If I could only speak, the words and tales I could tell...
I saw the Hispanic men construct my skeleton as my wooden beam bones grew taller and taller towards the sky, and I came into true being, my walls and rooms like life-giving cells. I had dreams of housing a large family, children's happy squeals as they tried to ski on their socks down the hallway, candlelit Thanksgiving feasts full of the aroma of turkey and cinnamon spice. I made friends with the young black oaks as the bent their branches towards me in the cold winter winds.
I saw an older couple walk into my doorway, smiling, dreams written all over their faces; paperwork signed and hands shook meant I was whole, complete.
Instead, I became a bed and breakfast, which was not my wish but held my interest. Each one of my rooms was decorated in lovely Laura Ashley wallpaper with matching curtains and bedding, I was catalogue-chic. I witnessed honeymooners, movie stars, people in marital trouble trying to rekindle their love. I knew my walls brought them joy, but I still felt hollow.
The economy had crashed, a mini recession, blared the big box television next to my grand fireplace. The older couple frowned and held hands, as fewer and fewer guests trickled in. With heavy hearts, they agreed to sell me.
Another older couple fell in love with my large grassy yard and winding staircase, and I was theirs and they were mine. I watched the woman as she came home at odd hours from the medical clinic, placing her worn comfortable shoes at the doorway as she collapsed on the couch, her husband having given up and fallen asleep in the master bedroom, alone again. I wished I could wrap my beams around her and tell her she was working miracles and it would all be ok, but it wasn't.
A new tv, a flatscreen, again blared on about another recession, military men deployed overseas, fatalistic news on the screen and in the living room as the man served his wife divorce papers and...papers to sell me, the home.
I sat, vacant yet hopeful, as people trailed in and out. One of the doctor's secretaries came in and polished my stair rail, wiped down my cloudy windows, dusted my mantle. Her hope and despair matched my own. Summer turned into fall, and winter, spring, and summer again. My paint began to chip, my eaves sagged, people came and went. Someone began to sign paperwork to my elation, only to never return again.
Four years passed, so many people but so little...relationships. All I wanted was to be a home.
There was a family I kept seeing a few times a year, smiles on like the rest of them, who finally came with a pile of papers, signed. A handshake. A boy running across the hallway in socks. The windowsills were dusted, my walls painted, and a worn Bible sat on my mantle. Friends visited, in fellowship, hands were held in silent prayer. The children brought over friends who tossed beach balls around and who colored my walls.
Finally, I was a home. Thank God.