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I STILL LOOK FOR YOU - PART 22
Lynn had sat by the river thinking and planning oblivious to time but as the sun disappeared behind clouds that had rolled in her attention was brought back to her surroundings. She noted the time and reluctantly headed for the car. She stopped for a newspaper so she could check the classifieds and then drove straight to the complex. This time she made a pot of coffee and it wasn’t long before she heard a familiar rap at the door. Bobby walked in, looking at her with question in his eyes and asked what she was doing home from work. She had planned to give herself until the next day to tell him but the newspaper was spread out on the table with circles drawn around apartments and jobs and she decided there was no time for game playing. She might as well begin the next leg of this journey.
He listened, not interrupting, as she recounted the scene at the office and waited for him to remind her he’d warned her not to contact the Spear’s accountant. He didn’t and he also didn’t take her in his arms and tell her everything would be all right. They both knew she would survive but as far as being all right, that might take a while. Bobby’s life had been uprooted so many times he learned to take things in stride. At his young age he had a toughened soul that kept him from giving all of his heart or all of his trust to anything or anyone. He, like Lynn, never formed long terms plans. There is little room for such things when your life is in survival mode. His life with an alcoholic and drug addicted mother and Lynn’s, with a mentally ill and abusive one, was just one more aspect that cemented their friendship. When hard times came they didn’t ask the types of questions other people did. She was thankful he didn’t ask what she was going to do, or how was she going to make it. Those things would come to her and when they did he knew she would tell him. They didn’t have to say, “I’ll be there for you” or “if there’s anything I can do” because those were a given. He knew when to stay with her and he knew when to give her space. Right then, he stayed and listened as she read aloud from the newspaper going over what few jobs were listed and to descriptions of apartments that might be in her price range. None of them were in the same school district and they sure weren’t a few yards away from his. Things would have to change and neither of them even suspected just how radically they would, or how quickly.
The next day Lynn was at the Job Service office applying for both Unemployment Insurance and for work. The only employment that paid enough to come close to what she needed were factory jobs in positions where she had no experience but she filled out the applications anyway. Back at the apartment she called all of the Property Management companies in the area to see if they had any openings and none did but one of them knew of a position that was going to be open and Lynn knew one of the agents for the reality company. The position that was opening was not something she’d be interested in. It was clear up in the college town where she had visited the property with the two HUD subsidies, but this agent might know of something local. She left her number and a message for him to return her call as soon as possible expecting she might hear from him in the next few days. To her surprise he called back within the hour and told her about the position that would be opening the first of May. This was the last week of March and school wouldn’t even be out for the year until the first week of June. Lynn listened half heartedly as he told her the current manager was retiring and that it was a 100 unit complex, not HUD subsidized but they did have a few tenants with HUD Housing Assistance leases. She agreed to drive up and meet him that week to take a look but really didn’t consider it as something she would do. It was, well … completely too far away. She knew absolutely no one from there. Her kids would have to change schools right before the end of the school year, no less, and it was just not what she was looking for.
In the mail the next day she received a letter from the Spear’s attorney and an enclosed check. It was her prorated pay of three days and a two week check that the letter explained was to cover the two weeks vacation she would have had coming, a more than generous offering according to the attorney as this was not necessary. She would also owe full rent for the upcoming month of April and for the prorated days of March, beginning the day after she had been let go. The utilities were to be transferred to her name immediately if she intended to stay for the month of April and the contract would end April 30th at which time she would need to be vacated and turn in her key. Counting this check, every dime she had in checking and savings she was still over two hundred and fifty dollars short of even paying the rent, let alone deposits at the utility company.
That night Lynn sat the kids down and told them she had lost her job and that she was pulling them out of school the next day to go up to look at the place they would probably be moving to very soon. Tim slammed out of the apartment and Traci screamed at her that she was a fukkin loser and slammed her bedroom door which did little to muffle the anguished cries and pounding on the walls. She barely had time to sit down when Kurt came banging in the front door saying Tim was a stupid liar and that he ran past him saying they were moving and he could forget about the precious birthday plans. She had not forgotten. Her children were born April 1st and April 2nd, three years apart, and Kurt’s birthday was April 3rd, him being a year older than Traci. She and Bobby had planned one big party for all three. The look of one completely betrayed haunted her for hours after Kurt slammed out her front door adding to the guilt she already felt for hurting her children. She had to take the car and go looking for Tim and finally found him eight blocks away at a convenience store that had video games. Traci refused to go with her and was gone when they got back. Tim would not speak to her at all and refused the supper she had saved back for him. Traci had not come out of her room to eat and the smell of food while she was cooking it had gagged Lynn. Tim went to his room but not before he got her eye and glared at her. Traci came in the door a few minutes later, a look of pure hatred on her face and opened her mouth to say something but was interrupted by Lynn. “Don’t you dare say one word to me. Don’t you even tell me how bad you are hurting or how much this messes up your life. For your information it messes up mine too. This is not what I had planned for any of us and I am only doing the best that I can in a fukked up situation. Now stomp on up to your room and slam you door. We have to leave early in the morning.”