Hold-out

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The man sat on an upturned bucket next to a jug of cheap wine.  He stared out the window with bleary, blood-shot eyes.  Despite all logic and the warnings of his wife, he knew he was making the right decision.  What was he anyways, as a man without a home?  I’ve never lived in an apartment and I’m not about to start, he reasoned.

A car slowed in front of the home and pulled into the drive.  The man’s heart beat quickened.  He walked to the window and peered out from the side to avoid detection from the outside.  A couple stepped out from each side of the car, beaming with excitement.  It was time to take a stand, the man thought, they’re here. 

The man heard the front door open and steeled himself for what was to come. 

“Oh my God, someone’s here,” the woman exclaimed.

Muddy boot tracks led down the hallway to the den and the door was shut. 

Why was the door closed, the young man silently wondered with a sick feeling, afraid his wife was right.  He tried not to jump to conclusions, but instinctively wanted to protect the woman from whatever was on the other side of the door. 

“Stay back here while I check the door,” he said.

 He bravely walked forward and tried to open the door.  It was locked.

“Try to push it, maybe it’s just stuck,” his wife tried to help.

 “I can’t turn the door knob, it’s definitely locked,” he said over his shoulder.

“Who’s in there?” he demanded.

“Listen kids, the deal’s off.  I’m not leaving,” the man behind the door explained in a gruff voice.

 His mind was set, this was his house.  Paperwork from the bank could never change that, he thought.  He would find the money the bank wanted.  He looked around and put his hand on the wall, I put this up.  I ran electricity into this room and I built that staircase.  Why should I walk away from all this and let a pair of brats move in?

The man paced back and forth, I bet they never did a full day’s worth of work in their lives.  They don’t deserve this.  He was more resolute than before, he would move back in and they would leave.

The pair heard the man clomping back and forth in heavy boots.  They knew exactly who was on the other side of the door and worried what it would take for him to leave their house.   There was nothing left to negotiate, the deal was done and money already changed hands.

“You need to leave before I call the police,” the young man said.

“Do it, I’ll explain that I’m the rightful owner and you are trespassing,” the old man yelled through the door.    

“There’s something wrong with this guy.  What if he has a gun? ” the woman whispered. 

Indeed, on the other side of the door, leaned neatly against the wall was a shot gun.  It was the man’s just-in-case-insurance policy that he had taken out as precaution.

“Ok, I’m calling the police now,” the man announced and dialed 911.

The woman walked back towards the front door and called Brenda, the real estate agent who sold them the house.  They had just closed a week ago and went out to dinner afterwards to celebrate. 

“Brenda, we have a situation,” the woman said quietly into the phone.  She quickly explained the predicament with confidence that Brenda would have a solution. 

“I was afraid of this with him,” Brenda responded gravely. 

The woman heard Brenda yell to someone in her office, “We’ve got a hold out situation on Central and 50th.”

“Honey, hang in there and don’t worry.  I’ve dealt with this before and I’m on my way.”    

The woman breathed a sigh of relief, there was a name and a protocol for this circumstance, and it would all be over very soon.  

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