Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saying Goodbye

By Ben Arzate

         The news hit us pretty hard. We knew what it probably was, but we hoped we were wrong. We knew for certain now. Our house had cancer.
         It started when my son fell down the stairs. Thankfully, he was fine besides a few bruises. He said he tripped over a lump in the carpet. I went up the stairs and saw the lump. There were several more on the railing. I told my wife that this could be serious and we called an inspector.
        The inspector came over while my wife and I were at work and our son at school. When we all got back, the inspector was waiting for us out front. He gave us the bad news.
        He said it looked like the tumors had probably started up in the attic. Had we found it then, it might have been treatable. But it had spread too much at that point.
        I still can't help but blame myself. A house that old was very prone to disease. I should have had him checked on regular basis.
       The only thing we could do now was have him put down.
       We found a two bedroom apartment near downtown. It was much smaller but it would fit our needs. We moved as fast as we could. We didn't want our old house to suffer too long.
        I scheduled the demolition. It would be a quick and painless implosion. On the day the crew came to do it, we went to say goodbye.
       Our son was probably hit the hardest. After all, he lived there since he was born. We sat in the empty living room. My wife and I reminisced on when we first moved in after we got married.
      The crew told us that everything was rigged and it was time to leave. We got in the car. My son was bawling. My wife had tears running down her cheeks. I kept having to wipe my eyes as I started the car.
      As we drove off, we heard the loud rumbling. Then the sound of debris falling. Then nothing.

BIO: Ben Arzate lives in Des Moines, Iowa. He writes and he lives life. Sometimes he forgets to do the latter. His work has been published in Sketch and at Keep This Bag Away From Children. He can be found at

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