Drawing room with white sofa,carpet and huge painting-blog post Akshata Shanbhag

THE HOUSE

“So all set for the open house today Sara?”
Sara with a heavy heart nods her head.
“Yes Suzi, I am all set.”

Sara had turned 65. She had spent forty years in her two-bedroom cosy apartment. This was the first and only property she had bought along with her husband Philip. After Philip had passed away a few months ago, Sara was finding it difficult to stay all by herself. Sara had no children and memories of Philip were haunting her. Finally, Sara had made up her mind to sell the property. Moreover, the apartment was on the fourth floor and the building had no lift. Considering her current age and her knee pain she thought it would be better to sell and move close to her sister’s place across the city.

When Sara told her friend Suzi who was also a realtor, she arranged for an open house. It was a bright summer Sunday morning. The house was neatly cleaned and dusted.
“Sara, what about the room spray ?”
“Oops, I forgot to buy one Suzi.
I think I might have one which Philip got last year.
He was particular about it. For each season, he used a different one.
Let me check. Hold on Suzi.”

” Oh yeah. I found one.
Citrus…I am sure the entire house is going to smell awesome.
Here you go, Suzi. Just spray it in the entire house before people start flocking. ”

The citrus fragrance filled the house. Sara’s heart was beating fast. She was wondering who would buy her house. This was their dream venture. If not for the given circumstances, Sara would have never sold the house. The clock turned ten. Nobody had turned up yet.

” Suzi, are you sure that it is today? ”
” Sara. It’s just ten. Have patience. People will show up.
Yes, I do agree that there is no elevator. But then look at the plus points that your house has.
Located at the heart of the city. Schools, colleges, hospitals and markets are just a stone’s throw.
The view from the balcony is also great. Just take a deep breath and relax.”

As Suzi had just finished her sentence, a couple walked in.
” Excuse me? Open house today right? ”
Sara stepped forward and welcomed them. Suzi was giving the couple a tour of the house. Many showed up after that. Families, couples, friends gathered to see the house.

Some of them wanted to buy it at a lower price and a few others wanted to make some modifications. Sara was a little disheartened when she learned that people wanted to modify the interiors.

” Sara, what is your problem if they want to make changes?
You are not renting the house but selling it.
After they buy it is up to them to do whatever they want. ”
” I agree with you, Suzi. But then look at this reading corner. It’s so beautiful.
It’s perfect. Isn’t it? So calm.
I have finished reading so many books without any disturbance.
That lady in a black skirt wanted to convert this place into a dining area.
When I told her that we already have a dining area, she said no she wanted to convert the dining area into her child’s play area.
C’mon, can’t she have that in the bedroom?

What is wrong with the wallpaper in the living room?
Do you know how much we have spent on it? It’s not even two years and it looks like we have just got it done yesterday.
Look at the design on this wall Suzi. Don’t you feel like posing for a picture?
The last family who left said they want their walls to be mute colours and hence they would take this off. ”

” Sara, people who wanted to buy without doing any modifications, this house did not fit into their budget.
And for those who did, you are not interested in selling it to them because you don’t like any alterations to be made.
This way you will not be able to sell the house.”

” We have an open house again next week.
Let us keep our fingers crossed Suzi. ”
” Hopefully Sara. All those who visited and were interested in buying have left their contact details.
Do have a look at it, Sara.
I will leave now.
Please keep this in mind – you are selling the property.”

The open house went on for a couple of months. Sara was finding it hard to decide to whom she should be selling the property. She was looking for a buyer with the highest bidder who would buy the house without having to change anything.

Philip and Sara had designed the house themselves. Every nook and corner was filled with joy and happiness. Having to break something down or modify it was heartbreaking. Finally, after months Sara had found a buyer. They were a family of four – mother, father, four-year-old daughter and a dog. Sara was happy that night.

The next day, Sara started packing her belongings. She walked through the entire house reliving those memories. Sara touched the walls and kissed them. She prepared Philip’s favourite dish and after that, she had a long shower. She even took pictures of herself in front of her favourite wall. Sara knew that this was the last day in this house.

After Sara had finished packing, she sat on the sofa and looked around. Sara could not control her emotions and she burst out crying. It had been a week since Suzi had not heard from Sara. Suzi assumed that Sara must have been settling in her new house which Suzi helped her find. Suzi decided to meet the new owners of Sara’s house to check if everything was okay and then visit Sara.

Suzi knocked on the door. Suzi was surprised when the door opened.
” Sara, what are you doing here?
I thought you had sold the house to Matthews.”
” Yes, I had Suzi but then I changed my mind. I could not do it. I found it hard to leave this place.
I have spent my entire life in this house.
You know the first time when I came here, Philip carried me up.
I was afraid that he would drop me. But then I had fun climbing the stairs in his arms.
I am sorry Suzi, I could not do it.
I wanted to inform you but then I had to unpack my stuff and the very thought that I am leaving this house forever made me feel sick.
It was hard for me to gather myself.
I have been feeling better since yesterday.”

” But then what about your knee pain?
How will you manage that? ”
” Well, I will learn how to shop online.”
Both started laughing.
” I have memories of Philip here, Suzi.
Going to a different place, I would miss it. ”
” I am happy for you Sara. I think you have made the right choice.
This is a lovely house. ”

” Will you have tea, Suzi? ”
” Sure, Sara. ”
Both of them settled on the balcony chatting and sipping their tea.

**********

 

 

6 thoughts on “THE HOUSE”

  1. beautiful story Akshatha ! so touching …can relate to it so much .
    For my mother her house is everything – for me too .
    Again well written

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *