Morality VS Legality

           A very rough draft of a story I came up with yesterday. I wrote half yesterday and half today and I’m positive it’s riddled with spelling mistakes! But hopefully the story will make you think and the premise will shine through more than the lack of commas or odd rearranging of letters! Enjoy.

 

             I was waiting on the phone to ring.

            The sheriffs were heading to the house today and it was finally time to get my property back.       

            I had rented it to her in good faith. She was an attractive woman; she had a great figure, short hair and two young boys that she was the sole parent to. She seemed like an ideal tenant.

            She didn’t have any references but she had said that was because she had lived abroad for a few years. Why wouldn’t I have believed her?

            That was four years ago and I had spent the last twelve months chasing rent arrears. Her phone was ignored, her door unanswered and every letter I sent seemed to go unnoticed.

            After about six months of unpaid rent I had went to the door to try one last time before I got lawyers involved.

            I knocked on the door a few times. The red paint had began to peel and my landlord instinct kicked in and my first thought was ‘I need to get this painted.’

            I loved being a landlord and this was one of six properties I owned. I had a positive relationship with every tenant. Mrs. Curhale was my oldest and longest resident. She paid her rent punctually every month and sent me a homemade Swiss roll every year for Christmas.

            I sighed as I turned away from my red peeling door and wondered why every tenant couldn’t be like Mrs. Curhale.

            To my shock i heard the chain on the door get pulled across and the door creaking open ever so slightly.

            A boy in a pair of jogging bottoms and a ‘Titanic’ t shirt stood in the gap. He looked about thirteen and was cautious not to open the door too wide.

            “Hello lad, I’m Jonathon Murphy, do you remember me?” I asked.

            “I do,” he nodded, “Can I help?”

            “Is your mother home?” I said pleasantly. I had read somewhere that children respond to the tone of your voice more than the smile on your face. Or maybe I had made it up?

            His eyes darted to the left very quickly before he answered.

            “No, she’s not home,” he replied.

            “Can you tell her I came by and that I have something very important to tell her?”

            “Of course,” he said, “Goodbye.”

            The door was shut and the chain back on.

            I stood still at the door, straining my ears trying to listen to what was being said inside.

            “He’s gone mum,” I heard him say, “What does he want?”

            “Nothing,” she snapped, “move your fucking arse out from the T.V.”.

            I walked away. Maybe appearances were more deceiving than I thought. Loveliness apparently was nothing more than a short hair cut and a pleasant smile.

            That was six months ago and now things had got out of hand.

            She hadn’t responded to my letters, my emails or my phone calls. Trips to their home, my property, received no response, not even the thirteen year old.

            The court dates had been and gone. It was time to get the sheriffs.

            I sat in my car as they went up to the door.

            There were two of them. Both burly, both bald and almost identical if I wasn’t looking closely enough; they scared me actually, I wouldn’t like to see them arrive at my door.

            Several knocks and half an hour later and no one had responded; it was time to break in.

            I hoped it wouldn’t have come to this.

            I imagined myself as child, in my home with two goblins knocking at the door.

            Although one was old enough to almost be considered mature, this was nothing a thirteen year old should ever have to deal with. I couldn’t put myself in his place and certainly not in the place of his eight-year-old brother.

            How could a mother let her children get into this situation?

            I doubted myself, was I doing the right thing?

            I was effectively throwing two children out onto the street, it was winter and it was getting dark. I had asked for it to be an early eviction but they had been busy until now.

            Was I a monster? Was I forcing a mother to accept responsibility? Was it worth scarring these children?

            The sheriffs had marched the youngest son out the door. He stood on the paved walkway in a pair of pajamas with a large coat barely covering his top half. He shivered as the December breeze blew through the cul-de-sac.

            I could hear shouting inside. From the limited words I heard it seemed that the elder son was defending his mother.

            “You cant do this she didn’t know!” his teenage voice shouted from the hallway.

            I didn’t hear the sheriff’s response but I guessed it wasn’t emotive.

            I watched as the younger boy cried outside his home, I knew it wasn’t my fault in my head but, in my heart, I was guilty as sin.

            I found that I, myself, was crying.

            I couldn’t believe it had come to this, that I was responsible for two young men becoming homeless.

            I watched as the eldest son left, clutching a hastily brought together bag of clothes. A blue sleeve poked out of a hole in the black bin bag and my heart bled a little more.

            The mother seemed to stumble over nothing as she left the house. The threshold was smooth, a mistake I had made once before, so I knew she hadn’t tripped.

            “Come on boys,” she slurred, “lets go and sleep in a box!”

            The sheriffs were already changing the locks as she shouted abuse at them.

            It was clear she was drunk and that made me feel even worse. I sobbed uncontrollably as I saw them walk down the street. In a few moments they would be gone and I would probably never see them again.

            I didn’t know what would happen to them and I didn’t know how they would fare.

            Some snow began to fall from the darkened sky as I watched them disappear behind number 24. The eldest son looked back, just once, at the cul de sac he had called home.

            It seemed like he looked directly at me, his young eyes blaming mine.

            And then he turned away.

            Gone forever into the winter cold.

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