We found the house by accident seven years ago. For seven years we languished within its walls. We spent our days curled up on crumpled sofas playing video games, watching anime and writing our little hearts out. Every fortnight we handed over wads of cash to our old Italian landlord, only understanding half the things he said. He never fixed anything in the house, but he never came inside to inspect either. We chose to tolerate the peeling paint and broken fixtures in favour of solitude and privacy.
In the summer, we sweltered. In winter, our toes went numb on the icy floorboards. Every time it rained the walls would swell with moisture and gardens of mould would bloom across the ceiling. But we didn’t mind too much because the location was perfect. We had everything we could possibly need right around the corner. There were cafes, restaurants, a video store still clinging valiantly to life. There was even a record store for a while. I think I will miss the second-hand bookstore the most. I bought my first copy of Titus Groan there.
It saddens me to leave this place.
There are four birds buried in the earth around the house: Darko, Vincent, Leonard and my dearest Bernie. The rose I planted over Bernie is coming with us though. It has flourished despite being stripped of it’s foliage multiple times by possums. I guess it’s only fair for another animal to annoy Bernie in her afterlife, since she annoyed so many while she was alive. I’m glad to have a little part of her still with me. I see her face in every rose that blooms.
I’m leaving behind good memories and also bad. I hit some of my lowest points while living here. There are whole hazy patches that are just a fog of sadness and anxiety. But through it all my boyfriend stuck by my side, always the silver lining to my little dark cloud. This house was our first home together, and someday soon we will have a place we can truly call our own. No more landlords. No more wasted rent payments. No more mould (I hope).
I’m not sure what else to say, so I’ll let Mr Wolf conclude for me. Keep an eye out for a super cute cockatiel halfway through!