From the eyes of a child:
It’s Saturday; late morning. Shouldn’t there be kids outside playing? I hate this house. I hate this neighborhood. I hate being the youngest of 3 and the only girl. I hate being here. I wish someone would come out and play. Sitting on the stoop in the hot sun is not my idea of fun…at all. There’s never anything to do. My brother’s are inside playing a 2 player video game. I wish they’d let me in to play. But no… I’m the annoying little sister who wouldn’t know how to play anyway. Ughhh boys.
Kameron got up from the stoop, went down the ally and retrieved her bike. Maybe a lap or two around the block would get other kids to come out and play. Or maybe I’ll think of something better to do while riding.
On her third lap, racing imaginary competitors, a dark burgundy car pulled into Mrs. Pauley’s drive. Most houses in the city weren’t offered the luxury of their very own driveway. Most of us had to park on the street. Mrs. Pauley was different. Mom and dad bought our house. But Mrs. Pauley has to pay some creep to live where she lives. And the creep happens to be the one pulling into her drive. Not a minute later 2 police cars park on the street in front of her house.
Oh no. Is Mrs. Pauley okay? Did something happen? While racing to return my bike to the back alley, I holler to mom through the kitchen window.
“Mom! Come here! Quick!”
“What is it Kameron? I’m trying to help your father remodel our kitchen.”
“The creep is at Mrs. Pauley’s house and so are two cops!” I regret the words as soon as I say them. I’ve forgotten that I’m in the ally, with nothing but echo’s. All three look over in my direction.
Mom and dad came out as far as the porch, standing to take in the events going on next door. They talk to each other and every time I try to ask a question they shush me so that they can hear, or so that the trio across from us doesn’t hear me.
“It looks like they’re evicting her.” my mother says.
“What does that mean?”
“It means that she doesn’t have enough money to live there anymore, so they’re making her leave.”
“They can’t do that! That’s her home! And look at how nice she’s kept it, even after Mr. Pauley died. She’s got the nicest flower beds of anyone else on this whole street!”
My mother did her best to sooth me, but I wasn’t having it. You can’t just go kicking people out of their home because they’re going through hard times. But according to mom and dad, I guess you can. If you’re a landlord you can do what ever you want. Landlord shmamlord. That man’s a jerk and everyone knows it.
We were able to hear bits and pieces of the conversation. “Her husband recently passed away, waiting on the life insurance policy to kick in, 3 more months until she’s eligible for social security.” I felt sick. All of this over money? Hasn’t Mrs. Pauley been through enough? And shouldn’t someone be calling one of her sons?!
I wasn’t going to stick around to find out. I marched right up to my room, grabbed my piggy bank and stormed out of the door, passed my parents who attempted to call me back to the house, and marched right over to the creep.
“Here!” as I held out the ceramic, bubblegum pink pig. “All you have to do is grab a hammer.”
The officers smiled, but the creep looked angry. Mrs. Pauley started to cry. Why?! I was helping her!
One by one doors up and down the street began to open. It was like all of a sudden everyone wanted to see what the rukus was all about. I didn’t mean to upset Mrs. Pauley, so I left my piggy bank with the creep and walked back over to my mom and dad. Now my mom was crying! What in the world is with all the tears?!
Mr. Johnson and his 3 boys live next door to us. The 4 of them walked over to Mrs. Pauley and hugged her. Mr. Johnson handed the creep an envelope and a scowl, gave Mrs. Pauley a nod and a smile and turned back to their house.
Mr. and Mrs. Costa are older and they don’t have kids, but they made their way down to the Pauley house with an envelope as well.
About a half hour passed and Jeff Pauley FINALLY pulled up to the house. It was about time! By this point both of my parents were sitting on the stoop with me, just waiting for the creep to leave. Jeff opened each envelope and glanced up the street. Then he took a look at my piggy bank. I didn’t want to watch, but my curiosity was piqued. He turned it over and found the black plug holding all the money safely inside. He stuck his fingers in and took out all the paper money, leaving the coins and replaced the plug. There was some small talk amongst the now 5 people in Mrs. Pauley’s drive, that ended with the creep leaving rather upset.
It wasn’t until after dinner that Jeff made his way over to return my piggy bank and to let my parents know what was going on. He had no idea his mother was in such “financial distress” and neither did any of his brothers. Between all of our donations and what Jeff could contribute, we were able to catch Mrs. Pauley up on her rent. Jeff said that he and his brothers would be taking over his mothers finances from here on out so that something like this wouldn’t happen again. He also promised to pay us all back every penny. I didn’t really mind one way or the other. I’d rather sit on Mrs. Pauley’s stoop looking at her beautiful flowers, drinking her home made lemonade and fresh baked cookies than have to spend any time at all looking at the creep trying to throw her out. She could have every dollar bill AND the coins if it meant her staying.