Fixer Upper

I walked into the house and immediately felt at home. The walls had cracks that extended from the ceiling all the way to the floor. The wallpaper was awful, a lemon yellow so bright that it was hard to look at. The stairs were rotten in several places and the entire place smelled like feet and sour milk. It was a very distinctive fragrance. But there was potential.

This place had called to us with its high ceilings and old rustic architecture. So what if it was a fixer-upper? This was our first home, a place where we could start out and grow, maybe even start a family. As kids were still a few years away, this house would be our project – a way for us to grow together and make the life we dreamed of.

“Are you ready for this?” Ron asked. He was scanning the room and the look in his eye screamed excitement.

“No,” I laughed. “And Yes.”

With a grin, he wrapped his arms around me, resting his chin on top of my head. I closed my eyes and took in his scent. We stood there for a long moment before he pulled away to look down at me. 

“What about you?” I asked.

He snorted. “About the same as you. So, Yes, and not even a little bit. But when I look around I have a hard time not jumping around.”

He let go of me then stepped farther into the room. He lifted his arms and spun in a slow circle. Once he was facing me again, he said, “This, my love, will soon be everything we’ve ever dreamed about. Just imagine it.”

He shifted to the far wall of the main room which sat just off the right of the stairs.

“Here will be a built-in bar so we can entertain. We’ll put wainscoting along this wall,”  He touched the adjacent wall. “And we’ll put a couch over here with two beautifully contrasting chairs here because God forbid you want matching furniture.”

I laughed. It was true. I leaned towards the more eclectic styles. I followed as he headed into the den just behind the living space. His exuberance was adorable, filling me with love.

We entered the den and I saw the built-in shelves that spanned from floor to ceiling. They needed some love, but once restored would be the focal point of the room. I couldn’t wait. 

“Then in here will be your office, a space where you can write in your heart to your heart’s content. You’ll get published, get a movie deal and make a million dollars.” His hair fell over his forehead as he smiled. I wanted to brush it back but decided not to. His disheveled state mirrored mine and it made me want to press myself to him.

I shook my head. “That is highly unlikely, my love. I write nonfiction.”

He threw his arms into the air and said, “Still! It is going to be amazing. Then, when you’re ready, we’ll have babies and be sleep-deprived, and sit on the back porch drinking a glass of wine after they go to bed.”

I slipped into his arms and rested my head on his chest. I could see everything he described and it was everything I wanted. We stood there until the smell and dust became too overwhelming. Then we headed out, locking the door behind us, to get ready for tomorrow when demolition began and our lives moved forward. I couldn’t wait.

 Published on OBW Blog March 26, 2021 © Tracey Canole 

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