The Bedroom

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Astonished, I gaped in disbelief as my parents revealed the ominous news to me, “Andrew, we’re moving.” I couldn’t comprehend the evil that spewed from their mouths. I couldn’t believe my parents possessed the nerve to forsake our twelve-year house for another, stranger one. Attempting to find sympathy form one of them, I glanced from Mom, to Dad, and then back again. I decided if I could convince one of them, then the other would capitulate, and I would be able to stay in my house.

For the next two months, I spent all of my hard-earned “free time” contemplating about how best to convert my parents. I complained endlessly. I contrived ultimatums. I conjured up ridiculous reasons. I attempted to use logic, all to no avail – my parents had decided to move.

Having given up all hope for remaining in the only house I had ever know, I withdrew into my bedroom, spending long hours reliving all of the great times I had spent in the house. Losing my bedroom hurt me worst of all: I couldn’t imagine falling asleep in someone else’s room, or having my parents force me to go to “my” bedroom. The thoughts constricted me with anxiety; I imagined my new life as constantly staying at a hotel, never truly being able to go home. My bedroom was my fortress of solitude, my bat cave, my castle, MY bedroom.

Going to open houses and having to visit potential new homes, I dreaded each new one because the next one my parents and I went to might finally be the “one.” Apprehension, waves of trepidation that washed over me like the white-caps at the beach, drove me to insult each and every house, no matter how many admirable qualities it had. Fed up with my constant whining, my mother reiterated, “We’re moving. Embrace it.” I realized she was right, I snapped out of my little-arrogant-kid mindset and understood that if I could leave behind the old house I would be happy.

The rest of the following weeks passed without incident, and finally spring break arrived with its glorious week of vacation. The respite from school was appreciated by teachers and students alike, and without even a backward glance, everyone departed for a wonderful week off, either spent resting at home, or partying one’s troubles away through the night. I decided to spend my week at Lake Travis skiing in frigid water and enjoying Austin with several of my friends. JonJon asked me while out on a boat, “Are you moving to my neighborhood?” His question struck me; I didn’t know any kids who lived in my neighborhood, just a bunch of older couples who liked the proximity to the golf course. I never realized there could be more fun places to live where friends lived just down the block. At that moment I realized that maybe moving wouldn’t be so terrible after all.

The rest of the vacation flew by like an inner tube and riders tumbling through the air after hitting a wave too big to handle. As I hopped out of the boy-filled car eager to be home, I saw a large white moving truck in front of the house. “No!” was all that escaped my mouth as I sprinted up towards my bedroom ready to fight a hoard of buff movers to defend my bed and my sanctuary. Dashing by blue-uniformed men who conversed in Spanish and whose goal of boxing up the house I pledged to thwart, I bolted into my room, enveloped myself in my still-existent bed, and withdrew into the protection the sheets and pillows had always provided me. I wished the monsters which had plagued me as a child could only return and oppose the men who were ruining their refuge. Those creatures and apparitions had abandoned me though. They cluttered together in dread under my bed and in the darkest corners of my cabinets and closet, refusing to face men who did not fear imaginary demons and incredulous monsters.

For the next hour I remained curled in my bed clinging to stuffed animals I seen in years, straining to remember and store away all my memories so they would never be lost or taken away by the navy-clothed men who slowly boxed their way towards my citadel. Finally, they knocked on my door, “You ready in their chief?” one of the movers bellowed with a voice that came from the depths of Hell as if Lucifer himself had come to draw me down from heaven. “Yes, yes I am,” I conceded, wishing that my constitution had held strong against the cunning trickery of the men outside my door. With one last sigh and a look around my room for old-times sake, I opened the door to my room, setting free a flood of blue that broke past the threshold and into my room. The sea of navy dismantled bolts and moved mattresses faster than a NASCAR pit team, taping boxes with the efficiency of a swarm of ants.

Later that day, I stumbled into my new bedroom: a cubicle with boxes littering the floor, books adorning the ground, and pictures and clothes lining the walls, transforming it into an ocean of color. The walls and ceiling were bare except for the cream-colored coat of paint, presenting a canvas for me to smother in memories before I left this house for another. My friend JonJon welcomed me to the neighborhood with a Cheshire-cat grin, going all the way to his ears. I strolled through the house and sat down to diner with my parents and my sister, cracking up and grinning as we sprawled on the bare floor feasting on pizza, with only paper plates and napkins.

As I gazed at my ceiling later that night lying on top of a sleeping bag on the floor, I thought that maybe it isn’t the walls and floors that make up the house, maybe it’s the people in it that make all the difference. With a contented sigh, I fell asleep next to a box that was brimming with past memories and in a room that was waiting to be flooded with new ones.





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