Shawna held up the ring that her grandmother had given her on her 18th birthday. It had been in the family for decades and would have been worth a fortune one day. Unfortunately, it would never get to reach its full value. Many of the items on her dresser were worth a fortune but that fortune could not buy a ticket to where she wanted to go. Shawna dropped the ring into the box she was packing. Her house was filled with boxes. Jewelry, clothes, books; everything had to go. As Shawna packed her final items, the door bell rang. Shawna ran to the door and opened it to the moving crew.
“You guys are right on time” she exclaimed, “come on in.”
“Do you want us to start with these boxes?” one of the men asked, pointing to the boxes near the door.
“That’s fine, but everything has to go.” Shawna watched as the men carried out all the things that had once been important to her. When she had seen her couch in Polish Furniture Store, it was love at first sight. She had known it would belong to her and paid for it in cash that day. Money was never an issue for her. Everything she ever wanted, she was able to buy; everything, but what she wanted now.
“The TV is going to?”
“Yes, everything” Shawna responded annoyed. She did not understand why they were asking questions after she had already made herself clear.
“That’s a nice TV,” a different mover whispered, mesmerized.
“Then you can have it.”
“Oh no ma’am, I could never.”
“Just take it. It’s yours. Happy birthday, merry Christmas and all that good stuff.” Shawna waved the man off. Hopefully this will get me another star, she thought.
“Thank you so much ma’am, thank you so much.”
“It’s nothing. Just stop calling me ma’am. Please, it makes me feel old.”
“No problem miss. Thank you so much miss,” he responded, carrying out his new television.
Shawna smiled a real smile. This didn’t feel so bad. She had always been selfish and would have never even considered giving something of hers away. Being an only child didn’t help since her parents got her whatever it was that she wanted. Once she was old enough to be on her own, she continued to spoil herself. She would have never thought giving away all her things would be so easy, but she would not need them where she was going.
When the men were done, Shawna walked around the house to make sure everything had been carried out. Her heart dropped at her empty bedroom. It had been so beautiful. Her peaceful haven now looked like four empty walls. “Are you sure you want to do this?” One of the movers asked from behind Shawna, startling her.
“You scared me,” Shawna said bringing her hands across her chest. “But yes, I’m sure. I must.”
Shawna and the mover walked out and Shawna followed the men in her car. Once they arrived to their location, they all came out and Shawna walked in to get help.
“Good morning, do you need help finding anything?” One of the representatives greeted her.
“I need to make a donation” Shawna responded.
“Oh okay. Awesome! Let me just get a manager, it will be one second.”
Shawna waited as the young boy ran off to get help. He returned with an older man about a minute later. “Hi I’m Dave. I heard you wanted to make a donation?”
“Okay. What is it you are donating today?”
“Well, a lot of things,” Shawna responded with a small laugh.
“Alright, well let’s see.” Shawna escorted the man outside to where the moving truck was packed. “Oh wow, you weren’t kidding. Let me get some help!” Dave got some of his men to help the movers carry in the boxes. “We can’t take mattresses but everything else is fine,” Dave spoke again once he spotted the bed in one of the trucks.
Once everything that could be accepted was in the store, Dave walked over to Shawna with a receipt. “We at Goodwill will like to thank you for your generous contribution. This will help so many people. Here’s your receipt so you can claim it on your taxes.”
“Oh I won’t be needing that.” Shawna responded. Shawna got into her car to leave and one of the movers yelled out to her.
“What about the mattress?”
“I don’t know. Give it away, or keep it if you want. I don’t need it.” Shawna waved and drove off. Once she left Goodwill, she stopped under the Coldwarm Bridge where many homeless families resided. “Hi there,” She called out to an older lady as she approached her. “This piece of paper has my address on it. I want all of you guys to have it.”
“What?” The old lady responded and scratched her hair.
“What’s going on here?” A guy asked as he approached the two women. “What do you say to my mother?”
“I was just trying to give you guys this house.”
“That’s not a house lady, that’s a piece of paper. We make houses with cardboard, not paper.”
“No, no. This isn’t the house. This is the address to the house.”
“Oh, let me look at that.” The guy said, pulling the piece of paper from Shawna with his dirty hands. “Oh wow. On Lane ST? Isn’t that the rich people’s street or something?”
“Well, it’s a nice street,” Shawna confirmed.
“So why are you giving us your house? You got another one or something? People don’t just give houses away you know.”
“I don’t need it anymore.”
“Well I ain’t gonna argue with you bout giving away a free house. How we gonna get there though? We don’t got us no cars!”
“Well,” Shawna pulled out her wallet. “Here’s some money. And you can have this phone. Maybe you can call a cab or something.”
“That’s mighty nice of you lady. Mighty nice. Thank you so much. God bless you!”
I hope so, Shawna thought before getting the keys from her pocket. “Here’s the keys. I hope you guys enjoy it.” Shawna doubted they would get a chance to enjoy the house that she loved so much but she thought it was the right thing to say.
“Thank you lady. Thank you!” The guy said again and hugged Shawna. Shawna fought the urge to puke as she slowly released herself from the hug. She smiled as she got in her car and drove herself to Motel 6. She was used to staying in Five Star hotels and had never even gazed at a motel before but she felt like it was the right place to stay at this moment.
Shawna was disgusted when she walked into the motel room. She refused to remove the blanket in fear of what she may find under the covers. She said a prayer before she went to sleep on top of the covers. She couldn’t remember the last time she had prayed so she hoped she was doing it right. She slept with all her clothes on, next to the Bible she had found in the dresser next to the bed.
