Losing A House

From the moment that a stranger knocked on my door that early afternoon in March of 2011 the

lives of my family would never be the same. The nervous look on the face of this stranger and

the camera in his hand put a lump in my stomach the moment our eyes connected. I moved out

into the entirely too cold that for shirts I had on but I didn’t want be told what I knew was

coming in front of my family. “I represent the company that has taken over your mortgage. This

is a hard time for all and we would like to make things go a little smoother.” He was the typical

middle aged white guy in gym shoes, a pair of jeans and a light coat that protected him against

the not so cold of weather of March. I honestly expected the guy who was going to throw my

family out of the house that we had lived in for the past eight years to have look like some cold

callous state trooper type with a cheap windbreaker drab olive pants and shiny shoes and the

most severe hair cut in the world to throw/hand me a fold piece of paper telling me I had forty

eight hours to leave the premises. Having never seen people get removed from hearth and home I

assumed it would be like a bad lifetime movie. “ Why hasn’t ASC sent me anything in the mail

or returned my numerous calls. I have been talking with those guys for the past six months trying

to refinance with those assholes and now a company who has taken over my mortgage has come

to ask me nicely to move.” The man shifted in his shoes. Clearly he was still nervous but the

lump in my stomach began to heat up. “Mr. Sibley people are doing a lot damage to their former

homes and we want to make this easy on you and ourselves by offering an monetary incentive

for you to leave the house exactly the way it is.” He handed me a manila envelope. Over the past

year and a half I had seen reports of people who on finding out they were losing their abodes

destroyed the place they raised a family in. Dry wall torn, pipes ripped from the wall, flooring

smashed, windows broken for some measure of payback over losing a place they loved. I opened

the envelope and glanced at the words that seemed blurry on the paper. After refocusing I saw

that the now owners of my house were not only offering me money to leave the house the way

without kicking the walls in but they wanted me to clean up the place including the garage on

their time frame. The sooner we left the more money my wife and I would receive. That was

when the lump flamed into a white hot coal and I entertained the idea of kicking the messenger

into a coma. He had begun to take pictures of my house as he talk to me. I began to get the

feeling that his nervousness had been a bs ruse and that he had done dozens of times before. I

could hear my wife call to my oldest son for something and the lump that was burning like a

miniature sun disentigrated. This was going to be another blow to my already fragile marriage.

Almost two years to the month I lost my house I was laid off along with 500 hundred union

members and supervisors. My unemployment checks had stopped coming a month prior. I was

amazed at how instantly people change when you are no longer working and on unemployment.

Being evicted from a house would only make this marriage weaker and a couple could only

become so weak before they were no longer a couple. The fake nice man was stilling talking to

me about something but I had ignored him for the last thirty seconds. Instead of beating him like

a dog who bite me I wipe him from my mind and walked back into my house to face my wife.

She sat on the couch and looked at me. She had to know it was bad news. “ASC sold our

mortgage to a company that propbably is going to flip our house. They are going to pay us not to

destroy this place but we have to be out in three weeks.” Her mouth literally fell open as she

slowly rose from her feet and walked over to. I wasn’t sure if she was going to try and slap me

(because clearly this was all my fault) so I moved the envelope that was at my side to the space

between us. She took the papers from me and scrutinized them much more then I had. Instead of

asking me questions like how did this happen? Or what are we going to do? The only question

she asked was “Do you think we can move out in three weeks? I told her what I thought “There

is no way in hell we can pull that off. Besides not having enough money we haven’t even started

looking for a house. Six weeks maybe.” She never looked up at me while she talked to me. “You

can tell the kids.” She said as she walked away from. The only reply I could muster was “of

course.”

Our children didn’t take this as badly as we had expected. Children were more resilant and easy

to change then their adult counterparts. We would borrowed money from relatives. Family and

friends would help us move. We would rent a house in the same city to make the transitions

easier for our kids. I would eventually look upon losing a house as an learning experience but

realized that my wife would see me in a different light and nothing would be the same.

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