A quick look in the rear view mirror confirmed how she felt. The humidity of the 80 degree day had taken a toll. Hair flattened, mascara smudged, necklace stuck to her body, not the image that she preferred to present. Betrayed by her aging SUV, the air conditioner had died the week prior and by the looks of fuel prices, she would be feeding the gas tank, not the air conditioner. Thirsty, she took a sip from the remaining morning coffee reheated by the afternoon sun. As she considered snacking on a forgotten package of crackers found between the seats, the realtor arrived. Pulling up beside her it was obvious her gas tank was full and air conditioner fully operational.
The realtor, Ann Spencer, emerged from her car. Not one wrinkle in her linen suit, she was groomed to perfection. “Abby? It’s so nice to meet you!”
Predictable is all she could think. Another shark circling for 6% commission and at her price point it would barely cover Ms. Spencer’s dry cleaning account. “Likewise.”
It was subtle, but Abby knew the quick up and down glance Ann had given her was part of the process. She had calculated her value based on car, shoes, haircut and the tattoo peeking out from her tank top. She assumed Ann had filed her somewhere between white trash and struggling waitress. She preferred the title of fallen angel.
Ann, being the expert sales person, began her sell job as they approached the house. She referred to the run down porch as “quaint” the abandoned lawn and gardens as “a cocoon of wonder,” and the filth that enveloped everything as “a protective layer of history.” The tour of the 2 bedroom, one bath bungalow finished with, “if these walls could talk.” Distracted by the belongings that still inhabited the house, Abby ignored most of Ann’s presentation. There was china displayed in the hutch, linens in the closet, gardening tools by the back door, canning jars in the pantry. It was as if someone had walked out the door 30 years ago, looking past the dust it was obvious this had been a loving home. Ann was wrapping up her tour. “There are a couple of things you should be aware of. The price of the house is non-negotiable, it is being sold in “as is” condition, completely furnished.”
Abby let her finish, but all she could think about was if her Grandmother’s journal was still under the floorboard in the kitchen closest to the back porch. She remembered being 10 years old and watching her Grandmother on bended knee sliding it beneath the floor and quietly replacing the boards. Feeling Ann’s eyes on her, Abby said, “I’ll take it.”