Growing up on this street for all of my life I am watching something horrible. Mrs. Pauly the nice woman next door who gives me candy and takes care of me after school is being evicted. She raised six sons and none of them came to help her. Three months ago her husband had passed away. Now, she is being pulled from the place she has called home for forty years.
After I looked out my window I headed downstairs once the police cars arrived. The landlord, Mr. Jones greets them and they go inside. I head down to the front steps to watch. Maybe they will let Mrs. Pauly stay a while more? Maybe they have raised money and are letting her stay? Good things like this happen every day, right? Racing down the stairs to get there in time I have to see this. I don’t want to, but I feel that I have to. Mrs. Pauly is more of a friend than babysitter. I don’t want to watch her go, but I feel that it will be my last time to say good-bye.
When I get down to the stoop I see through Mrs. Pauly’s window the police and Mr. Jones. Mrs. Pauly is crying, her face red in her hands. I could tell that she is crying as she sits on the red couch. Helplessly, I try not to cry because I don’t want people to know I am watching. One of the policemen puts his hand on her shoulder. It looks like he is telling her something, maybe they really did raise money so she can stay there longer. Mr. Jones sits down right next to her looking frustrated and ashamed. I could tell by their expressions I what was going to happen. My hopes and prayers of their being money raised for her was not going to happen. She was being evicted. I am never going to see my friend again.
“What are you doing out here, Tammy?” my mother asks. “I am just sitting here enjoying the sunshine. It is a nice day out, the first one in a while,” I respond trying not to let tears flow. My mother looks across the street sighs. “They are evicting Mrs. Pauly today aren’t they?” she inquires. I nod my head and break down in tears. “Why didn’t one of her sons help her? Why didn’t Mr. Pauly leave her more money so she can stay there longer? I don’t want her to leave,” I say choking back tears. “Her sons did everything they could. They sent her money and talked to Mr. Jones on a daily basis. Mr. Jones is not happy about this either. He has tried to keep her as well, lowering her rent and everything. But, he was left with a hefty bill that kept on piling up. He tried everything, but there was too much that had to be paid for that Mr. Jones, her sons, and Mrs. Pauly couldn’t keep up with. You know her husband died of cancer and she was left with hospital bills. Your father and I even helped out Mrs. Pauly. In the end there was nothing any of us could do,” my mother explains. “But after people die there is money left to help them out right?” I ask her. “Their insurance could only do so much. Unfortunately, their bank account got hacked and their accounts were cleared out. This is why your father and I check ours so often. I know it seems unfair but that is how life is sometimes,” my mother says to me. I look at her still crying, she could tell that I didn’t know most of this. “I am going to go over there. Do you want to come?” she asks. I shake my head no. I see her walk across the street and go inside.
As I am watching my mother inside comforting Mrs. Pauly I began to think of what my mother had told me. All of this information about their money situation shocked me. What did she mean by their bank account getting hacked? What did she mean by their insurance could only do so much? Why didn’t Mr. Jones advocate for her a little longer? Why couldn’t her sons help her out more with money? If all of these people really cared about her, why is this happening. I am only twelve years old and don’t quite understand why. This all seems like a dream, I am in a state of wonder and shock. There is nothing anyone can do to help her, not even I.
