FooFaraw; a great fuss or disturbance about something very insignificant.
Closing the car door, I lent back on it and took in the house before me. It was smaller then I remembered. The surrounding garden had grown wild, though a neighbour had been trimming it down but the place had the air of long time abandonment.
I tried to recall the last time I’d been here, but couldn’t, nor when I’d seen my great-aunt, Dorothy. She had been in a nursing home for years, the promises of getting better never happening and she had died alone.
Whilst, I had moved country, made something of myself and had a family. I’d left the past behind me and that included the woman who had brought me up. Dorothy had been the only family I’d had.
‘Do we have to look inside?’ my wife, Alexandra asked, ‘can’t they just stick the for sale sign up and be done with it?’
Her voice drew me back, I looked over the car bonnet at Alexandra shivering in one of her best and most expensive coats; soft blue velvet lined with white rabbits’ fur.
I shrugged and replied, ‘there might be photos and stuff.’
Alexandra put her lips together and looked disgusted at the sight of the house before her, ‘why would you want them?’ she asked.
‘Don’t know. Just, I want to look.’
‘Seems pointless to me,’ she grumbled.
‘Why don’t you wait in the car?’ I suggested.
Without a word, Alexandra opened the door and got back in.
I opened my door again too, put the car keys on the seat, told her I’d be back soon and closed the door.
I walked up to the house. Tall plants brushed my legs, leaving water droplets behind and my shoes crushed on weeds growing in between the path. At the front door, I put the key into the lock and was transported back to the past; I was a teenager coming home from school once again. It was like the last forty years hadn’t happened.
The door was stiff and I had to shove it open. The familiar scent of moth balls, dried roses, herbal creams and varnished wood hit me. Then over that came the smell of mould and damp, stagnate water, stale air, rust and rot. I gagged and turned away, wanting to throw up but I held it down.
I had no idea when someone has last been in here but had to have been a good few years. I walked through the hallway, the wooden floor and walls dulled, dust covered and on the ceiling loops of spider webs draped down like bunting. A black sixties cord phone sat on a small table next to the coat hangers where a pink house coat hung forgotten.
The living room was like I remembered; filled with great-aunt Dorothy’s collection of dolls and figurines, a bookcase of old books, an eighties TV in a huge wooden box, a record player, two arm chairs covered with knitted blankets and on the wall a few photographs of Dorothy’s life but none showed her with family and none were of me.
In the kitchen, the smell was bad. No one had really cleaned things out. The sink tap had dripped, the plug had become blocked and there was the source of the stagnate water. I hurried away and upstairs.
Avoiding the small bathroom, I peered into Dorothy’s room. A place forbidden at all times to my younger self. Someone had been in here, no doubt a friend or nurse had come ever so often for more of her things. The wardrobe and chest of drawers were open, clothes poking out. Books were missing from the shelves and other things too.
I shut the door behind me and turned to the last room; my bedroom.
To Be Continued…