It’s a house. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s just a house, not a home. A temporary place. My family constantly moved around town. Once it was because of school. Another time it was from mold. This time it was a divorce. My parents always argued so it really wasn’t a surprise to anyone. It was like this with all of my friends, though. It wasn’t uncommon to come from a broken home. However, this house was literally torn to shambles. The beige-almost-brown paint of the garage was crawling off and onto the pavement and the rain gutters were so rusty that if you looked hard enough, you’d confuse them for the early morning sun. The house was a lone shack and our neighborhood was a ghost town. I couldn’t tell anyone where I lived. No one from school came over. Our neighbors hated children, in fact.
It wasn’t my mother’s fault that we lived here. We couldn’t afford anything else after the divorce. So we packed up and moved into the abandoned waste land. I knew this wasn’t what she wanted for me. I knew she was ashamed, but couldn’t say it. She’d always dreamt of a grand mansion with a wraparound drive way and chandeliers that you could see from the street. She wanted a mile-long spiral staircase that I’d walk down and see my prom date smiling up at me. She wanted marble floors so clean you could see every last freckle on your nose in the reflection. She wanted to be proud and I wanted that for her. Yet, we were stuck in the miniscule palace on the outskirts of the city whose floorboards screeched every time someone walked in. It wasn’t our home, though. It was just a house.