Shawna stretched when she woke up the next morning. “What the hell?” She asked herself once the sleep cleared out of her eyes. She looked around. She was still in the same low class motel that she had checked into the night before. She was still wearing the same clothes and the opened Bible was still sitting next to her. This can’t be right, she thought and quickly got up from the bed. Shawna rushed out of her room and ran to the front desk. “What’s the date of today?” She asked the receptionist.
“It’s May 21st” The lady responded before turning back to the computer screen.
“That’s what I thought, that’s what I thought!” Shawna said, breathing hard. The receptionist turned back towards her, puzzled.
“Is everything alright?” the receptionist asked.
“No! Everything is not alright! Why am I here? Why am I still here?”
“What do you mean? You just checked in last night. You are free to check out right now if you would like.”
“I don’t get it. You said it’s May 21st!”
“Yes, it is May 21st ma’am. I don’t understand what you mean.”
“May 21st! Isn’t the world supposed to end today? Where’s Jesus!?” The receptionist stared at Shawna for a moment before laughing hysterically.
“I’m so sorry for laughing ma’am” she said after she caught her breathe, “but are you serious? You thought the world was ending today?”
“Yes! Of course, why wouldn’t I? The pastor said it, it was everywhere! Even on the news. And the Mayans, the Mayans!”
“Do you know the Mayans? I can’t believe people actually took this seriously.”
“Seriously? I got rid of everything! I even gave away my house! I have nothing! And Jesus isn’t even here!”
“You gave away your house? Are you crazy?” The receptionist covered her mouth, “I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.”
“I was trying to get to heaven! Didn’t the Bible say the rich don’t get to heaven? Or to be like the poor, give to the poor, stuff like that! I was just doing what’s right. All I wanted was to go to heaven and Jesus isn’t even here!”
“I can’t believe you gave away your house. I mean, if you wanted to give away your house you could have given it to me. I can’t believe you just gave away your house!”
“I was just trying to get to heaven! I gotta go get all my stuff back! What am I supposed to do?” Shawna ran out and the receptionist laughed some more.
“Who the hell gives away a house?” the receptionist said before shaking her head and getting back to her work.
Shawna drove hurriedly to her house. She pounded on the door and the guy she had given her keys to opened it. “It’s you! Hey everybody, it’s the nice lady that gave us her house.” Shawna’s eyes opened in shock as she stared at the many dirty people that crowded her house and the even dirtier dogs and cats that were destroying her beautiful tiles. Everybody talked at once, thanking Shawna for her gratitude.
“No, no, don’t thank me! I need my house back!”
“What? No ma’am, you gave it to us. You said it’s ours. It’s ours!” The man said, pushing Shawna out.
“I need my house back! It’s my house. You need to give it back!” Shawna responded fighting back.
“You gave it to us lady, you said, here’s the keys, take it. I even said God bless you. You gonna be blessed for this.”
“I’m not blessed! I’m homeless! Just give me my house back and get all these filthy people out of here!”
“Wow ma’am, that’s not a nice thing to say. Get out of our house! You’re not invited here anymore.”
Shawna stared in shock at the door that had just been slammed in her face. Her door that she had paid thousands of dollars for. She couldn’t believe what was happening to her. She got in her car and hurried over to Goodwill to try to get all her things back. “Hey!” She called to the young boy she had met the previous day.
“Hi, can I help you with anything?” He said, as he walked over to her.
“I’m Shawna, I was here yesterday.”
“I remember you. You’re that lady that donated all those great things.”
“Yes, yes, that’s me! Great! I’m glad you remember me. I need all my things back.”
“Oh okay, well some of the stuff haven’t been put out yet but you can buy whatever you find out here that you want.”
“Buy? I’m not buying them, they are my things!”
“No, you donated them. I can get you the tax receipt if you want though.”
“I don’t want no tax receipt! I want my things! My lovely things! I want it all back!”
“I’m sorry ma’am. It doesn’t work like that.”
“I want your manager!” Shawna yelled, “get me a manager now!”
“Yes ma’am” the boy said as he ran off to get his manager. Dave appeared with the boy and a smile appeared on his face once he saw Shawna.
“I want my things back!” Shawna yelled at Dave. Dave’s smiled dropped from him face.
“You heard me! I want all my things back! Everything!”
“You can’t have them back. You donated them. But if you want, I could calculate a price for you and you can purchase them.”
“Are you drunk? It’s my things!”
“It’s actually not your things anymore ma’am. Once you donate things, you are giving up all rights to them. You were so happy to give them away yesterday, I don’t understand what happened.”
“The world didn’t end, that’s what! I just want my things?”
“What? The world? Oh wow. You thought the world was going to end today?”
“It’s May 21st! Why do people keep on looking at me like I’m crazy? Everyone knew the world was ending today!”
“Do you know how many times the world was supposed to end ma’am? I can’t believe you gave all your things away because you thought the world was about to end.”
“You can’t go to heaven with material things! Haven’t you heard? I just wanted to go to heaven!” Everyone who heard began laughing at Shawna. Shoppers whispered and pointed. Shawna ran out as quickly as she could. She could not believe what was happening to her! She had nothing, and she wasn’t in heaven! She had no idea what she was going to do. She sat in her expensive car, the only thing she had not given away. Once she calmed down, she began driving. She had no idea where she was driving to and hoped she would figure it out by the time she got there.