Storystar features short stories by writers around the world. Publish your short story, read short stories others have published, and share these stories with everyone!
Story listed as: Fiction For Adults | Theme: General Interest | Subject: Aging / Maturity | Published here : 12/19/2016
New beginnings 
By Gail
Born 1953, F, from Auckland, New Zealand
Author Profile
New beginnings
Was just sitting on my worn out veranda on the cherry red colored rocker that had very little paint left on it and was thinking about where the money was going to come from to make repairs to the house. It was in need of a paint job top to bottom. Only one element was working on the stove and I had 3 buckets to catch the rain in the bedroom because part of the roof had rusted.

If that wasn't enough to make my day miserable I saw the little upstart from the council walking towards my home and yep she's opening the gate.

Oh for crying out loud. Here we go again. I could see that damn woman making her way up my footpath. Did she think I had jammed the hose reel up against the gate just for fun. NO I did not.

I had lived in that house since 1943. Since the day I was born, made friends there, gone to school from there. Got my first job in the shoe shop just two doors from home and boy have I seen some whooping changes.

Dad and mum bought this piece of land just two years before I came along for just $400. He built it himself that very same year with the help of his brother. My uncle Jack.

I don't know how many times my mother had told the story about how I was born right in front on that firebox. Right in the middle of a snow storm and no way of getting to the hospital.

You see we didn't have a car and even if we did it wasn't going anywhere that night.

Until I was about 10 years old it was a residential neighborhood, then shops started popping up left, right and centre.

In the mid 1960s most of the shops had been pulled down to make way for high-rise. Even the name of the street changed from Elizabeth street, which by the way was named after my mother and not Princess Elizabeth like the council claimed.
It's now called Queen Elizabeth boulevard. How snobby does that sound.

Everyone had gone and all their homes had been demolished (Traitors). I am the last one here and I will be damned if this snotty little council worker that was coming up my path is going to tell me otherwise. I was ready for her.

"Hi Miss Lucy"
"Piss off" I replied in a very harsh manner.
"Don't get nasty on me Miss Lucy. Am just here to chat"
"Hurry up then chat then piss off" I replied
"Did you get my letter?"
With that I walked inside, picked up the last dozen or so unopened letters, walked back outside and threw them right at her. "yep I have your mail here and to save writing Return to sender on them, you can just pick them up turn around and march yourself right back out that gate"

"Miss Lucy, Will you just give me a few minutes of your time"
Well I was a tad, just a tad, lonely so I said ok in my very gruff voice.
"Hurry up though I don't have all day"
"She giggled a bit and asked if I would like to go for lunch and a coffee. Emmm never had lunch and a coffee bought for me before so of course the temptation got to me.

She took me to a very nice cafe and bought me a spring roll, a scone and hot chocolate. Emmm very nice it was. Don't know what she had, I couldn't even pronounce the name of it.
I could never afford a luxury like this so this was quite a treat for me.

She rambled on about money, money, money. "Miss Lucy you have had unpaid rates for a few years now and I know that you have no way of paying them.
You are in debt to the council for over $100,000 and i have come up with a solution, but it's all about you agreeing."

Well of course I had to listen, the bloody council had rated me right out of my home. Just 10 years back I was paying my rates every year. Never missed a payment.
They were always about $1500 per year and I coped very well on my pension.
Then of course they changed my home status from residential to business and light industrial. After that I was into the council for $10,000 plus every year.
That's when i started not opening their bloody letters and not paying the bills.

"Do you know how much your home is worth Miss Lucy? If you opened this letter from me then you would know"
She opened it and handed it to me. I looked and said, "Yep, thought so, $195,000. can't buy a bloody shack around here for that so I will be staying put in my shack by the looks of it until the day I die.

"No Lucy, you have it wrong, it's $1.9 million not $195,000."

With that I gulped. Yep that certainly was an eye popping moment, and of course with that sentence my whole life changed. I had to ask. "Why is my property worth so much?"
"All about about the land value Miss Lucy, all about the land. Tripled in price in the past few years, you are sitting on gold."

Over the following weeks the nice young lady from the council had taken me to a retirement village and found me a nice place for only one third of the money I had. I did a deal with the council on my back rates and they waivered the account if I sold them my land.
I was able to buy new things, have new friends and take them for coffee and lunch anytime I want.

My home is nice and new with a swankey oven and a microwave, A television set with a remote, fancy that. Never had one of those before. I have a nice warm fireplace and don't have to struggle cutting wood for the winter. I even have a pet. A Black cat named Lizzy after my mum.
I couldn't have one before because of all the traffic on Queen Elizabeth Boulevard.

Wonder why I didn't think of this sooner.

Sadly though my old home is now the Boulevard Carpark, but we can't be looking back can we.

The End

Sent from my iPad
This story's current rating, and the Storystar rating guide, may
be viewed by clicking on the above 'Rate This Story' link.
More stories by this Author      Send this story to a friend.
Tell Your Story Now     Read This Month's Featured Stories