Silently For Me

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.

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26 thoughts on “Silently For Me

  1. so many feelings and articulated with tenderness and ferocity. “morning shadows poured away from the windows like sugar from a jar” and “the curtains scraped like ballet slippers on the wooden floors”
    and “the hurt that etched his face “, those lines and so many more give me chills. fantastic work selma!

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  2. “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.”

    Beautiful writing!

    I so enjoyed your magpie.

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  3. Three of your lines (you philosopher!!) I MUST repeat in order that I may again listen, and this time–hear. Abbreviated:

    1. “When people you love make you choose there is no option but to walk away.”

    2. “I thought of the one they didn’t want me to choose. My love. Of the hurt that etched his face…….”

    3. “It was the house that formed my decision……….It embodied truth. It showed me what I wanted. It told me……. 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.”

    For anyone who ever had to make the “choice”, your post will bring back a flood of memory

    Thanks! You’re good!

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  4. Hi Selma.
    Again a wonderful story, Steve E was right, the story brought a flood of memories about my old house, all good and sad at the same time. Thanks a great read.

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  5. OMG! Selma. OMG. What an amazing story. And I will never forget this line:

    ““When people you love make you choose there is no option but to walk away.”

    That is now tattooed to my brain!

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  6. Hi TIPOTA:
    Thank you so much for such wonderful feedback. That means a lot to me. This story was slightly therapeutic for me, so I’m glad it worked!!

    Hi JENNIFER:
    Oh yeah. That conflict is such a true one. It really does lead to some powerful ideas. Your insight always really helps me improve as a writer. Thank you.

    Hi GERALDINE:
    Wouldn’t it be cool? I don’t wear pink but I don’t mind it as a colour. There is a gorgeous pink house near where I live – I’ll try and get a photo of it for you. You won’t believe how gorgeous it is!

    Hi WILLOW:
    We Taureans struggle with it too. I guess it’s never easy. I like that line too!!

    Hi SUSANNAH:
    Awww. You are lovely to say that. 😀

    Hi KATHE:
    People have no right to do that, do they? It’s just not fair. Sometimes all that can be done is to walk away….

    Hi STEVE:
    I really appreciate you leaving such a detailed comment and if this story can help anyone with a tough decision I would be delighted. I am so glad you stopped by. Nice to meet you!!

    Hi MAGS:
    The memories are always there, I think. Houses become a part of us, I think. Thank you for always leaving such lovely comments.

    Hi MELEAH:
    It’s true. I am so glad you liked it!!

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  7. I loved this! so fab. I love how you can read a story and imagine that setting or that person continuing on or having a life outside the story. it’s dynamic. great job, i really had a great time reading.

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  8. PS: Please do share the house pic Sel, I LOVE pink and wear it well. I’m surprised you don’t, blondes usually look great in all shades of pink. It is suppose to be the most attracting of colors there is, females attracting males that is. 😉 did you know that interesting bit of trivia. LOL

    Hugs friend, G

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  9. If you hadn’t told me it was a prompt, I would have thought it was your own life you were writing about. That’s a compliment – I felt like I was standing with a friend being given a glimpse inside their head. Well done!

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  10. Hi PATIENCE RAY:
    That is just about the loveliest thing anyone has ever said to me. That I can create a life you can continue to imagine after reading is just fantastic. You have made my day by saying that. Thank you ♥

    Hi CRYSTAL JIGSAW:
    It is such an honour to be visited by you. I am a long term fan of your blog although I suspect I may never have commented. I love hearing about your life on the farm and also very much enjoy your writing. I am just so excited that you stopped by!!!

    Hi GERALDINE:
    I don’t wear pink because my mother does and well…we just won’t go there. I’m sure you know what I’m saying…. We are due for some rain for the next few days but after that I will try and get a shot of the pink house. I know you will love it.

    Hi BRIAN:
    A huge compliment coming from you – you are such a concise writer. Every word is so well-crafted. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

    Hi TUMBLEWORDS:
    Awww. You are far too kind to me!!

    Hi AINE:
    It pretty much was about me, I’m afraid. I guess that’s why it was so emotional. It did help me to write it, though, so I am grateful for that. Hey! Great to see you 😀

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  11. Oh my gosh. Wow! My favorite stories are the stories of people I might know, or be, and that tell the truth. This is a story of that sort and I enjoyed it immensely!

    The details like the shutters that don’t meet and the gate that swings out not in made it so real. But my favorite line was the one about when people you love make you choose. I’ve been made to choose, and chose the same as the girl in you story. Marvelous stuff.

    Thank you for your comment on my Magpie. It was much appreciated. 😉

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  12. Hi FIREBLOSSOM:
    It was my pleasure. You are a talented writer. I like stories with a ring of truth too because you know the writer has really lived the subject and felt it. I really appreciate you stopping by!

    Hi SCRIBBLENPAINT:
    I know. Maybe the right choice isn’t always the obvious one. Thanks for visiting!!

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  13. Excellent Selma – it’s like we are suspended in that aching moment of time between making the decision and actually doing it – very heart wrenching tale but the usual uplift at the end. Great descriptive and poetic touches also.

    One little thing – I got a bit stuck on ‘the curtains scraped like ballet slippers’ – is scraped the right word (I always imagine ballet slippers scuffing or something softer).

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  14. Hi GABRIELLE:
    You’re right. Scraped is too hard a word against the softness of the ballet slippers. Scuffed works better. Word choice is so important, isn’t it? I love hearing your suggestions. They are so helpful. Thanks, hon!

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  15. I just re-read your post. Although I kept the previous comment fairly impersonal, I feel compelled to reveal what you already know: The following line- oh, how I relate to being ripped apart by this in real life in every agonizing bone of my body, mind, and heart: “When people you love make you choose there is no option but to walk away.” How I wish you and others never felt this way, too.

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  16. Hi STEPH:
    There was quite a lot of truth in this one. I really FELT it as I was writing it. It was liberating to write, though. Great to get it all out!!

    Hi GEL:
    I know, hon. It is hard to see people being hurt in that way. Sometimes it is unavoidable. I do love your kind heart XXX

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