He knew he had made a big mistake — he had even admitted to it. But how dare his entitled neighbor ask for more. Not really expecting to find anything useful, he switched on his computer and typed her name into the search bar.
When the unexpected photos came up, he couldn’t believe his eyes. He knew exactly what she had done. Now, armed with the dirt he had uncovered, it was time to make her pay.
18-year old Kristopher Hess had fallen into a predictable routine of late. Every day seemed the same.
He’d work 16-hour shifts at a local security company, go home at 8 AM to get a few hours of sleep, then his workday would begin all over again.. So when he got a call from his best friend who told him that he would be in town for a few days, he felt like he finally had something to look forward to. He never expected everything to go so horribly wrong.
It turned out that Kristopher’s childhood friend, Mark, would be in town over the Independence Day weekend. Kristopher could hardly contain his excitement.
He even applied for leave from his job so that they could spend some quality time together.. He dipped into his meager savings to give Mark a warm welcome — expecting to kick back, catch up, and relax with a few beers and snacks. Of course, when Mark arrived, he had other plans.
It was hot out that day. In fact, it hadn’t rained for over two months. Nevertheless, the two friends set up their deck chairs in the yard and got to chatting.
But, after a few beers, Mark had other ideas about how the pair could be spending the 4th of July.. With a sly grin and a mischievous twinkle in his eye, he suggested that they splurge on some “good ‘ole American fireworks.” Kristopher had his reservations. As they say, hindsight is always 20/20…
Kristopher checked to be sure that his dad wasn’t home and hesitantly dug out the last of his savings.
“To be fair, I have had nothing but bad experiences with fireworks so I had no idea how this would be any different,” he said later.. “We got home with the fireworks and we laid them all out on the floor; Sparklers, Bottle Rockets, Cakes, and Roman Candles.”.
Like giggling little boys, they gleefully examined their haul. Then, Kristopher had an ill-fated idea: “Why don’t we mess around with some sparklers since it’s still not dark yet?”.
Of course, Mark thought it was a great idea. And, as fate would have it, there was a problem in the back yard that they hadn’t anticipated. And it would become a revenge story for the ages.
Kristopher did the honors, lighting a sparkler for Mark and himself. Entranced by the white-hot sparks that cascaded down their arms, they waved the sparklers through the air — drawing patterns, making tracers, giggling, and reliving their fondest childhood memories.
But those innocent-looking little sparklers were about to cause some enormous problems for Kristopher. “One of the little sparkies from mine and my friends’ sparkler made contact with the ground and made two small fires…” he recounts in dismay.
To Kristopher’s horror, the back yard was so dry that the two small fires quickly became an inferno, spreading closer and closer to his neighbor’s yard.
“I ran as fast as I could to grab the garden hose and quickly started spraying down the fire. It was no use, it was spreading faster than I could spray it.” That’s when his neighbor saw her chance.
Kristopher dialed 911 while Mark tried to extinguish the flames. But it was too late. As soon as the spark hit the fence, the whole thing went up in flames.
His next-door neighbor, Patricia, came running to help battle the blaze.. Kristopher felt very guilty, so was relieved at how understanding Patricia seemed to be. But when the firefighters left and she headed back indoors, Johnny noticed a sinister grin flash across her face.
Back at work after a not-so-relaxing break, Kristopher felt terrible about what happened. And what a waste of a day off!
When he returned home from his first day back, he was ready to flop down on his bed and call it a night. But when he opened the door, a very unpleasant surprise was waiting for him.
Kristopher found two quotes from his neighbor: one for $4,000 to cover the cost of a new fence and another for $6,000 to replace the burnt lawn. He didn’t have that kind of money. In fact, he’d spent the last of his cash on the useless fireworks.
He showed his dad the quote, which had been typed out on a Microsoft word document. Seeing that there was no logo or company name, he hit the roof. “Son, don’t you give that con artist a single dime,” he yelled.
As the cherry on the top, there was a rude note underneath the quote: “I will also be having you pay my water bill for 3 months because the new yard will need lots of water.” Kristopher couldn’t believe it!. He took to Reddit to vent his anger: “Now the fence this woman had before was raggedy and falling apart. Her yard.
Dead grass, weeds everywhere, never mowed it. Now looking at this paper she wants a mahogany fence, and a brand new back yard with flowers and trimmed hedges. I said ‘I need to get an estimate myself, this doesn’t feel right…’”.
Kristopher contacted a contractor friend. He was certain that his neighbor’s lawn had been in a terrible condition for years before this had happened, but the fire damage made it difficult to prove.
