This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
As soon as I walk through the front entrance of my house.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Skylights that leak water into the hardwood floors, turning my living room into a pool. It didn’t matter how many times we replaced them, changed the roof shingles, or patched the ceiling, the leakage continued.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
It all started when everything began falling apart. It was like an earthquake had rushed right through our house, causing havoc as it went. The cabinets in the bathroom all began to come off of their hinges. The back deck had holes in it from chairs sitting on it for a long period of time. Our kitchen cabinets were coming off and had numerous stains on them from overuse and steam.
Packing up everything I own into big brown boxes slowly allowed me to remove tons of useless stuff. Yet, as I packed up my belongings, I could feel my stomach knotting. I never realized just how gloomy it could be to actually leave and later destroy the home I had known for 10 years of my life.
After all, this was the home I grew up in, the home I cried in, the home I played in. This was where my soul was. Where my memories were. Where my friends were always welcome, as if they were family. A whirlwind of memories and emotions flooded my mind, releasing emotions I had no idea leaving this house could evoke.
The nicest memory of all, however, is one that has truly stood the test of time. I can still recall every single detail, no matter how small… It was Christmas morning 2014, and my extended family and I were all sitting in the living room together.
“Wow, you guys!” My mother shouted, "I got you all Mittens for Christmas!"
My eyes filled with bewilderment. Why is it that my mother is so interested in mittens? From the other room, a cat strolled into the living room.
“Welcome, Mittens!” my dad yelled, chuckling as he did so.
It appeared as though they had rehearsed it, nevertheless it had been totally on a whim!! The kitten was so small that I could hold him in just one of my hands. Almost immediately, he ran over to the Christmas tree and hopped inside it after receiving more than his fair share of cuddles. We were all afraid he'd topple the tree and shatter all the ornaments, but all he wanted to do was climb to the top and sit on the star.
These memories we created had taken an even deeper meaning than they had before, when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, in 2014. Our home didn't let us down in those hard times, it pulled us in and made us feel safe and calm, even when we were so scared, and we couldn’t think straight. It reverberated the sounds of my mom's favourite song (Fightsong - Rachel Platen) as we sang and danced around the house. It echoed the crying and amplified the laughter. Not only that, but it would bend and crease, like a giant sweatshirt, to be exactly what my family needed when we had not a clue what we needed. And it continued to give us that same sense of comfort, even when my mom was declared cleared as cancer free in 2019.
Crash! Bang! Boom!
My house, demolished by a monster-like digger. Gone in a second. With it, went my memories. Forever in the broken parts of my house.
As we put all the boxes into the moving truck, it took no scientist to see that it was a very sad day. I have to remind myself, we have not lost my memories, we are just building a new place to hold them.
My old house will always remind me of my childhood. Gratefully, we moved into a rental home close to my old home, so we pass by it often. Every time I see it, I think of all the memories and exciting stories of my past. Even though I don’t live there at the moment, I will always remember it.
My dream home is a concept that will always be there in my head. Choosing lights, bedding, paint, and flooring for my room gets me excited to move into my dream home, my new home, and my forever home. New walls to fill up with more memories, joy, and love.