The world was quiet once, even for me. The nights were dark, save for the moon and the light of fireflies. Where I lived, though, not even the moon lit up the dark for its glow could not surpass the trees surrounding our rickety old home. The darkness was true and comforting there. Lying in bed at night I would search the darkness for my own hands and find nothing. Even now the smallest light makes my sleep uncomfortable.
I miss that shaky old house. One night, during tornado season, I was sure I would die there. I must have been ten years old, maybe eleven. My sister and I shared the attic. It was storming outside that night, and the wind was strong. So strong, in fact, that in the attic we were swaying with it. I was sure a tornado had finally come to sweep us away. I lunged from my bed to wake my sister, who could literally sleep through the apocalypse. I told her we had to go downstairs because the attic was going to fly away. She followed me, reluctantly, and we descended the narrow staircase into my brothers room. I don’t know why I didn’t think to wake my mother. We just crawled into bed with my brother and huddled up there. Maybe I thought that only the attic would be taken and we would be safe on the ground floor.
In the end the storm died down and the attic remained in tact. My mom didn’t believe me that it had been swaying with the wind. Our time in that house came to an end soon after that, in any case.
Despite its wobbliness, I loved that old house. It was full of mystery from another era. It was old and there were pickled vegetables in the pantry that might have been there for decades. The field beside it had tall weeds that moved like waves on the ocean with the breeze. There was a creek down the dirt and gravel road and past a nursery. In the fall leaves would pile up so thick on it that you couldn’t help but try to walk on them.
We were happy in that house. Happy for the last time, I think.
It was a good old house. A good home.