As for the mahogany fence, fresh lawn, flowers, and trimmed hedges, Kristopher knew a guy who could do it all — and cheaply. He arranged for the contractor to come out to give him an estimate, but then things turned ugly.
The next day, Kristopher met the contractor outside. But before he could begin to assess the damage Patricia ran out, flailing her arms and screaming: “I did not give you permission to get an estimate on my fence!”.
Well, technically, “the fence separates the property line, so it’s both of our fences,” Kristopher retorted. Obviously panicking that her plans were falling apart, the entitled neighbor called the cops.
“She calls the cops on me for having a contractor, and they ultimately can’t do a single thing because I’m on my property,” Kristopher wrote. “He quickly finishes the estimate off at $1,200.”.
Luckily, Kristopher also knew a guy who did lawn care from his time working at a grocery store. He estimated the lawn re-seeding while she was away from the house to be about $800. “After I get these estimates, I give copies to the woman and she is having none of it,” he wrote on Reddit’s ProRevenge thread.
Upon seeing the estimates that Kristopher had gathered, Patricia yelled: “I don’t know these people, I don’t want them near my house, they’re probably really bad contractors.”. Kristopher, trying to reason with her, replied: “No, I know them personally.
They are really nice people and do great work.” But his neighbor didn’t want to hear it. She slammed the door in his face. But this is where the story gets interesting.
“I ended up working a 16hr shift that night and got home at 8 am, and this woman comes knocking on my door at 9 am and demanded I speak to her,” Kristopher wrote.. “I explained, “I would really love to do this, but I just got home and I have to be back at work in less than 5 hours.
I need to sleep.” She goes “what kind of lazy jerk sleeps in until 2 pm?”” Kristopher had been bullied for too long by this audacious woman. He’d had enough.
“At this point, I had about lost it, and told her: “you can either accept my $2000 for my quotes or get nothing.” She stood there for a while with her mouth open, but she accepted my offer and planned to meet down at the notary the next morning,” Kristopher explained.
Thinking he had finally made her see things his way, he spent that night after work writing a contract and gathering the $2,000 in cash. But the battle was far from being over.
The next morning, Kristopher woke up and grabbed the contract. Thrilled to finally be done with this woman and never speak to her again, he went down to the notary to meet her.
Kristopher waited for her for over three hours, but she didn’t show up. “I get a message from her saying ‘I’m sorry the $2000 isn’t enough, I’m having my guys start work on this project, and you will be paying me the full price.’” Oh really, Kristopher thought to himself. He needed a plan.
“After that, I did not say a single word to her, and I watched for a few months as these guys turned her backyard into an oasis, complete with a small pond, brand new Sod, flowers, the whole 9 yards,” Kristopher wrote.
“Come to find out she had plans to remodel these things for a long time and was just waiting for the opportunity to go through with it.”.
Now, Kristopher knew he had made a big mistake — he admitted that. He felt awful about burning down his neighbor’s yard, but he’d been willing to pay a fair price to cover the damages. How dare she ask for more money?
In a last-ditch effort to get justice, he fired up his computer. There, on a community Facebook page that she didn’t know he was a member of, he saw the incriminating photos and he was incredulous. So this is what she had wanted the money for?
“She used her remodel funds to go on a trip to Hawaii. You know how I found out about this.
She was bragging about it on the neighborhood Facebook group and didn’t know I was in it,” Kristopher wrote.. There, for everyone to see, were pictures of his neighbor sipping expensive cocktails in a five-star resort in Hawaii with her girlfriends while he scraped together the money to pay her. “Are you ready for the revenge?” He wrote, to the delight of Reddit users everywhere.
“Now, four months after the fire and all the remodels, I get served papers to go to court for $10,300. At 18 years old I’m having to hire a lawyer to work my case,” Kristopher continued.
“When we finally do get into court, I lay everything out: the quotes, being harassed multiple times, not showing up after agreeing to a deal, not wanting me to get my own quotes (required by law btw), and her bragging about conning me out of money… and, I have proof of all of this.”.
“The judge looked at her and said “Ma’am with all due respect, you’re out of your dadgum mind. Not only did this young man tell the truth of what happened, but he also offered to pay you more than he was supposed to,” Kristopher recounts.
“Your lawn was already dead before the fire occurred therefore he is only responsible for the fence of $1200. I will also deduct from this his lawyer fees.””.
Kristopher concluded his story on Reddit: “She took a huge financial loss from this, not sure how much the Hawaii trip cost her, but she was in serious debt. She ended up having to sell the house because of it and moved into a smaller house.
Haven’t heard anything from her since.”. He added: “To this day I still do not use fireworks, because we could’ve really hurt someone. What I have learned through this though, is its best to take responsibility for your actions from the gate.”.