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The Green House on Ames Road

By , Hampden, MA

I couldn’t believe it. I was stunned. It was put off for so long, I thought it would never happen. My mother had just walked into the door and crossed the room to sit on our lumpy, mocha-colored couch. She told me she found a new house we were thinking about buying. The idea of moving sent a wave of shock through my body. I felt anger build inside of me. I told myself that I wouldn’t let this happen. I didn’t want to let all of the memories from our house fade away like the colors of an old photograph.


My nana actually owned the house we lived in and was letting us rent it. We had been looking for a new house in earnest for the last two years. In order to speed the house hunting process up, she told us she wanted us out! So, there we were, two years later, driving up Ames Road so I could see the exterior of the new house we were possibly going to buy. I examined it from top to bottom. The front yard stretched so far that it looked like half of a soccer field. Three mammoth dusty-grey rocks rose out of the ground, placed peculiarly in front of the house, which looked downright odd. My mother reassured me that we could move them. Behind the rocks stood the house, I took one glance and immediately dismissed the idea of this ever being my new home. The house was made out of wood and was of a green color, somewhere in between forest green and a light mint green.  There was a porch in the front of the house and a garage adjacent to it, which was something we did not have at our old house. The front of the house had eleven windows alone, ranging in shape from crescent to octagonal, all lined with an eggshell-white trim. What I had in mind was nothing like this. I had wanted an enormous yellow house of a color that was lighter than the creamiest butter; much bigger than this house. Maybe even a pool. I didn’t want anything like this. This was never going to be my home.


“What do you think?” my mother asked as we sat in the car staring at the house.


“It’s okay,” I answered trying to conceal my despair.


It was clear my mother was expecting more of a positive reaction. She said there weren’t any other houses in Allentown we could buy, but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to move. I’d lived at Chapin Road my whole life. I had spent every joyous Christmas there, every birthday there since I was born. There were so many great childhood memories. Times where we had family game nights and joked all of the time. Or when we would all get together to watch movies on Friday night. One time my father and I fell asleep on the couch together after watching a movie. We were lying on opposite directions in the exact same position with our hands cupping our faces. It was a nice cozy night. It may not have been a pretty house, but the memories made it my home. The roof was too big, making it look like an oversized hat that was too big for someone’s head. It slumped way too far down, almost covering the first-floor windows. The bottom of the house was speckled with brown mud, like splats of paint on a white canvas. The inside was dark, small and overflowed with too much stuff. However, there were many upsides. My neighbors were the best, most kind people. I had grown up there and nothing could replace the time I’d spent there. Cradled by the pure white moonlight of the night, that shined in my room from when I was a baby up until now, how could I pick up and leave it all behind?


About a month later we made another visit, after we bought the house. This time we were able to inspect the inside. My aunt Lucy, my mother, my father, and I went up on a cool summer night. I walked up the porch and waited. Soon my father unlocked the door and we all went inside. I walked around downstairs. I first entered the living room. A wide green-walled room with a brick fire place on the far wall. A wooden shelf lay above it, which would soon be occupied by family photos. Then I walked into the dining area that had a bay window that even I had to admit looked really beautiful. The ceiling light was extravagant. It looked like a small copper chandelier that had rusted a whitish-green like the statue of liberty, giving off an antique vibe. The kitchen was also much nicer than the one at the old house. It had an island with a granite countertop, the color of sandstone. All of the floors were wooden and needed to be redone but that was going to be taken care of the next week.


Then I went upstairs and got to see my room. It wasn’t big or breathtaking, but there was something special about it. It was all mine. I didn’t have to share with my sister anymore! No more turning the light on when I’m still trying to sleep. No more dresses, skirts, and shorts of hers thrown onto my side of the room. It was mine.
The last part of the house that I thought was spectacular was the family room. It was a huge lavender room with a giant window with a crescent window above it that looked onto the side of the house where you could watch sunsets. I couldn’t wait for the first sunset I’d be able to see. Our old house only saw sunrises, which were usually boring. I could slowly feel the idea of moving grow on me, but I still wasn’t sure about it. After I looked at the last couple rooms my aunt, parents, and I went downstairs and sat on the floor. We started planning out all of our ideas for the house: colors, where things would go, and how everything would turn out. My father and I both slept on the floor, looking almost identical. My mother started laughing and told us to stay still so she could take a picture.


“This reminds me of the picture I have of you two when Cole was little sleeping in bed in the exact same position,” she said as she giggled. We all started laughing. We made jokes and had a good time. Our laughter echoed through the cavernous hallways of the house—our new house. I realized then that our family was the ones making the memories. They wouldn’t stay anchored at Chapin Road. They’d follow us here. We would spend all of the next holidays there, all of our next birthdays here, and would grow up here, too. The memory of us sleeping on the couch followed us so our other memories would be carried here too. This was our new home.




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