Master Mistress

January 18, 2007

That house

Filed under: Random Everyday Texts — mastermistress @ 2:10 pm

She told me when she picked me up from school we weren’t going home. We had a new house now. It was a new old house. It was a house but not a home. It’s got character she said. It’s got an aviary and a tree hut up the hill. Can Dad come? No he can’t, face unchanging.

The floor wasn’t straight anywhere inside. I finally had my own room. But it was the first time I’d slept in a room on my own. My room was on the right side of the house and sloped down towards the north. The bed had a large hollow. I could lay in bed at night looking at my toes without effort. I had a hole inside my heart as big as a basketball. I would watch my brother play basketball outside in the driveway. My heart was that basketball. I was nine years old. I had to bike across morning town traffic to get to school. I was scared. Sometimes I would get off and push my bike because I was crying. I had a stomach ache a lot. But I did like the aviary. It was long broken and would never hold birds again, but I imagined that there were many in there with beautiful colours. Sometimes I wanted to let them out but I was scared that they would feel lost and not be able to find their way home, where ever that was. The tree hut was on a scary part of the hill and I didn’t like to go there. The air smelled funny and empty. Sometimes it was sunny and it shone on my bare skin when I was outside, but I always felt cold. The sun never came into the kitchen or lounge. The heat from the coal fire never went past the hearth and it’s dark stench burned the back of my throat. The winter was horribly cold. I used to try and see if my breath could reach my toes when I lay in bed. There was no getting warm. My sisters friend felt sorry for us. She came to visit me and brought some posters for my room, an airbrushed cat and a dog. I loved animals. They made me happy but I cried instead. I turned ten in that house. I had a party and my mum tried hard. I had many friends there but I didn’t know if they were there for me or the party food. I look at photos of that day and I was so tomboyish and brash looking. I stood in a robust pose like there was nothing wrong, with a basketball under my arm and a slight sneer on my face. We only lived in the house for six months before we went back home, but it seemed like forever. I will never forget it. Twenty eight years later I drive past that house every now and then. A tree has grown up through it but it is still as saggy as ever. The guy who lived there for several years with his goat died not long ago.

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