EvictionDina had just opened her eyes, yet she already knew that something was off. She sensed trouble brewing as she climbed out of bed and got dressed. She sensed it as she tiptoed to the kitchen and reheated some hot dogs. She sensed it when Marco came trudging into the room with a dejected expression on his face.
"Papa, what's wrong?" Dina asked, worry clouding her petite features.
Marco sighed and plopped down at the rickety table. "It is nothing that concerns you, my little one." he grumbled. Dina slid into the seat next to him. "Please, Papa, tell me what's wrong!" she pleaded.
Rubbing his forehead, Marco cleared his throat. "I got a call from the landlord today, and he had some terrible news."
Dina gasped and bit her lip. "Papa... you have been paying the rent, right?" When Marco didn't answer, just stared down at the table, Dina grabbed his hand. "Right?"
Marco grunted. "I'll get it paid in no time at all. We'll be fine, little one."
Dina shook her head back and forth. "No, Papa! This is the third time! The landlord told you that if you neglected to pay it one more time, we would get evicted!"
The room fell silent. Only the sound of water dripping from the leaky sink echoed throughout the quiet air. Marco cleared his throat. "No, my child. Do not say that. We will stay here. Do not worry." But Dina worried. Her face was creased into a frown, and her green eyes seemed a bit dimmer.
Marco felt a lump in his throat. Dina could always see past him when he sugarcoated the situation. "My girl..." He began. "I'm very sorry, but we must leave. We cannot stay here anymore. If I could stop it, I would, but-"
Dina's face crumpled. "No!" she shrieked. "I can't leave! What would happen to us? Where would we go?"
Marco shrugged dejectedly. Dina fell silent. Her papa never shrugged - he always knew what to do. The fact that he was admitting defeat confirmed the seriousness of the situation.
In a softer voice, Marco continued. "I plan to stay in our car. It is only temporary, my child. We will stay in the car for a day or two, until I find us an apartment."
Shaking her head, Dina whispered, "No." She turned and headed to her bedroom.