by Courtney Nickel
inspired by TBAWP’s 2020 quickwrite
A Younger Version of Myself:
Money, numbers, offers, interest rates, mortgage payments, down payments. My head is spinning. This is a major purchase. Will they take our offer? Can we make the payments each month? What if we wind up like one of those families who lose their home to the banks and it ruins their credit? Will this be the place that we start a family? Will my neighbors like me? So many questions, so many thoughts. So many changes. We are new to this area, my husband and I. Living with my parents again until we find a house. We both have new jobs. Most of our possessions are in storage. Ugh! I just realized, if we get this house, we need money for furniture. Thousands of dollars. Thousands of dollars. I don’t know anything about this area that the house is in, except that it is close to my parents. It seems nice. Not too busy, not too country. The house is 3 large bedrooms and it has a pool. I don’t think we really need a pool, but Jay insists that if we are going to live in Florida, we have to have a pool in the backyard. There is an orange tree in the back and right now lots of ant piles. I brought Daisy with me to look at the house and she sat in an ant pile! I had to drop her into the pool to get them off! Those insects are truly the spawn of satan. We never had anything like that in New York. I don’t feel adult enough to be doing this. Our own house. Our OWN house. Will we stay here forever? So many unanswered questions, so much worry, but in the end, I think it will be ok.
Another owner. Will this one be nicer than the last? The ones that built me, the Delucas, they were great. They selected every detail. They picked the color of my walls and my tile and my layout. They came to visit the day my carpet was being put in my bedrooms. Their children watched excitedly as the workers began to fill the pool for the first time. On the day that they moved in, the whole family went into the backyard and planted an orange tree. They were so happy and stayed here for several years. The children’s laughter was always heard throughout the bedrooms. I loved watching them grow up and play outside. But that ended the day I watched Mr. Deluca park his car in my driveway and hesitantly open the garage door. I watched Mrs. Deluca cry when she learned that he had been transferred and they had a few weeks to relocate. The day the movers came was the saddest day of my life, or so I thought.
The next family was less kind. The kids banged on my walls and slammed my doors. They let my pool turn into a putrid shade of green. The weeds in the backyard began to climb higher than the fence. My outside reflected the way I felt on the inside. They hurt me. They abused me. Then they couldn’t pay for me. The bank made them leave and then I sat empty, beaten and broken and unwanted. After my price depreciated, a house flipper purchased me. He gutted my insides and sprayed my walls a neutral color. He fixed my cracks and filled my holes. I got new lighting fixtures and my grass was mowed. I looked better on the outside. And then he put the for sale sign up.
Many families came to look at me and would comment about the size of my bedrooms or how the living area was too small. One couple seemed to really like me. They came back two times. Then one day the wife and her dog came by. She walked around the property, looking at the orange tree. I watched as the little dog mistakenly sat in a pile of ants in the front and The Mrs. desperately grabbed her dog and dunked her in the pool to get the ants off. Oh well, that’s that. She won’t be back.
But I was shocked to see the door open the next week and the moving boxes start to be unloaded. The little puppy and the young couple. This could be good, I thought.