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The Cul-de-sac (Revised Version)
We've lived on Omaha street since I can remember or as my neighbors like to call it, Obama street. There are many memories from here as new neighbors come and go. Some staying years and others just for the time being. Omaha is a small cul-de-sac of about 15 houses. Right smack dab in the middle of the cul-de-sac is my house. It stands tall, pink and proud for all to see.
Mama's dream was to live in a home the color of tan, like smoothed sandpaper after its been used. The letter from the community requiring us to repaint our house was mom's perfect excuse to persuade my dad with. The painters came the next day. When they were finished my mama's dream colored house lay still and quiet like an embarrassed school boy who had just been punished. “Oh my gosh!” My mom screamed. In front of her was not her dream colored house but a house as pink as bubble gum. A color so bright that it stuck to the house like the smelly fragrance does to a garbage can.
It turns out they had gotten the colors mixed up with our house and a house out in Jefferson. Even though the painters made the mistake, they wouldn't repaint the house for free. They said it was our own fault for not catching the problem when they first started painting the house. “Another 250 dollars! No way!” My dad screamed as he tried to negotiate with the DC Painters Company on the phone. In the end we decided it was cheaper to leave it the way it was and to not get it repainted.
My neighbors didn't notice the color that much anyways and I couldn't blame them. There was too much happening in the neighborhood already. There was no time to notice the fresh new paint of the neighbors next door. Somethings even went unnoticed under my watchful eye.
Two houses down, pale, baby blue. This house looked scary on the outside, like something that would be in a horror film and on the inside, suspicious. I don't really know the name of the man who lived there, but my brother guesses it was something like Mr. Crims.
“Yeah Mr. Crims. I bet that's his name. Mr. Crims! It sounds evil,” he says.
Nothing ever seemed right as I'd walk past that house. It gave me a queasy feeling just to look at it. It was the kind of house in the neighborhood that everyone tried to avoid, no one tricker treated at on Halloween and if a ball landed in the yard no one ever had the nerve to walk over and pick it up.
My brother Corey, me and the neighbors from next door, Jasmin, Josh and Jeff knew the man who lived there had to be some kind of criminal or else he'd come out once in a while. Maybe we were right because one day he was just gone. The furniture still left in the house and the water still boiling on the stove. Corey says he was a most wanted criminal and a drug dealer and that one day he moved so the police wouldn't find him. Josh says the police came one night when everyone was asleep. He was handcuffed and taken away, just like that. The thought of even having a criminal living under our wings for years frightens me.
Then one day after the mans furniture was removed from the house, the house was up for sale. A girl named Desiree who was ten years old at the time, which was the same age as me moved into the house with her older brother Carter who was the same age as my brother and their single mom.
When they first moved into the house it was a wreck. The man who lived there had left gifts around the house for the new family. I'm not talking about the kind of gifts a person receives on their birthday, I’m talking about the kind of gift a dog leaves on the carpet when they have an accident. The man who use to live there owned a dog, who he never let outside. All the carpet from the basement to the master bed room was covered and smeared with dry dog poop. It looked disgusting and the smell was even worse. There's no words to describe how morbid it smelt.
Also, they found dead rats, birds and insects lying all over the place, in a corner in the kids bedroom, in the fridge that the man had left behind and on the floor in the basement. The place reeked of dead carcass. And the backyard wasn't any better. At first we started calling their back yard the grave yard because their were so many dead birds lying under the porch, among the rocks and on the grass. It wasn't a pretty site to see.
There was also a lot of holes punched in the walls all over the house. One of the holes went all the way through the wall of one room and out into the hallway. Desiree said that it was such a long hole that she could see all the way through it and out to the other end. And the weirdest part of all was that the holes were filled with melted cheese. No one ever found out why they were filled with cheese, it's just the way it was. The shower was also covered in melted cheese, dead flies and hair.
After they got all moved into the house they refurnished it. The cheese was cleaned up, holes were patched, insects and other pests were removed, under the deck was cleaned and they replaced all the carpet with fresh, new clean carpet. The house looked different and actually looked like a house people would want to live in.
A few weeks went by as they got comfortable living in the house and finally deemed it their official home. Then one day as the family was sleeping, they got a knock at their door at three in the morning. Their exhausted mother ignored the knock as she fell back asleep. The knock came again and again. It was persistent and would not stop. Who ever was at her door really needed to talk to her she guessed. So she rolled out of bed, grabbed her robe, and half asleep slowly carried her heavy body down the stairs and to the door. Before opening the door she looked through the peep hole, just to make sure it wasn't some drunk person. “You never know who could come knocking at your door,” she would always say. When she looked through the hole she got a big surprise. The police, armed with guns and looking angrier then ever were standing at her door step, demanding she opened the door or they would break it down. So she opened the door, startled and confused.
“Ma’am can we please speak to the man of the house,” One of the police men asked.
“There is no man, I am single,” she replied. “And I’m afraid you've gotten the wrong house.”
“Ma'am this is very serious,” grumbled another police officer. “If your hiding him than you can get arrested for breaking the law because he is wanted.”
At this point she was completely confused. She didn't know who the “he” they were talking about was and she wasn't sure on how to convince them of that either.
“I,I,I,aaa,errrr!” she mumbled. “That's it!” The police officer with the gun said as he raised it up and pointed it in her direction. “We're searching the house!”
After searching her house and a lot of confusion down at the police station, she finally convinced them that she had no idea what they were talking about. It turns out that the man who use to live at her house was a criminal, a most wanted criminal. Her address had been the last place that he had lived at and so the police thought he was still living there. He must have found out that the police were coming after him and took off. So there really was a criminal living in my neighborhood and I never knew.
I guess this goes to show that you can't trust anyone; not even your neighbors. And I've began to learn that the hard way as even more people come passing through Omaha, the place I call my home.