“Tammy what are you doing out here at this time?” my father asks startling me. “I see that you weren’t expecting me to come home at this time,” my father responds to my shock. “I am just sitting outside taking a break from my homework,” I respond trying to conceal my face. I don’t want him to know that I am watching the horror show happen across the street. My dad looks over and he can tell why I am upset. “Dad, why couldn’t there be more done? What does it mean by insurance can only do so much? What does it mean that their bank account was cleared out? Mom told me all of this. I don’t quite know what she meant be all of this. Can you explain it to me?” I ask in a demanding way. “Insurance is what you get when you grow up in order to help you with hospital bills and the dentist. It is a little tricky to explain to you as you are just twelve. When you are older you will understand. As for their bank account being cleared out there are bad people out there who are hackers. These people do everything they can to get their hands on people’s bank information. They set up scams, they hack computers, they even go as far as scratching the numbers off a debit/credit card. When this man took all of their bank information they caught it too late and there was nothing they could do. All of this was happening during Mr. Pauly’s cancer fight. They landed on hard times after that. Their sons offered only what they could. We even tried to help out. But, the hackers took everything from their savings, retirement fund, and much more. All of Pauly boys now have their own families and them to worry about. When you have a family, then you will understand how much it takes to raise a child. Like I said, everyone, even Mr. Jones did everything to help her. Mr. Jones would even give her extensions on her rent until it became to much and he had to get his rent payment from her. Mr. Jones stuck his neck out for her a couple of times. You see, if Mr. Jones wasn’t the good guy he was, then Mrs. Pauly and Mr. Pauly would have been evicted two years ago. Mr. Jones did a lot to keep her there as long as he could,” my dad explains. I see my mother walking over from Mrs. Pauly’s tears streaming down her face.
“How are you doing dear?” my father asks sneaking in a kiss. “Upset, what Mrs. Pauly is going through she doesn’t deserve,” my mother responds. “Why don’t we go inside and have dinner or watch TV? How does that sound Tammy?” my dad asks me. Questionably, I look at him wondering why he would offer this if he was focused on me finishing my homework. “C’mon lets go inside,” my mother says in a rushed voice. I start to get up and look across the street. Mrs. Pauly was being walked out of the house by the policemen. Crying while hugging Mr. Jones good-bye I watched helplessly as she goes away. “She is going to live with Leo, her son on the other side of town for a little while. She’ll be by to visit from time to time,” my mother tells me running her fingers through my hair.
I start to go inside when I bolt across the street to Mrs. Pauly. Wrapping my arms around her waist I beg her not to go. I plead with the policemen and Mr. Jones. “Tammy, it’s gonna be all right. I will be back from time to time to see you. I promise,” Mrs. Pauly says trying to comfort me. “But, it-it won’t be the same. You won’t be here. You won’t be close by. You’ll be farther away,” I cry. “I know, but Leo is going to let me stay with him until I am able to get my own place. I know I am going to be father, but I will be back,” Mrs. Pauly explains. My parents come over to get me. “Tammy, I know it’s not fair and hard to explain but Mrs. Pauly is going to be with Leo,” my dad says. “Tammy, I am going to be all right. I know I won’t be here. But, I will be okay,” Mrs. Pauly explains. “Why couldn’t you do more? Why? Why?” I scream at Mr. Jones. He hangs his head in shame and heads over to talk to me. “There was only so much I could do. There was so little. I tried and tried, but I don’t own this building. They demanded more and more and I couldn’t keep up. Believe me Tammy I tried. I pleaded with the owners explaining the situation,” he says putting his hands on my shoulder. I could tell by the look in his face that he really did everything. I could tell that this wasn’t anyone’s fault except the person that owned the building. “Now, I must be getting to Leo’s he and his family are having chicken fingers for dinner. He makes them from scratch using an old recipe of mine. They have a spare room,” Mrs. Pauly says. I hug her once more good-bye. My parents hug her as well leaving words of promise to see each other again.
Mrs. Pauly gets in the police car heading for Leo’s house. Watching the car drive away seemed to take forever. Maybe they are going to turn around and realize it was a mistake? She is coming back to see me, she promised. “Let’s go enjoy dinner,” my dad says wiping tears from his eyes. We walk across the street and go inside. Sitting down at the table I am served my meal. None of us talk, we just sit there and eat. After, I am done I go upstairs and finish my homework. I get into bed and look out the window. For the first time in my life the window’s of Mrs. Pauly’s apartment are dark. There are no lights, no television, nothing. I lay down in bed knowing there is a sleepless night ahead of me. Thinking of Mrs. Pauly going away and watching her go would not be an easy thing to forget.