Kevin wondered why his neighbor Ruth lived and slept in her car, even though she had a home only a few feet away. As friendly as she was, Kevin never saw her go into her house. When Kevin finally did enter her house, he discovered why she never went in. He couldn’t believe leave his eyes. The house was entirely unlivable.
Despite living across the road from Ruth for several years, the pair didn’t actually know each other very well at all. The only thing Kevin really knew about Ruth was that she had retired several years ago and that she lived alone. He had no idea, however, that soon they would have a very unique friendship. Every night, Kevin saw Ruth go to sleep in her car. He couldn’t understand why she would choose to live like this instead of walking a few feet to her home.
Instead, Kevin watched Ruth and realized that he hadn’t seen her going into her house in weeks. Something wasn’t right. Whenever Kevin walked past her car, he would stop and check on Ruth, making sure she was awake. They would have a brief conversation, and soon Kevin started to piece her story together. Kevin felt sad by the fact that Ruth lived and slept in a car.
He knew there had to be a reason for choosing to sleep in her own driveway instead of her home. Kevin could tell that her situation embarrassed Ruth whenever he passed by and looked in her car. However, he couldn’t figure out why she would be in there. She owned her own home and her own car. She retired and everything seemed fine.
She seemed to have a good life. So what was going on? It was easy to see something was wrong when he looked at her house. All the windows had the blinds closed and the house wasn’t in the best state of repair. Everything had been neglected.
The grass was overgrown, the windows were dirty, and even the paint had faded. Kevin wondered if she needed a hand taking care of the house. One of the biggest signs of neglect was the fact that a window at the top of the house was broken and had been for some time. Kevin thought that animals had perhaps moved in, which would scare anyone out of their house. However, Kevin soon found out the real reason why the window was left broken and it broke his heart.
Kevin was walking past her car one day when he heard Ruth crying. He immediately ran to check on her and found her desperately looking through the plastic bags in the back seat of her car. What’s wrong? Kevin asked Ruth. Ruth looked at him and when she spoke, the mystery of her home was solved.
On a normal day, Ruth would walk to the gym and use the bathroom and get cleaned up before getting something to eat from a fast food place. Then she would go back to her car to keep an eye on things and to sleep. Unfortunately, Ruth’s car was in equally bad shape as her house and had broken down and couldn’t run. As Ruth looked over the belongings in her car, she took a mental account of what she had with her. When she made the choice to leave the home she had lived in.
To start living out of her car, she gathered the objects that meant the most to her. But she soon discovered that she left one very important object inside. When Burn saw Ruth searching through her belongings, he wondered if an item had gone missing. Ruth soon made this apparent. She stopped fumbling long enough to point a finger towards her home.
In the house, Ruth said with tears in her eyes. I left it in the house. Ruth seemed afraid to even step foot in her home and away from the safety of her car, which wasn’t even mobile anymore. She then questioned Burns. Maybe you can go inside and get it.
Burns was up for the challenge and to finally find out what he had been wanting to know for months what was in that house that Ruth had to escape from. Kevin took the task on himself and told Ruth that he would venture into the home to find Ruth’s precious belonging. Kevin found out that she was looking for a photo of her parents that she had left inside the house. As Kevin started walking towards the house, the sight of the broken roof tiles on the front lawn made him look up in terror. How long had that roof had a hole in it?
The closer Kevin walked towards the house, the more apparent it became why Ruth decided to turn her back on the home she lived in for so many years. Just a glimpse into the window showed piles and piles of clothes and garbage and papers. And the closer Kevin got to the house, the stronger a displeasing smell became. Kevin opened the front door and had to move immediately as piles of trash fell at his feet. It was as if the door was the only thing keeping all the garage in the house from spilling into the front lawn.
Had he made a huge mistake agreeing to search this home? Ruth told Burns that she was looking for an old photo of her parents. When Burns entered the house, it was immediately apparent to him that the house was unlivable for anyone. There were piles of trash on the floors that made it hard to pass from one room to the next without holding onto the walls, and the large piles of garbage emitted a smell that was hard to bear. Out of the kindness of his heart, Kevin agreed to find Ruth’s lost photo and now desperately wanted to get out of the house.
But his curiosity got the best of him as he walked through the house. Was it possible that he could ever find one single photograph in his mountain of things? Kevin found the worst room of the house when he entered the kitchen. Ruth had left dirty dishes in the sink when she had last left the house weeks ago. That were the source of the smell that filled the house.
Kevin covered his nose as he stepped through the room, suddenly afraid of the quality of the air in the house. Obviously, no one had stepped foot in the house in weeks, but Burns wondered just how long it had been in this condition. It would have taken weeks to search through every item in the home, and Burns was starting to wonder if it was possible to find this photo for Ruth before this house took him down with it. Every room he passed through looked the same because they were all piled to the ceiling with Ruth’s belongings. Living in a car seemed like a much better option than trying to navigate this house.
If Burns expected to find the photo, he needed to start somewhere. So he picked a pile of papers that seemed to be on the older side and started to go through them. He expected his search to take hours if he continued at this rate. After looking through one pile of papers and finding nothing of importance, kevin shoved it to the side and took a glance to his right. There were still dozens of piles of papers, magazines and files that could be hiding the photo he was searching for.
So slowly but surely, he continued his search through the relics. The mess was so old that Burns had to find gloves and a face mask to shield himself from the dust flying into the room as he searched through objects that hadn’t been moved and possibly decades. There was no way that in Ruth’s old age she could have come up with the strength to move the tons of pounds of paper that had been piling up for years. When Burns picked up an old book, he knew he was getting closer to what he was looking for. The book was kept in a box with other sentimental objects, like an old trophy and a frame diploma.
The box had noticeably less dust than most of the other objects in the room. Sure enough, with some more digging, burns found what he had come in to find. But would he be able to make his way out of the house? Luckily, the photo was so important to Ruth, it was one of the few things that was left in immaculate condition. The photo was yellowed and faded, but still in great condition, considering that the rest of the house was so poorly taken care of.
With the photo in hand, burns was ready to leave the house as fast as he had entered. But then he saw an old decrepit bookcase. The bookcase was an odd sight to see. It was pulled slightly to one side, where Burns could see a gaping hole in the wall behind it. He knew he would never have this opportunity again, so he pushed the shelves out of the way further to make his way into the room, and that’s where he would see something he never expected.
It was obvious that this hole was an entryway to a room, but why was it sealed and hidden behind a bookshelf? Was there another entrance to the room that was blocked somewhere else? If this was the main entryway, it would be difficult to crawl into it every time someone needed to get inside. This entryway was filthy, and the cobwebs made it obvious that no one had stepped foot in that room in a very long time. Unlike the rest of the house, the room that Burns had just uncovered was in great condition.
Although the room had low lighting, it was obvious to see the colored photos that lined the walls, seemingly very important to whoever stayed in this room. Last, the room was filled with old toys and clothes, and as Burns looked over the one clean room in the house, he wondered who this room once belonged to that Ruth felt the need to keep it in great condition. But Burns didn’t have much time to wonder, because this room was also where the foul smell was at its worst. In the hallway adjacent to the mystery room, burn saw a disturbing sight. The ceiling had a thick layer of black mold, which is known to be very hazardous to human health and in large amounts can be deadly to be around.
The hallway was so humid that the paint had begun to flake and fall off the walls around him. It was obvious to Burns that this house was not safe to be in without the appropriate gear to protect his respiratory system. When he returned, he did so in a protective suit with appropriate face masks to filter the air he breathed. But this was a job much bigger than for one man. When Burns left the house, he immediately let Ruth know that her home wasn’t safe.