“It’s a good house,” Kristy said, passing the keys across the table to the other couple. “I hope you’re happy there.”
“Yeah,” I added. “We’re really glad you bought the place.” And we were, kind of.
The house had been the cement shoes on our credit reports for the last year. Having it sell rather than fall into foreclosure brought relief, both emotional and financial. With it sold, we can start to repair the damage caused by all those missed payments.
But goddamn, this was our home! It held our dreams and secrets and pain for half a decade. And we had to sell it now to these nice-looking, big-smiling fucks who were getting a sweet deal while we were getting soaked.
I know, I know–it’s not the buyers’ fault. They didn’t cause the trouble, and they were patient and calm as we went through the roller-coaster of the short-sale process. Still, it’s hard to be chipper with people who laugh while you’re falling apart imperceptibly.
I wanted to talk to them, tell them about what the house meant to us in the beginning and how it felt to see it empty. Listen, I felt like saying, so much of my life is contained within those walls. You cannot possibly understand what it means to know that I can never, ever put my key in the lock again, that I’ll always remember where the light-switches are but I’ll never flip them on again. Love this house, you smug bastards. I do.
Selling your house under duress is like going through a break-up. Going to settlement is like double-dating with your ex and her new boyfriend. My stomach turned as I signed the papers.
In the parking lot, Kristy put her hands to her face and wiped tears away. We stood there, the door closing behind us, not sure when the next one would open.