Piper, she does what any mother would do. She rushes home to make sure that everyone is okay, especially because Piper said that there was a woman with her husband, Paul, and they were locked in the master bedroom. But when Tammy gets home, she sees that not everything is what it seemed.

Read the full story here.

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided “as is,” and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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