The Man That Came to Dinner

March 13, 2009
By Anonymous

The man that came to dinner was calm and collected. He talked as though nothing was wrong. He devoured mom's potatoes casserole and inhaled the salad. The man that came to dinner was wearing a suit, something I rarely saw. He was different than all of those other men, even I could tell. He was tall and skinny, somewhat handsome. His hair was a dirty blonde, and his eyes were too close together. The man that came to dinner told mom to sign the papers. I could see the hurt in her eyes when she put the pen to the paper. Somehow I knew that the man that came to dinner was about to change our lives.
The man that came to dinner left that night with no 'good byes'. I was sent to bed, and I could hear mom crying in the bedroom next door. I was, 'to young' to know what was going on. Since dad left, life had been all secrets. Nice-dressed men come to dinner, and eat mom's food and then they talk while I play with Louie, the dog.
The man that came to dinner made us put all of our stuff in boxes. Now our house is empty, the love that was there is gone now. Mom spends her night thinking, she doesn't talk much. I am left to play with Louie or some of the toys mom kept out for me. I miss the nights when we played Sorry and watched re-runs of America's Funniest Home Videos. I miss how we used to laugh and talk about school, how dad used to make mom laughed so hard she cried. I miss those days. I miss the days before the men came to dinner.
The man that came to dinner stopped by our house today to put up a sign in the yard. I don't know what it means, but mom didn't seem to think it was a good thing. Mom wore her light brown hair down today, and she didn't put on her face paint. I took Louie out to play in the yard today; he hadn't been out in a while. We played and jumped; he licked my face so hard I had to take a bath when I got home. Silly Louie!
The man that came to dinner made us move today. He took our keys and made us load the boxes into the yellow U-Haul truck. Mom never smiled today, she didn't even say goodbye to the man that came to dinner. As she drove the truck to the address the man had given her I saw an alligator tear slide down her face. She hadn't spoken to me in at least a day. 'Mom, are you okay?'
'Yes honey, it has just been a tough month, that is all.' She never was much for talking.
We drove for a long time until we reached the part of town where Aunt Bee used to live. Mom said it was a 'hazadus' part of town, and I shouldn't play with Louie in the yard when we visited. She said that I needed to be with her whenever I left the new house, and that I couldn't play outside alone anymore. Just then, we pulled into an apartment complex that had a bunch of graffiti on the walls. Mom sighed, and she helped me get out of the truck. We entered our room and mom sighed. The walls had smudges on them and the carpet was orange. 'Mom', I asked, 'Why do we have to live here?'
'It was the man that came to dinner, remember?'

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