She Was Wrong

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 wouldn’t hear them say “I love you daddy” or “help me daddy, I am scared.” They wouldn’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 wouldn’t hear the echoes of happy moments that the family once had there. They wouldn’t see the smiles or share in the family dinners.

Those strangers wouldn’t know how hard he fought to save the house. They wouldn’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 wouldn’t know that the bank had told him that they weren’t in the habit of taking homes away from families and that they would be able to find a solution.

But the bank hadn’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 wouldn’t hear the echoes of his voice begging some minimum wage employee to work with him. They wouldn’t hear him ask to sign a 40 or 50 year term. They wouldn’t hear the bank employees tell him that the past didn’t matter.

Strangers wouldn’t know how bitter it made him to fail or how some nights he would pace sit alone in the dark because he couldn’t sleep. They wouldn’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 wouldn’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 couldn’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 didn’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.

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Comments

  1. G’Day Jack
    So your banks are just like our banks?

    Best Wishes 

    Leon

    • @3884c43f625610ab1bb99b677867ea2a:disqus Bankers like to hold onto their currency more than they like to share it. Sad truth is that big business often misses the face of the “little guy.”

  2. G’Day Jack
    So your banks are just like our banks?

    Best Wishes 

    Leon

    • @3884c43f625610ab1bb99b677867ea2a:disqus Bankers like to hold onto their currency more than they like to share it. Sad truth is that big business often misses the face of the “little guy.”

  3. A very moving post.
    One little concrit… it looks like you were deciding whether he would PACE or SIT alone in the dark, and both words are still there.

    • @openid-76125:disqus Hi Amy,

      I hadn’t noticed that.Thank you for mentioning it, I’ll have to see about reworking that so that it is more polished.

  4. A very moving post.
    One little concrit… it looks like you were deciding whether he would PACE or SIT alone in the dark, and both words are still there.

    • @openid-76125:disqus Hi Amy,

      I hadn’t noticed that.Thank you for mentioning it, I’ll have to see about reworking that so that it is more polished.

  5. Lindsay @ You Are Here says:

    visiting from #TRDC. 
    Great job! I could feel his stabbing pain of loss.  I wanted to shelter the children and keep them safe. 

    • @0f0151331d6e1026ab24eaf1766574a9:disqus Hi Lindsay, welcome. The kids are so very important. Since I knew that mostly parents read this I thought it would be useful to include them in the story.

  6. Lindsay says:

    visiting from #TRDC. 
    Great job! I could feel his stabbing pain of loss.  I wanted to shelter the children and keep them safe. 

    • @0f0151331d6e1026ab24eaf1766574a9:disqus Hi Lindsay, welcome. The kids are so very important. Since I knew that mostly parents read this I thought it would be useful to include them in the story.

  7. Jack, what an interesting assignment! You did so well too. Well-written, though depressing! How long did it take you to create the story that you put between those two lines?
    Lori

  8. Jack, what an interesting assignment! You did so well too. Well-written, though depressing! How long did it take you to create the story that you put between those two lines?
    Lori

  9. This was like a punch to the gut, painful, but not so painful that I stopped reading. I liked that though he was regretful and talks about trying to not become bitter, he actually didn’t come across as bitter, as much as sad, and self aware. It was a really refreshing balance.

  10. This was like a punch to the gut, painful, but not so painful that I stopped reading. I liked that though he was regretful and talks about trying to not become bitter, he actually didn’t come across as bitter, as much as sad, and self aware. It was a really refreshing balance.

    • @openid-68519:disqus I know more than a few people who have gone through or are going through this now so the words come more easily…

  11. This as hard to read as my heart went out to him fully.  But it as good to read too because you wrote it so well. 

  12. This as hard to read as my heart went out to him fully.  But it as good to read too because you wrote it so well. 

  13. This is so heartbreaking, even more so because it is a reality for so many people right now. 

  14. This is so heartbreaking, even more so because it is a reality for so many people right now. 

  15. So powerful and so discreet at the same time. Does that make sense? You didn’t hit us over the head with the story, but gave us the details and peppered them with emotion.

    Two of my favorite lines:

    “Strangers wouldn’t know how bitter it made him to fail” – G-d, that just broke my heart.

    and this one …

    “They wouldn’t know how sometimes he would stand and listen to the soft snores that came from the children as they slept.”

    Truly beautiful.

    I really enjoyed this piece, even though it broke my heart more than once.

    • @ace1028:disqus When I wrote it I tried to think about what intimacy feels like to those who know it and those who have heard about it. Don’t know if that makes sense.

  16. So powerful and so discreet at the same time. Does that make sense? You didn’t hit us over the head with the story, but gave us the details and peppered them with emotion.

    Two of my favorite lines:

    “Strangers wouldn’t know how bitter it made him to fail” – G-d, that just broke my heart.

    and this one …

    “They wouldn’t know how sometimes he would stand and listen to the soft snores that came from the children as they slept.”

    Truly beautiful.

    I really enjoyed this piece, even though it broke my heart more than once.

    • @ace1028:disqus When I wrote it I tried to think about what intimacy feels like to those who know it and those who have heard about it. Don’t know if that makes sense.

  17. So true. Excellent write. I enjoyed reading this from a man’s perspective. Such a sad reality in today’s society.

  18. So true. Excellent write. I enjoyed reading this from a man’s perspective. Such a sad reality in today’s society.

  19. Sexandthesingledad says:

    Dude.  I read your post and want to cry and go back to bed.  OK, maybe “cry” is a bit much, but I do want to go back to bed.  Nice job as always, bro.  *fist bump*

    • @162924183d5d93a51d7b077346556abc:disqus JR, going back to bed is exactly what I want to do. Friday afternoon naps should be required. 😉

  20. Sexandthesingledad says:

    Dude.  I read your post and want to cry and go back to bed.  OK, maybe “cry” is a bit much, but I do want to go back to bed.  Nice job as always, bro.  *fist bump*

    • @162924183d5d93a51d7b077346556abc:disqus JR, going back to bed is exactly what I want to do. Friday afternoon naps should be required. 😉

  21. Galit Breen says:

    Ugh Jack. So, so sad and an unfortunate reality for so many. 

    You really personalized something that we talk about freely today with your usual poignant word choices. I love lines like “echoes of happy moments.” 

    • @twitter-213947518:disqus One of the people I know that this is happening to kept saying “yeeheyeh tov.” That was sort of my inspiration for the echoes of happy moments line.

  22. Ugh Jack. So, so sad and an unfortunate reality for so many. 

    You really personalized something that we talk about freely today with your usual poignant word choices. I love lines like “echoes of happy moments.” 

    • @twitter-213947518:disqus One of the people I know that this is happening to kept saying “yeeheyeh tov.” That was sort of my inspiration for the echoes of happy moments line.

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