December 2, 2011
As the blistering orange sun plunges into the Pacific Ocean, the obscure darkness begins to envelope the Golden State. I sit solitarily at the bottommost step of the stairs in my empty home, watching the sun’s last rays of light as it plummets into the deep-sea. Like glimmering orbs of golden butter, the lamps in the home softly glow in the dimness of the night one last time. They are no longer required to illuminate the darkness with their luminous rays of light. As the bright, starry lights gleam in their final moments – their dying breaths – I rest my legs on the stairs - layered with tan, coarse tufted carpeting - and my head reclines against the emerald green wall. Sprawled upon the rough – but comforting – carpet, like a monstrous lion slumbering in its den, I relax on the floor, with my head bustling with thoughts. Like a tsunami, a wave of nostalgia comes over me as I recollect the memory of my first visit to this suburban home with my family and the realtor six years ago. Only six years ago. Six years had flown by since I had sat on these same stairs alongside my older brother, as our parents inspected the house like a pair of hawks. Those stairs have borne witness to my growth, as my immaturity disintegrated into millions of pieces, and I developed into a young man. Those stairs silently observed my feet grew as they grew into the size thirteen sneakers I wear today. Those stairs know who I am.
The once lively suburban home is now bare -- stripped of its clothing, its furnishings, and its belongings -- and sulks in a dark corner, feeling lonesome and disheartened. The “scratches” and “bruises” left on its walls – which do not stem from abuse, but from the common household incidents a family would cause – are fully exposed, expressing the level of homeliness of the residence. Everything the house has become accustomed to, since its construction – since its birth – has been stolen from it. In the bedrooms – the storage cabinets, the beds, and the tables – all have vanished, yet their presence in the home at one time, still lingers as the carpet exhibits all of their dark, flattened imprints into the rug left behind. In the living room, there is nothing left to see but the rich chocolate brown paint on the walls. The once grand room has been stripped of its lavish furnishings - a fine black, leather reclining sofa, a large flat screen TV, and a contemporary glass coffee table. Even the kitchen is stripped and deprived of its belongings. There is a gray, dusty square layer on the floor where the refrigerator once towered, and to its right, its smooth, luminescent granite counters no longer hold the kitchen utensils. Above the counter, the dark pine-wood cabinets are left wide open, revealing their hollow internals, like the emptiness of a beloved, ornate vase deprived of its flowers. Outside in the patio, the deck chairs and the grill no longer seem to exist. The flowers in the darkened soil surrounding the concrete floor on the patio deck bloom bitterly. Amidst their beauty, the flowers seem to be depressed, and have difficulty accepting the reality, in which their caretakers are leaving them.
Rising from my seat on the step of the stairs, I slowly ascend step by step, glancing around at the surroundings with which I have become so familiar with. Taking the last steps towards my room, I stare at the entrance to this messy, but cozy room, which I have slept in for the past six years of my life. Arriving at my room, I sit down against the wall where my bed used to be. Its imprint in the rug is still visible and apparent. I reminisce about my experiences in this house - the good ones and the bad ones. I recalled the times when my friends and I would gather in my living room. We would enjoy ourselves and would laugh so hard, that our cheeks would become sore and would turn red. At other times, we hungrily snacked on rich, creamy ice cream or crisp strips of potato chips, leaving our crumbs everywhere. We would play insane video games without a care in the world, and our neighbors would complain about the ruckus we made. Outside of my garage, we would “rendezvous” with our bicycles - like a squad of brotherly soldiers - and we would ride our bikes across town, sometimes to dine out, and other times to play basketball scrimmages with random people at the park. I remember the times I spent in my bedroom, when I would stay up all night working on homework, or studying for multiple tests. My room lamp would struggle to keep the room fully lit as I worked on my schoolwork into the late night, sometimes even causing the light bulb to retain so much heat that it would burn out, leaving my room as black as the night sky. When that would occur, I would stare out my room window on the second floor, into the street lights and the night sky, often hearing the distant explosions from the fireworks at Disney Land.
As I sit on the carpet floor, reminiscing of the past, I stare at the salmon painted wall on the opposite wall in front of me. It is such a simple, plain sight. To any other person, it would not seem as special. However, it means a lot more than a salmon colored wall to me. It is special. It is my home, a place where I have lived and grown for many years. In fact, it is the most amount of time I have ever spent, living in one place. It is a place where I have experienced so many events in my life. It shares the feelings, the emotions, and the struggles that I have faced. I walk around the house, every last corner of it, reminding myself of every little detail I spent at that corner. Each and every corner of the home reminds me of the different memories that I have experienced. The loft – where I would stretch my arms and legs as I lay on the rough carpet. The stairs – which I would descend in a matter of a few milliseconds. The living room – where I felt my first earthquake and where I updated my Facebook status as “EARTHQUAKE!!” in a matter of seconds. I am accustomed to this house, and this house is accustomed to me. I cannot fathom the possibility of leaving my home, and living in a new one. No. I cannot.
I have no other choice though. As difficult as it is, I must leave. There is no other option. As my mother calls me downstairs to leave, I cannot feel a thing. I can not feel happiness or even sadness. My emotions are blank. I descend the long stairs leading to my demise, and each step I take down the stairs, feels like a jarring blow to the head. It is agonizing, yet I cannot feel any emotion. I descend stairs in a matter of seconds, but it feels as though an hour has passed as I slowly walk down each step. I walk slowly outside the garage door, and waiting outside is the fully loaded Honda Civic roaring at me with its headlights – aimed directly at my pupils. I take one last look at my home - its painted walls, its marble flooring, its cool atmosphere – and I step into the vehicle, ready to begin the next chapter of my life.

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