“What Else Can I Do?”

I woke up early in the morning after an almost sleepless night. Today is the day it is going to happen. Today Mrs. Pauley’s landlord and the police are going to come kick her out of her house because she can’t pay her rent. She had told me about it a few weeks ago so that I wouldn’t be surprised when it happened.

I’d cried a lot since then. Mrs. Pauley was my friend. She was really old now, but I had known her all of my twelve years of life. She and Mr. Pauley were like grandparents to me. I didn’t know my own grandparents, so they were the only grandparents I had.

I knew they had six boys of their own but they almost never visited their parents. It seemed like I was the only one who came to their house. But at least they had each other.

Then three months ago, Mr. Pauley died. I was very sad then too.  After that happened, Mrs. Pauley had no one to talk to except for me. Throughout my life, I had lunch or dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Pauley regularly. She made such good food. And all the love she put into making it made it taste even better. After Mr. Pauley died, she didn’t have much money, but she still invited me to come to her house for soup and biscuits. She could make the best biscuits.

She cried when she told me she didn’t have enough money to pay her rent. She had lived there for sixty years. This was her only home. She didn’t know what she was going to do once she left her house. Her children didn’t want her to live with them.

I had talked to my mom and dad about it. They said, “It’s too bad, but that is the way it is sometimes.” I talked to a lot of people. Some of them said, “It’s not fair” but didn’t know what to do. One person told me, “It’s her karma. She must have done something bad in another lifetime.” I didn’t know much about that but it seemed to me that maybe it was our job to help her because of our own past karma…. and because it was the right thing to do. But no one helped.

As I sat on the stoop in front of my house, I kept thinking, “What else can I do? What else can I do?” I watched as the cars pulled up to her house.  The landlord and police got out, walked up her sidewalk, knocked on the door, and entered Mrs. Pauley’s house.

All of a sudden an idea popped into my head! On TV news people are always talking about how Jesse has helped them with their problems. I’m going to GET JESSE!!! I run to my computer to look for the phone number and there it is! 1-877-51-JESSE. I pick up the phone and begin to punch in the numbers.


Written for Writing 101 Challenge #18: Hone Your Point of View

Directions: Write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.

The neighborhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.


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