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The sun streamed through the paned window, the heat causing sweat to drip down my bare legs, they were in a bent position resting against the edge of the couch, my hands fluttered over the letter in my hand, the words on top read Evicted. The letter had come today, it had been tacked on the door with a hot pink staple, my land lords favorite. I had only missed rent a couple times, let’s face it, times were hard. Business at the Dairy Shack was slow since summer had ended a month ago. She had warned me many times, but I had appeased her with my persistence. She wrote on a pink sticky note and stuck it to the top of the letter, “You missed January, you missed March, you missed May, and now you’ve missed this month. Enough is enough.”
My land lord is Hitler in the female form. She comes knocking on tenants doors, 8 o clock sharp on the first Sunday of the month demanding rent. Her hot pink nails rapping against the thin door. She knocks. She demands. She takes. It’s the same process every month, you’d think I’d get used to it. But every time I hear that knock, dread sits in my stomach as I rush to scrounge up just enough money to keep her happy.
“What am I going to do?” I asked aloud. Why, I don’t know, considering that I wasn’t going to get a response from anyone. Even my dog, Babe Ruth, didn’t rouse in response to my question. He stayed fast asleep in the corner of the dim room.
I sat, in my own misery and sweat, and watched as the thermometer on the wall slowly rose up above 90. The Georgia heat was unlike any other I had known so far in my life. I grew up in the Midwest and it got hot there, but the south was a different story. The humidity here makes you want to cry in desperation.
I got up off the couch and headed into the kitchen. I looked back to see if Babe Ruth had stirred. He had and was up and staring at me.
“Come here, Babe.” I gestured for him but he didn’t budge.
“Oh fine you lazy mutt.” I continued into the kitchen and headed for the icebox. I don’t call it a fridge, because it’s so old that it could have been around in the 1920s.
I pulled open the door to find it barely full. All that existed in the box was a half gallon of what I supposed was spoiled milk, a few pieces of bread, and an almost empty jar of raspberry jam. The fast food business didn’t fare well for all. The freezer was much the same. There was a single bag of frozen jumbo shrimp and a pint of rocky road ice cream. I went for the ice cream.
I sat back down on the lone couch in an attempt to find a solution. Instead I ended up finishing the last of the ice cream. I thought back to years ago when my mom used to say, “Money is the root of all evils, poverty is the fruit of all goodness.” I have to say, I don’t really agree with her. I think I would be a lot happier if I had money at the moment.
I figured a trip down to my land lords office was in order. I pulled on some real clothes, my pajamas would not help me plea my case, and closed the door behind me. The stairs squealed in agony as I stepped on their partially rotted faces. I feared that one day they would break on me and send me tumbling down to the ground below. That day was not today. I stepped onto solid ground and headed to the main office of my building, where my fate would be decided.
I opened up the door and headed into a chillingly cold room. Her office was the only room with air conditioning, naturally. The pink walls startled me every time I entered the room. After three years you’d think I’d be used to it, but every time I felt like I was stepping into someone’s stomach.
“I see you got the notice.” A deep, almost manly voice called my attention from the corner. I turned to face the woman who haunted my dreams. Gathered around her form were millions of little pink items that had no purpose, then you came into focus on her. She was a shock for all. There among all the pink, was a tan woman, with dark black hair, dark almost black eyes, and all black clothes.
“Yes I got it.” I held it up in my hand as evidence.
“You have been late on rent too many times now. I have no choice but to evict you. I warned you so you have no excuse to be upset.”
“But I have always remained loyal to the crown.” I replied.
“This is no time to be witty, Samantha.” She scolded.
“Come on, Morgan, I promise it won’t happen again.”
“Tell me why I should let you off again. And it better be good.”
I told her my reasons, with a few added embellishments of course, and watched as her eyes softened. She looked stiff and formal on the outside, but on the inside she was just as soft as the pink fluffy things she surrounds herself with. After I was finished she reached over and grabbed the letter from me. I watched as she ripped it into little tiny pieces on her desk.
“This is your last warning Sam. Next time, I won’t be so easy.”
Yeah right, I thought, how many times have I heard that before.
I successfully milked the situation and the cow.
Back in my room I did a little dance. I had at least 6 more months to figure out what I was going to do. I celebrated my happiness by spinning, twirling, and grooving around the room. I was as happy as a sneaky little sister who succeeded in stealing her older sisters makeup.
As my dad used to always say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
I like to think that I would have made my dad proud today.