Chapter 4

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I pushed open the painted white wooden gate and walked up the now paved pathway to my grandmother's large, white Georgian-style home.

The house was just as I had remembered it to be like before I left Saranac for college six years ago. The shingles on the roof were black, the wooden fence that held the perimeter of the house with the slightly chipped white paint, the garden hedges on either side of the door, the shaky black railings on the stairs; all of it was the same. But there were differences, as well.

The shutters, which were previously red, were now a dark navy color. The pathway from the gate to the stairs was now paved, covered with black cement. Along the sides of the pathway were white stones that led up to the stairs. The grass was perfectly cut and manicured; there wasn't a weed in sight. I wondered if Grammy was the one who maintained the lawn. I figured someone else probably came around to take care of it. Grammy had never cared for gardening before.

I gingerly walked up the cement steps to the front door. I stood at the painted red wooden door for a few moments before finally getting the nerves to open it.

I stepped inside to a dark house. Feeling around for a light switch, my hand grazed the white painted surface of the wall. My hand came into contact with the switch and I switched it up, illuminating the house before me.

As light poured over the features of the inside of the house, I was hit with an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia.

The interior of the house looked exactly the same as it did when I left it for Boston six years ago after my high school graduation. The faded soft creme colored couches were still there, set around the old peach colored Persian rug. The glass coffee table stood spotless as always at the center of the rug, an elaborate dry-flower arrangement set in the middle of it. The walls were still painted that medium beige color, giving the room an overall feeling of homeliness.

I dropped the key I held into the key bowl that was still set on the small table in the hallway, under the oval shaped mirror. I made my way to the opposite side of the room and entered the kitchen. I flipped the light switch on and revealed the kitchen, which looked like it had been slightly remodeled.

I remembered my grandmother telling me she was getting new appliances, exchanging the old gas burners for sleek electrical ones and the white kitchen appliances for contemporary stainless ones. The counter was also redone with a dark peach-brown granite countertop. I looked around at the kitchen, appraising my grandmother's sense in renovation.

I opened one of the light maple oak cabinet doors and pulled out a glass. Fishing around my purse and looking for some aspirin, I filled the glass up with water. I found the pills and popped two into my mouth, swigging back a gulp of water to bring them down. I downed the rest of the water and then my eye caught the small wine rack that was in the corner of the kitchen. It was partially stocked--as always. Grammy always loved her wine.

I brought my glass over to the rack and pulled out a bottle. Flittingly reading the label, I uncorked the bottle and poured myself a glass of the white wine. I took a sip and savored the sweet flavor of the liquor. Satisfied with my drink, I went upstairs to change out of my work clothes, which I had been in all day.

When I got upstairs, I paused outside the door of the room that had been mine, nerves suddenly taking over my exhausted mind. The room that lay behind that door held so many painful memories, memories that still haunted me to this day. Taking another sip of wine, I pushed the door open to reveal a completely untouched room.

The light oakwood furniture was still the exact same as it was six years ago. The same pale pink curtains were drawn over the windows, covering them just as I had left them so long ago. I wondered if my grandmother had ever come in to the room after I had left. Looking around at all of the pictures I had framed in high school and the years before, I guessed that she hadn't. Everything was the exact same as how I had left it; nothing was different, it seemed, except for me.

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