A 1979 BMW pulled up outside the prestigious looking house and two young men stepped out soon after to scan their surroundings.
"You sure Lisa's here? I don't see her anywhere..." Christopher spoke up while lighting a cigarette and turning to glance at his Michael.
Michael ignored him and continued to gaze up at the driveway until a familiar face became clear in the distance.
"What did I tell you? There she is!"
Christopher blinked as the young woman drew closer with a heavy suitcase. She called Michael's name and he opened up the trunk for her.
"I'm so glad you're both here to give help when I need it."
They spent the next hour gathering more valuables before joining each other in the car. Christopher sat down in the backseat as the radio crackled to life and a R.E.M. song blared at full volume.
"It's crazy the sort of music that's been popular this year. What's happening to good old synthesisers?"
"Synthesisers?" Michael questioned as he lowered the volume for the sake of his own concentration. "What do you mean?"
"I guess you wouldn't be aware as an accountant, but there's a big change coming. I can feel it. This time next year, it's gonna feel like a different era..."
"Yeah, like that will happen..."
Lisa let out a chuckle at Christopher's seemingly inane prediction before focusing on providing Michael with directions to the nearest pawn shop.
Lisa collapsed into the nearest chair in exhaustion as a week's work of clearing the house and selling anything that wasn't necessary to her survival took it's toll.
The now drab decor was a clear indicator that her father's home was just a skeleton of what it used to be and she would have felt tremendous grief, if not for the fact that the man himself had doomed her to such measures through countless dangerous choices.
Michael and Christopher soon returned from examining the record of everything that had been sold and the total amount gained as a result.
"Twenty grand..." Lisa muttered quietly after flipping through the pages. "We're not even halfway there..."
"So what else can we do?" Michael asked with great worry as he also took a seat.
The three former classmates spent the next hour or so discussing other ways to gain large amounts of money until Christopher made an outrageous suggestion.
"Lisa, you have some sexy stripper friends, don't you?"
"You could convince them to provide their services here on their days off and..."
"Chris, stop. They'd never sink that low. They're dancers, not hookers."
Christopher frowned while Michael offered his own suggestion.
"I know it will lead to more debt in the future, but we could try asking all of our family and friends. Either that, or we consider actually selling this place..."
Lisa's face went pale and she buried her head in her hands with a heavy sigh.
"I can't believe it...everything he worked for comes to this..."
Michael lay in bed away from Lisa in the early hours of the following morning and soon realized that she was crying into her pillow.
"Sorry..." She whispered shakily, rolling over to face him after taking a few minutes to compose herself. "I'm just a bit overwhelmed, that's all."
"About what I said earlier, I didn't mean it..."
"I know, but maybe it is the best that we can do."
"We're selling this house. I'll stay with my Aunt..."
Her voice faltered and Michael felt blanketed with guilt. He opened his mouth to reason with her.
"I know this is even harder for you, but it doesn't have to be like-"
"Yes, it does." Lisa interrupted with a surprising intensity in her voice. "I'll be fine, I promise..."