© Copyright 2011
All work is property of Leah Crichton, any duplication or reproduction of all or part of the work without explicit permission by the author is illegal.
Tongue - Tied: (tung-tyed)
speechless or confused in expression, a form of shyness, embarrassment or astonishment
affected with tongue-tie
Vancouver was bigger than anything I had ever seen in my life. All of the houses and buildings were one of two extremes: run-down and decrepit, almost abandoned, or they were on the very opposite end of the spectrum, towering, surreal architecture straight from the pages of a magazine.
The streets were lined with massive trees that looked like God had a fondness for green crayons. Olive green, pine green, lime green, dark green, light green, leafy green, hunter green, emerald green…The nicer houses boasted pristine manicured yards with little verandas, curvy paths, and tropical foliage reminiscent of an island paradise.
Looking around, I forced a silent prayer. Let ours be one of the nice ones. About fifteen minutes later, just outside of the city, it was answered.
“Here we are, I.Q.” Luke pulled into the driveway of our new home and my parents’ new business. He rushed around the car to open the door for me with my crutches in his hands. Humbled, I took his assistance since there wasn’t much I could do by myself, and limped out. The house was bigger than I could have imagined. The land surrounding it seemed to stretch out for an eternity.
The exterior was white with pretty red shutters framing all of the windows. A red brick pathway lined with little lanterns wound its way up to the front door and branched out to the sides and the back of the house. A creek, complete with a small bridge cut through the landscape of wildflowers. Undeniably charming.
“Nice huh?” Luke questioned.
“Yeah. It is.” I surprised myself by admitting it.
Snickers heard my voice and burst from behind the house full throttle, his tail flying side to side like a propeller. I froze, dead in my tracks. He was headed right for me, prepared to jump.
“Whoa, boy!” Luke leaped in front of me to form a human barrier.
“Sit!” It was effective. Snickers promptly sat down, his tongue hanging lopsided out of his mouth.
I reached my hand down to pat his head. “Snickers, did you miss me, buddy?” He licked my hand, as if to acknowledge that yes, he had.
“Let’s go inside, I’ve got a surprise for you.”
The house was old, and the décor on the inside reflected that, in a shabby-chic sort of way. The front entry had dark wood floors with a staircase directly ahead. To the left were French doors leading into a huge dining room, beyond that the kitchen, which was surprisingly modern. To the right, a sitting area, again cornered off by French doors with a warm fireplace and built in bookcases, complete with enough books for our own personal library. Luke probably thought he’d died and gone to Heaven.
Up the stairs were six huge bedrooms, three of which would be for bed and breakfast guests. I noticed right away each stair was wide enough to accommodate my crutches, something I never would have given much thought to before.
Funny how things changed.
“Come and see this.” The pride in Luke’s voice was unmistakable as he helped me up the stairs. It must have taken at least ten minutes to climb them all, but my brother possessed the patience of a saint. When we reached the top, he opened the door to my room.
I gasped. My mom said that when Luke was not at the hospital, he was here, in this room, his project, trying to make it perfect for me.
Everything was black, aqua and white, my favorite colors. A dark cherry wood canopy bed covered in a down comforter with black swirls sat on one side of the room. There were overstuffed aqua pillows, the kind you could lose yourself in, with a matching throw folded neatly at the end. All the walls were painted my beloved blue-green, except for the one opposite my bed, which had wallpaper similar to the pattern on the bedding. On the opposite side of the room was a desk which housed my computer. I walked over and ran my finger along the smooth edge of the wood. Perched on one of the shelves was my word of the day calendar; somehow it had been retrieved from the wreckage. I picked it up. The blue card-stock it was made from was practically destroyed, some of the pages were torn and almost all of it was covered in caked, dried dirt. I swallowed hard and set it down.