I’m sitting on the stoop of our house. It’s 4 pm and I just got home from school. My parents are still both at work and they expect me to do some home work before I go to baseball practice. Of course, I never do. I usually play some Minecraft on my tablet or watch videos on YouTube. Today is different though. Mrs. Pauley, the old woman who lives across the street is moving out. I saw the removal truck when I drove up the street. Maybe it’s childish. But I still like watching trucks and other big vehicles. A removal truck isn’t that fancy, I like the contruction vehicles better. Or police cars, fire trucks and ambulances. It’s not just to the pleasure of my baby brother that I watch out for those cars and point them out to him. I still get a kick out of it too. That is why I leave my tablet and nestled myself on the stoop of our house, munching on some cookies I grabbed from the kitchen.
More special then the truck itself, is the address the truck is parked in front of. Mrs. Pauley has been living here like forever. At least the twelve years of my life so far. And by the looks of her gaudy drapes that hasn’t been replaced since the seventies, many years before. Her youngest and sixth son moved out when I was four, out to college. I remember it well, as one of my first good memories. I was sitting on my swing, swinging really high. From my top view, Mrs. Pauley looked so little, waving the old Opel Corsa goodbye, waving a tear from the corner of her eye.
I wonder if my mom will ever wave me goodbye like that. Will she be waving me down the same street like Mrs. Pauley did? I can’t imagine living your whole life in the same place like they do. Or did. I don’t think my mom and dad will stay in this place that long too. Which I totally get. This neighbourhood isn’t the best of town. And I notice my parents discussing houses they looked up on the internet as I eavesdrop on them while playing on my tablet. I get that they want to live in a better neighbourhood. And I’d like bigger lawn to play on too.
On the other hand, it’s something I would totally hate. Not just because of having to change schools and miss my friends. But I like how I’m used to seeing the same mail man delivering packages, the sound of our crazy neighbours arguing again or how the baker’s wive at the end of the street always tucks a little sweet roll in the bag for me when I have to do some groceries.
However, it’s the idea that when I’m grown up I wouldn’t be going back to place and visit my parents that annoys me most. When we would move, I’d leave my parental house and all the memories I’ve created here. The ugly wall paper my mom picked out for my bed room and that I tried to sabotage by peeling it off the wall. The markings on the door post of my yearly growth. The apple tree I planted with my dad and not one year has given any good apples. When we move before I grow up and have a house of my own, those early memories will be gone. There’s no more reminiscing but inside my head. No momentos to show my future children. So. I SO hope we’re never moving from this average house in this so-so neighbourhood.
The removal guy shoves the last box into the truck and whistles to his colleague behind the wheel. The lift gate of the truck wizzes as it closes. Mrs. Pauley steps out of the house, closing her door for the last time. Before she steps into her car, she looks back one more time. As she turns back, I catch her eye. I wave. A tear in her eye. Then she drives away. Away forever.
My phone buzzes. It’s my mom. She texts: ‘Are you ready and packed for base ball practice?’
Writing 101, day 18 The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.Today’s prompt: write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street. Today’s twist: For those of you who want an extra challenge, think about more than simply writing in first-person point of view — build this twelve-year-old as a character. Reveal at least one personality quirk, for example, either through spoken dialogue or inner monologue.
One thought on “A parental house isn’t just a house”
You were able to bring Mrs. Pauley and the sadness that she felt leaving alive. Everything that was observed was saying that she was doing everything the last time, that made it feel more real.