An Empty House

The house is empty. Outside it there is a rainstorm, with cars swishing their tires through water-logged roads and animals keeping dry among the forest brush. Streetlights blur in colorful distortion across water-slick surfaces as people huddle under umbrellas and scuttle about their days, filling local shops with tracked-in mud. The house, however, is empty. It has been for quite some time — silently watching through dust-filmed windows as life continues on, undisturbed, just outside of it. Physically there, passively observing, but not involved with the world around it beyond the inescapable wear-and-tear of daily to-do.

It is hard for the house (for it is no longer a home) to tell how long exactly it has felt this way- though the instigating cause is known well. Creaky floorboards are too quiet now, missing the shuffling footsteps of their former occupant. The house’s shingles flutter and shudder in the wind like a rib-rattling sigh. The sun-faded grey paint of the house’s exterior matches the grey of the stormy skies overhead, and there are leaks that grow worse by the day as they are left unattended. Water damage blooms out across the walls like bruises. It waits patiently, quietly, for the long days to feel shorter . . . but they continue to drag on into long, sleepless nights, barren and cold with no fire lit within.

The house wasn’t always empty like this.