Chicken Tenders

The city swallowed her house as she watched the television in her hotel room eating chicken tenders. They said it was condemned, not fit for people to live in. Sheila was 37 and had lived in that home for 37 years. Some of her earliest memories were birthday parties spent hiding from clowns in that home. The city knocked it down live on television without considering the memories it held.

The city was knocking down old homes on the east side in an attempt to bring the area into the present. That was the official narrative. In reality, they were simply gentrifying the area, stealing homes from people who had lived their for decades. Sheila protested, refused to move, didn't accept the $50,000 check they offered her, an even went to city council meetings. They just kept raising the amount of money, as if money could ever purchase her safe haven. He grandfather had been born and raised in that home, as was her father. Her husband lived out his last days in that home, none of that could be sold.

In the end, they told her to take the $200,000 offer, or they would tear the home down anyway. Sheila packed the essentials, what she needed and vacated the property. She was $200,000 richer, but only felt poorer. Sheila was sure she was the only person with $200,000 crying as she ate chicken tenders from the value menu.

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