She reached the phone on its second ring. "This is Tami!" She confidently answered. She knew who she was.
"Honey, guess what? I sold them! I've got the job!"
"In Phoenix, Aaron?"
"Yes! It's beautiful here! Ninety degrees in November. Blue sky. This place is booming. We'll sell our house, there!"
I don't want to sell my home! Tami's mind screamed in silent protest. While she didn't utter a sound, her reality whirled as her husband continued to talk.
"The company wants me on my job next Wednesday. I'll be on the plane back, tomorrow. Pick me up, SeaTac at 4:35. I'll be on Southwest flight 722. I booked before calling you. Don't try to come inside. Be at the departures terminal, you know, where you dropped me off!"
"But, this is Wednesday! How..."
"Don't you worry about anything! We've got a week, Tami. We can do it. I love you."
"Aaron, wait! Please don't hang up. Tell me all about it. Just a moment, I need to get something to write this down... Now, how do you know that we will be able to move there? We've got this house. Trevor's in first grade. We..."
"We agreed before I came here, Tami. Remember?"
"I've got to report to Human Resources, now. They're waiting for me. I'll get all of the information. We'll make sense out of it when I get back. You got 4:35 down?"
"Yes, Aaron. But, call me tonight! Okay?"
"I will, if I get a chance. Got all this information on the company I've got to read too. They want to see me here at 7:00 AM, before I fly back. I love you."
"I love you, Aaron! Please promise you'll call me back tonight!"
"Got to go, now! Bye."
Dazed, Tami stared at the receiver. She knew he'd be too busy to call. That's why he didn't promise. She loved Aaron, but she loved her house, too. All of her friends were envious of it. It was an extension of herself. This was her home. She'd made Aaron buy it even though there was talk of a lay-off at Boeing. She was tired of the small apartment they'd rented since Trevor was born. They'd looked at dozens of houses before they'd found this home, almost ready. The builder had it finished to her buyer's specifications. He'd even said he admired her good taste. Her home had everything her friends had always wanted.
The emerald carpeting didn't stain when six-year-old Trevor spilled his food eating in front of the TV. Green was her favorite color. A stay-at-home mom, Tami Tanner spent her days primping in the mirror, supervising the soaps, and charging on the card her orders from the two channels that offered exclusive articles of fine jewelry. She'd never had to work. Aaron didn't want his wife to work. He'd said so before she'd married him. That was just fine with Tami. But, since Aaron has been laid off, Tami has resented the fact that she has had to curb her spending.
Tami eyes embraced her kitchen, its tile countertops reflecting forest hues of the perfect curtains she'd found. The built-in microwave was the best. Aaron said that she deserved the best-so long as he got his three-car garage. The oversized refrigerator-icemaker in the door-was the envy of her best friend, Heather, who said she'd trade her boyfriend for an icebox like that. Tami's builder couldn't order the frig. They were behind on their credit card payments for it and she couldn't even charge jewelry.
Tami knew she was supposed to be happy Aaron got the job. But, why did it have to be in Phoenix? What about her home here? She decided to call Heather. As she waited for Heather's voice mail message to conclude, Tami played with the ruby anklet which matched her toenails. Aaron would never have approved her little indulgence.
"Heather? This is Tami. Please call me back. Pick up, if you're there! Aaron's got a job. Please, call when you get this message! I'm home. All right? Bye."
"Wait, Tami! Don't hang up. I'm on."
"Heather! Aaron took a job in Phoenix. What am I going to do?"
"You're going to move. That's what."
"I don't want to move, Heather. I want to stay here! In my house."
"We don't always get everything we want, Tami."
"I know, but?"
"But nothing! Grow up, Tami! Quit playing dumb! It's me, remember? You've a husband and a son to think about. God, you don't know how good you've had it!"
"I know. You're right, Heather. I really do have it good, don't I? Do you think you could come over? I'm bored blind. Aaron's been gone since Sunday night. Could you, please?"
" My officer 167 Ted Rasmussen will be here for dinner. He likes to eat when he arrives. I haven't even thawed out the chicken."
" Please, Heather!"
" Alright, Tami! Quit whining! I'll see you, tonight when Ted's away. He'll have two beers with his dinner, want sex, and to take off with his off-duty cop buddies until around midnight. I'll come after he leaves."
"Thank you, Heather! I'll put Trevor to bed by 8:00. I'll see if I can get a sitter. We can go dancing! Okay?
"No way, Tami! Your husband's out of town, but my Ted could find out. I'm not risking my relationship just so you can get your jollies teasing some horny hound dogs. I'll come over and we can just talk. I'm not getting high either! You got that, Tami?"
"Okay! But, come over. We'll just talk. Okay?"
"I said I'd be there, Tami. See you around 7:30."
Tami carried the receiver with her up the oak staircase to the second floor-pausing near the top??to admire her beautiful living room with its bayed windows and gas-log fireplace. The custom carved mantle was just like the one in Home Beautiful magazine. It was perfect. Plush emerald carpeting extended from the green slate entry, through the open dining room to the breakfast bar where Trevor had his Super-Hero's Cereal every morning. The thick Seattle phone directory, atop his stool, made it the perfect height for her six-year-old son. Home from school, Trevor was watching TV, eating lime wiggly, in the family room.
Last night's dishes and Trevor's breakfast bowl were in the dishwasher, frozen lasagna in the oven for another hour and ten minutes. Tami had time to bubble bathe. Glass pipe in hand, she could relax, smoke a little dope, and consider how she would tell Trevor the news: 'Daddy has a new job; we have to move to a new home in Phoenix; you'll get to go to a new school.' Immersed in a euphoric high, she indulged the sodden moments her jetted bathtub offered, amid awful thoughts of losing her ideal home, her connection, and her elegant identity.
[End Chapter One]
To continue reading, please click the link below which will take you to Chapter Two.
Russ Miles is author of the novel, For Sale By Owners:FSBO. A "Seasoned Real Estate NAR? Broker," disabled by Multiple Sclerosis, he writes books & articles on varied subjects. Google russ miles. FOR SALE BY OWNERS:FSBO ISBN 0-595-28703-4,in trade paperback, is available by phone or Internet:1-800-Authors to order direct! Adobe e-book & hard cover editions also available FSBO at Amazon.com at Barnes and Noble and other fine booksellers. Comments: MilesRuss@Gmail.com. [Please include the word FSBO in your subject line]