You pay by the week. Most people only stay for a couple; they don’t need any longer. I’d heard about the place before, thought it was a joke. You move into a house on this nowhere street, and all of a sudden you’re possessed with this supernatural ability to make decisions? Ridiculous.
Like I said, I thought it was a joke, and not a place I’d ever know firsthand. But then that… bitch left me. I lost my job. Want me to sing about my dog getting run over and me being kicked out of my home?
A friend said I should go. I laughed at him. Then he showed me the rental prices. I, with no job, could afford them, think about that. When I met with Nadine, one of the realtors, I asked what would happen if I wanted to stay. If I didn’t get what I needed in two weeks? Or a year?
She smirked at me. “No one chooses to stay on Resolution Drive. They choose to go.”
Her golden eyes never left mine throughout our meeting, and with every moment my unease grew. She began to appear somehow less human; her strange eyes and predatory grin seemed monstrous, and grew more so the longer I was in her presence.
We spoke for some time, though I don’t remember most of it. I came away with a vague feeling I’d signed something, or promised something I shouldn’t have. I remember her asking me what I had to lose, her voice distant and dream-like.
This was the thought that echoed disturbingly through my head, the unease I’d felt in her presence became dim, and began to seem absurd. I signed up. What did I have to lose?
The place I was assigned was small but reasonable; two bedrooms, one bath. It had blinds and carpets and everything was neat and clean.
I began to notice things, at first just little things. And I only noticed those because after Sam had kicked me out and set up house with my brother Ian, I hadn’t been able to decide anything. Do I wear shorts or trakkies? Is it hot? Am I cold? I moved from the couch to the bedroom and back… most days, anyway. I was a mess.
And then, I wasn’t. The transition had been so subtle, I barely noticed it happening. I wore jeans. I visited other rooms, like the bathroom. And the laundry. And who needed that cheap, shallow…woman who dumped me for my brother?
Then I found myself thinking about what to do next. I needed a job.
I was a bricklayer by trade — before I was laid off. I decided I no longer wanted to work for someone else. I decided I’d start my own bricklaying business. Then who knows? I’ve got brains, I could go to Uni, become a registered builder. Why not?
I felt good; for the first time in four months I felt like myself. I got organised. I started my business. I got work, I got paid; soon I’d be able to get my own place.
That’s right; I was choosing to go.
There was something nagging away in the back of my mind. Something unfinished, something I couldn’t let go. I’d been at the Drive for two weeks by then, and spent two more trying to figure out what it was. Finally it hit me.
Who needed that cheap, shallow… cow? I guess I did. Well, no… I didn’t want her back. So… what?
She left me. Okay, there’s not much I could do about that. They say you should see it coming, but everything had seemed fine. I didn’t even pick up on any signals between her and Ian. That made me feel like an idiot.
And Ian. We used to be close, in fact, right up until he moved into my house with my wife. Clearly this was the thing I could not let go. The thought of the two of them, in my house… in my bed… I could go on.
It seemed like there might be one more decision left to make.
Now Resolution Drive seems like a great place, huh? Your life might have fallen apart but there’s somewhere you can go put it back together again. Though it might not be in the same shape it was beforehand: in some cases it might be better.
There’s one thing about Resolution Drive that’s not in the brochure. That no one explains to you. And you know what? I’m sure they do it on purpose. I’d begun to wonder what they got out of the place; it sure as hell wasn’t the rent money. Now I think I know. They don’t get a payout on everyone. But maybe one in ten is enough. Or one in twenty.
You make decisions there, but are they the right ones? After all, it’s Resolution Drive, sure, but not Good Resolution Drive.
I wondered what happens to the ones who make wrong or immoral decisions. The thought of Nadine and her freaky eyes and signature smirk, come to collect on an unremembered promissory. Did I make a promise? In that void of conversation I don’t remember, did I promise something to her, to them, in case of?
That small detail they keep from you? Once you make a decision on Resolution Drive, you can’t change it. Even if you want to.
Even if it’s wrong.
Even if it might cause you a little grief (or a lot), if not in this life, then the next.
I made my last decision and left the Drive with a weight lifted off my shoulders.
My last decision? Let’s just say I won’t be needing to find a new place. I have a perfectly good home waiting for me. I believe the current tenants are about to vacate.
Belinda Rees writes in Western Australia.