Louis easily found the Aurora address near the city center. He parked his car on the crumbling concrete drive plagued by crabgrass and weeds. The drive ran alongside the vacant-looking house. Like the discarded veteran pan-handling up the street, it sat appearing empty, without life. The two-story wood-framed bungalow was in need of care. Its blue clapboard siding was faded. Trim around the windows was weathered with some dry rot. A wood-framed addition enclosed the front porch. The roof appeared to sag slightly at the ridge and there were no gutters. Another one-story addition with oversized windows was built on the back of the modest-sized house. There were small windows in the cellar facing the drive that were boarded inside.
Louis walked towards the front of the lot, and navigated the uneven weathered concrete sidewalk to the house. Cars and trucks passed closely on the busy state route. The entrance to the house was on the opposite side of the enclosed porch. Its concrete stoop led to four concrete steps aided by a loose rusted wrought iron handrail. The landing at the top of the steps was just big enough to accept one visitor. There was no doorbell and screen door. Louis knocked on the chipped and weathered wood door. He heard the release of a deadbolt then the loose door knob jiggled. It was Mary Ellen who opened the door to let him in.
“Hello Mr. Silvani! You made it here in good time!”
“Yeah, not much traffic going westbound in the morning. I thought I would get here early in case you wanted to leave earlier.”
Louis walked into the musty front porch. Old newspapers were placed near the door to the house. The floor was a worn lime green carpet. Walls had cracks under some of the water-damaged window sills stains from leaks. The room had an old couch with a wilderness print placed against the original wall. Its arms were well worn with one being stained. He wouldn’t have been surprised if it had been salvaged from the curb.