"Good morning, Harry," Jeanne Davies said from the kitchen. She was in an unusually good mood, even for a Sunday morning, "Do ya want pancakes?"
"Sure..." Harrison said cautiously, not wanting to spoil it, "Do you need help?" Jeanne was only four monthes pregnant, but he didn't want her to hurt his son.
"I'm good," she said, "I have good news, too," she placed some pancakes on a plate, "I found a house!"
"Yes," she said, "it's a five bedroom forclosure, about four and a quarter, but it's not bad, the outside needs work but the inside looks great. We can go see it after lunch."
"Huzzah," Harry said joyously, lifting a pancake in the air. There was a noise from one of the doors. "That's probably Brynn," Harry said, "I'll get her." Harry went to her door, opened the child safety and lifted his two-year-old daughter up. He headed back as he heard three-year-old Aubrey's door open.
The girls were getting pancakes over their faces within the next minute. "How'd you guys like to look at a new house today?" Jeanne asked, flipping pancakes.
"That sounds fun," a deep voice said from the door, "and I've got donuts to celebrate!"
"Uncle Zach's back," Aubrey said happily, running for a donut, followed by her sister.
"You should tell him now," Harry whispered.
"But," Jeanne said, "he brought donuts." She knew they'd have to tell Zach he wasn't moving with them soon, but she just couldn't do it now. Lunchtime, "I'll tell him at lunchtime."
Lunchtime passed and no one told Zach, in fact, he was sitting in the back seat on the way to the open house.
"Why didn't you tell him?"
"I'm his sister, how would you feel if your sister kicked you out?"
"Well I can't do it," Harry whispered back, "I'm not close enough to him."
"Harry, I just can't do it," Jeannne replied, "I can't."
"Okay," Harry said, turning into the house, "we'll do it together."
The house was lovely, perfect even. The real estate agent gave them some time to talk it over outside.
"It's great," Zach said, "and I can have an upstairs bedroom. Hows that sound?"
"No deal, Zach," Harry said calmly, exchanging a look with his wife.
"Alright," Zach said, "the basements fine, let's check out the shed."
"Actually, Zach," Jeanne said, "We were thinking..."
"Can I borrow your phone, Harry?" They were stuck in the shed now, Zach was stalling.
Harry gave it to him, "You said you've saved up a lot of money, why don't you buy our house?"
"I don't have any money," Zach said, toying with the phone, stuttering a bit, "I lied."
"Well," Jeanne said, "We'll give you a loan for an apartment."
Zach was fiddling with the door, then stopped, closing it, "You're kicking me out?!" The girls looked up from the sled and shovel that was left behind. Zach saw his oppurtunity and grabbed Aubrey. "You're gonna let me live with you!" He yelled, moving towards the door, "I'm staying with you! You're supposed to be my family!" His large arms started to squeeze Aubrey.
"Zach," Harry said quietly, "you're hurting her."
"And you're hurting me!" He cried, "If you don't want me to live with you I'm taking Aubrey!" He squeezed more, Aubrey cried, but his hand was pressed over her mouth, "I want to see my neices!" He looked down at her. "Now I'm going back to jail, huh? Eleven years out, you let me live with you for two, and now I'm gone again!" He squeezed harder.
The couple heard a rib crack. "Zach," Harry said frantically, "If you let her go, we won't press charges. I promise."
Zach's grip lightened; then he dropped the girl, almost threw her to the floor. She scrambled back to her mother, who immediately picked her up. "You gonna press charges for this?" He grabbed Harry, and threw him to the ground, beating him. "And this?! And this?! And this?! And this?!" It went on and on.
Jeanne's brain was scattered. She left her phone in the car. Maybe the agent would come in. Zach has Harry's. There's nothing in here! Then she saw it. Jeanne put Aubrey on the ground an motioned for the girls to close their eyes. As soon as they did, she picked up the metal shovel and hit Zach, he turned and lunged. She hit and hit and hit until he stopped moving. Then she dropped the shovel and hugged her family, all of them weeping.
At that moment the agent came in.
Aubrey had cracked a rib, but it healed quickly for a rib. Zach did go back to prison, although they did not press charges. He was still screaming they lied, and the neurological trauma from the shovel didn't help.
Jeanne and Harrison spent weeks thinking about how they'd let this man stay in a house with them. He was arrested at 15 for armed robbery, but he never shot anyone. His better nature won them over when he lost his job. The girls loved him. They couldn't really forget, but they brushed it off.
The Davies bought the house, but they tore down the shed.