This is a post based upon a prompt from the Red Dress Club:
This week we asked you to write a post beginning with the words, “This was absolutely the last time” and ending with “She was wrong.” The word count was 600.
This was absolutely the last time that he would kiss his children goodnight in this house. In a matter of hours the only home they had ever known would be taken from them and sold at auction. In a matter of moments something he had worked so very hard for would be taken from him and given to strangers.
Strangers would move in and erase all evidence of the family that had once lived there. These strangers would walk from room to room but never hear the voice of the children who had once lived there. They wouldnâ€™t hear them say â€œI love you daddyâ€ or â€œhelp me daddy, I am scared.â€ They wouldnâ€™t see daddy come running to fix the scrapes and bruises or to scare the monsters away.
Maybe the strangers would keep the chandelier in the dining room. Maybe they would use it but they wouldnâ€™t hear the echoes of happy moments that the family once had there. They wouldnâ€™t see the smiles or share in the family dinners.
Those strangers wouldnâ€™t know how hard he fought to save the house. They wouldnâ€™t know how he dug ditches and unloaded trucks just to make a few extra bucks. Nor would they know how the bank had promised to work with him. They wouldnâ€™t know that the bank had told him that they werenâ€™t in the habit of taking homes away from families and that they would be able to find a solution.
But the bank hadnâ€™t found a solution or a compromise. They had lost his paperwork on more than one occasion or had told them that their requirements changed. Strangers wouldnâ€™t hear the echoes of his voice begging some minimum wage employee to work with him. They wouldnâ€™t hear him ask to sign a 40 or 50 year term. They wouldnâ€™t hear the bank employees tell him that the past didnâ€™t matter.
Strangers wouldnâ€™t know how bitter it made him to fail or how some nights he would pace sit alone in the dark because he couldnâ€™t sleep. They wouldnâ€™t know about the file of job applications that he kept and how he hoped that maybe something would fall into place, but nothing ever did.
He was overqualified for menial and retail positions and kept out of middle to senior level positions because he would have earned too much. They wouldnâ€™t know how sometimes he would stand and listen to the soft snores that came from the children as they slept.
The same children he had promised to protect, feed, clothe and educate. How many times did he stand alone in the dark and stare at their sleeping bodies. How many times did he thank god that they were unaware of just how dire the situation had become.
Morning would come and they would wake up and enjoy one last meal. He expected that there would be tears and questions. They would ask why they couldnâ€™t stay. They would want to know why someone was taking their home away from them. They would want to know why and he had no explanation that he could offer.
There was nothing to be gained by saying that they were living through the worst economic conditions anyone had seen in more than fifty years. He would tell them how hard he had tried and pray that they didnâ€™t remember the time that daddy failed them.
He tried not to be bitter but it was hard. He could still hear the words of the bank employee who promised that it would all work out. She was wrong.
Links to Past TRDC posts:
- Wind and Waves
- A Detour
- The Day Joy Left My Life
- Preserve Your Memories
- The Flying Clown
- The Kitchen
- One Slightly Used Pump For Sale
- The Song of My Heart Has Gone Silent
- Five Minutes
- Endless Blue Skies
- And then the world shifted
- I Hear Music
- A Fire In The Sky
- The Telephone Call
- She Wore A Red Dress
- Song Sung Blueâ€¦And Other Colors
- When Simply Awful became Simply Wonderful
- A Mugger
- A Jealous Man