CHAPTER 5 Aftermath

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copyright 2017 Chris Smith  All Rights Reserved.

It was 3 p.m. when I heard a familiar car pull up outside. I looked through the screen door and saw my Parents walking up. Now I would hear the news of what had happened and I would know. There would be no changing the truth and no way to hide from it.

I shook my head and thought, "Who goes to their own auction?"

I gave them mad props for having the balls to go and watch. I didn't have the stomach for it. Even my Mom who was extremely emotional, had the guts to go watch her own Farm being sold off.

We sat together in the small living room. The mood was somber. My eyes shifted from my Dad lying in the lounger to my Mom sitting in a chair. Her eyes looked like someone drained the life out of them. She was defeated and quiet.

It was as if she was waiting for someone to walk over to her and pinch her arm and say, "Wake up now. Wake up. It's only a nightmare. You can wake up now. WAKE UP!"

I had countless memories of walking down to their house during the summer and seeing Mom outside in the middle of the blackberry and raspberry bushes. She'd be wearing an old white T-shirt, covered in berry stains, torn jeans barely being held up, sunburned nose, and the biggest smile on her face. She loved being outside doing things with the earth. The Farm was an expression of her love, and security. I wasn't sure I'd ever see that smile on my Mom's face again.

"So how did it go?" I asked.

I waited for Dad's answer. He always had the best stories. Dad telling a story was like watching a live comic perform. He'd get all animated with his hands and facial expressions. Except today, unless a miracle had dropped in their lap, this wouldn't be a funny story. Today he wouldn't enjoy in the telling of it.

I almost couldn't sit still in my chair. I had to know, even though knowing would kill me.

"Well, we went," he said.

"Was it weird?"

I looked from Dad's eyes to Mom's. She just sat there and didn't say anything. But you could see the emotions stirring just under the surface. They weren't happy and joyful ones either. She was a volcano waiting to erupt on some poor bastard, which would probably be my Dad when they got home.

I wonder if she was more upset with herself for investing her money into his business ideas, or more upset with him for not being able to produce money from those ideas. God knows he'd tried.

"Yeah, it was," Dad said.

"So, did anyone buy the Parcels?" I asked.

"No, which means that the Bank owns them."

When I walked out my front door now, it was no longer my front door. It was the Bank's door. The Bank owned most of what I saw on the Farm. They owned every apple tree in the orchard, every handful of dirt, and every nail and piece of wood in all our houses. We had no rights to anything anymore, except the things we came here with.

We had become squatters on our own land. Strange. I always thought of squatters as a type of scavenger, trying to get something for free. Squatters were people you had to run off your property.

Would someone have to run us off our Farm?

"Once in a while you may also have to deal with a belligerent home owner who will mess with the property on the way out or refuses to vacate, requiring a lengthy and costly eviction process."

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