This is the prompt for Magpie Tales this week.
It looks like a gorgeous place.
You get two stories in a row this week.
Sorry about that….
They made me choose. Them or him. It was an impossible situation. It is not desirable to choose between people, those that you love.
Nobody wins, not even the ones who think they’ve won.
I stood looking back and forth between them as if I had just traversed the full length of a battlefield. My torso was caked with grime and blood.
I saw the house behind me, pink in the late afternoon light and I knew that if I chose my love I would have to say goodbye.
To feel at home, to be at home is what we all desire. For some it is the thing we most desire. That place, that one place where we can just be.
It is what gives our spirit peace.
I was born in that house.
I knew every nook. Every creak and crack and ache of it.
I knew how the morning shadows poured away from the windows like sugar from a jar.
I knew how the roses nudged the window sills, how the curtains scraped like ballet slippers on the wooden floors, how the shutters in the living room never met in the middle.
On cold nights the water pipes clunked like frogs, booming in rhythm almost until daybreak. On warm nights the heat flew in under the eaves, bouncing around the ceilings like the breath of fairy folk.
The front door handle had to be clicked to the right and firmly pulled. The back gate swung out instead of in. The wallpaper in the dining room, some kind of fake velvet, was dusty but still luscious. The kitchen junk drawer contained secret notes stuffed right at the back under paper lunch bags and shrivelled tubes of superglue. Notes of infatuations and dreams.
I knew the house and the house knew me.
How could I run throughout the world without being able to return to it?
I thought of the one they didn’t want me to choose. My love. Of the hurt that etched his face when their demands were shouted out loud.
It was unbearable. Like watching a bird with a broken wing struggle in the dirt, desperate to take to the air.
It was the house that formed my decision. All that I knew of it. All that it was to me. It embodied truth. It showed me what I wanted. It told me with every single part of it that was lodged in my memory that I could get that feeling back again. That feeling of home. The home, the house, the place might look different but the feelings would be the same.
When people you love make you choose there is no option but to walk away.
I held the key to the house I loved in my hand. Well-worn from frayed pockets and old canvas bags.
I held that key, always warm to the touch and gave it back to my father.
I walked down the garden path, hearing the scratch of my boots for the last time like leaves swishing on glass.
I knew the house stood in silence behind me. Silently for me. I wanted to turn and look but I didn’t.
All that it was had scattered like clouds falling to earth.
I walked, holding my face up to the sky. Straight towards the light.