Copyright © 1996-2003 Sarah Henderson.
"So, what do you think?" the man asked, peering at her through his thick black-rimmed glasses. His suit looked as though it had been slept in, and their was a large tomato sauce stain on his shirt, only partly hidden by his crumpled tie. The house matched him exactly - shabby and dirty.
'Well..,' Laura tried to find the right words.
'We'll think about it and let you know,' Lindsey interjected firmly.
As they climbed into their van, Laura sighed. 'That's the fourth place we've looked at this week.'
'And they're all dumps.' Lindsey finished for her.
'Did you see the way the roof leaked in the kitchen, and all that mould on the bedroom wall?'
'It's practically got an outside toilet - you'd get wet going to it if it was raining.'
'It did have a garage, though. Not like the other ones we've seen.'
'Yeah but by the look of it, the car would be drier if you parked it outside.'
'It's hopeless - we'll never buy a house.'
'Yes we will, we've got the money, it's just a matter of waiting for the right place to come along.'
'That place looks nice,' Laura suddenly said, pointing at a house they were driving past.
'Is it for sale?' Lindsey asked quickly, starting to brake.
'No, that's the problem - there aren't any nice ones for sale'
'Look, dear, don't worry. We can only keep looking and hope something turns up. We've still got two months before the landlady wants our house.'
'Maybe we'll just have to keep renting.' Laura was looking anxious.
'Maybe, but since we can afford to buy, it's silly to keep renting.'
'I know, but it's an option - we mightn't have any choice.'
'We'll wait and see.'
'Hey Lindsey, guess what,' Laura shouted through the house.
'What?' came a distant reply.
Laura walked toward the sound of his voice.
'Josie from the Real Estate agency came to see me at work, today. She says she's found a place that would be perfect for us. We have to go look at it on Wednesday. She says it's exactly what we're looking for!'
'That's fantastic!' Lindsey folded her in his arms, 'see, I told you something would turn up.'
'It's a real pity about that house we saw yesterday - it was lovely.'
'Of course it was Lindsey, at two hundred and ninety-five thousand you'd expect so. Why Josie showed it to us I can't imagine. We did tell her our limit was two hundred thousand.'
'I wish we could just stay here - I love this place.'
'So do I, but we can't.'
'Yeah, well there's two open homes we can go to on the 7th of next month - we'll just have to wait and see.'
5th September, midday.
Lindsey and Laura arrive home from looking at a sale property to find a 'For Sale by Owner' sign on their front lawn. It gives their landlady's phone number and a price of one hundred and ninety-five thoudand dollars.
5th September, evening.
Lindsey and Laura have destroyed the For Sale sign, and are celebrating with a glass of wine.