Corrie Street Aug. 10/14

faye-opens-doorTuesday the bailiffs come to the Windass-Armstrong house. Faye is the only one home and she lets them in. They size up what is worth taking to apply against the £5,480 that is due immediately.

If only Gary hadn’t run over to the shop to get a can of beans. If Faye had paid less attention to her phone and more to what Gary was telling her about who to let in and who to not. If Gary had explained why it was gary-tells-bailiffs-outso important to not open the door to anyone she didn’t know.

Faye told Anna that she knew what bankruptcy means. Gary might have made sure she also knew what repossession means, and that repo people might be on their way to their house. If he had, she might still have her laptop. But, as I once read, stories would be pretty short and uneventful if everyone did what they should do.

The visit by the bailiffs was eventful. Gary saw them as he came out of Dev’s, dropped his get-serious-sirtin of beans and sent out the alarm for Anna and Owen. All of them tried to stop anything being removed. They pleaded and tried to barter for an extra day, for mercy. The bailiffs did give the family as much time as they could to make a partial payment in cash. But the small amount they could come up with wasn’t enough. Anna again was willing to sacrifice what precious things she had left, her necklace and ring, if they would anna-begs-bailiffleave what belonged to the others. It’s not enough, the bailiff said and refused to take them from Anna.

The whole street, it seemed, was out to watch what was going on. Sally was in the midst of it, alternately being Miss Judgemental and showing compassion for Anna (a surprise!) and comforting Faye. She even got rid of the gawkers – “it’s not a circus.”

The bailiffs left with the television and Faye’s laptop, and a lot of the Windass and removing-tvArmstrong pride. But they didn’t take their determination to work together to get out of this mess.

Despite feeling powerless, they are doing what they can. Owen will take any job, no matter how small. Gary gives Faye the little he has to make her life a bit more normal. And Anna makes a difficult trek to a food bank, because she will feed her family, come hell or high water.

Corrie writers are telling a story that plays out too often in real-life. Owen has worked windass-armstrongs-regrouphard all his life and, this one time, he took a risk on a big opportunity. He isn’t a scam artist. He is not Phelan who uses bankruptcy as a way of living well with everything in his wife’s name. He is not Eddie Windass who, although lovely, would cheat at anything just to keep in practice. Owen, and Anna, are just trying to look after a family in an honest and honourable way. Yet such a nightmare can happen.

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