“You start sixth grade tomorrow!” Mom called from the living as I headed out the front door “My little girl’s practically a woman!” I rolled my eyes and went to take my bike from it’s spot by the orange tree. As I rolled it out I noticed the tires didn’t feel right. Looking down, I discovered that both tires had been punctured flat. Seriously? I thought, sighing. The last day of the summer, and I can’t even ride my bike? I threw my bike on the grass in anger and plopped on the front stoop. That’s when I noticed the patrol car across the street, at Mrs. Pauley’s.
Mrs. Pauley was on the tail-end of a rough three months, losing her husband, and her source of income in one fell swoop. I remembered how Mom and a couple of the neighbors had saved up some money to help Mrs. Pauley pay her rent, but it still wasn’t enough. I saw the eviction notice on her front door shortly after her husband died.I guess her landlord was finally following through. It looked like Mrs. Pauley wasn’t going without a fight.
“I’ve lived here forty years!” she yelled as the cops took her out of her house. I ran back into my house, grabbing Mom by her sleeve.
“They’re taking Mrs. Pauley away!” I said. Mom practically leaped off the sofa as she followed me out the door. By the time we got out, the cops had Mrs. Pauley in their car. I watched as Mom ran across the street to confront Mr. Peabody, Mrs. Pauley’s landlord. What is she doing? I thought, tapping my foot. It was the nervous habit I couldn’t quite shake. I knew there was no way Mom could stop this eviction from happening. I watched her gesture wildly as she argued with Mr. Peabody, but I couldn’t make out more than a word or two of what they were saying. Soon, the police officers joined my mother and Mr. Peabody on the lawn. They calmed Mom down a little, but she was still talking with her hands, so I could tell how angry she still was.
Suddenly, Mom looked over at me and gestured for me to come.
As soon as I stepped onto the lawn, the cops lowered their voices as they spoke amongst each other. God, I hate it when adults do that, like I’m just some kid. One of the cops turned back to Mom while the other one went and got Mrs. Pauley from the car. Mr. Peabody just stood there, shaking his head.
“Are you sure about this, Miss Bridle?” The cop asked Mom. She nodded and took Mrs. Pauley’s hand.
“Go get the air mattress out, Billie,” Mom said “Mrs. Pauley is gonna stay with us for a little while.