“And here’s the living room…” I look around, letting the realtor’s voice fade out from behind me as I run my fingers along the wooden bookshelf. The atmosphere of a new house and the sound of a stranger presenting it is all too familiar to me, and most likely always will be.
She shows us around the house as my mother and I stare out into the trees off of the back porch. We talk back and forth, deciding where to put a table and how many vehicles the garage holds, but all that plays in my mind is the sound of my own voice asking myself over and over again, “Will I be able to stay in my school? How am I going to get there every morning? Will I need to stay at somebody’s house?” My mother had promised me years before that we wouldn’t move again until I was out of high school, but here we are, yet again, looking at another house before my second year is over.
I grip onto the side railing of the porch and dig my fingers into the hardwood, attempting to calm myself down by thinking about what good can come out of this situation; What good has come out of situations like these in the past. I think back to the last time I felt this burning sensation in my chest, and the feeling of my throat closing in on itself. It was the last day of eighth grade, when my best friend had hurt me worse than anyone before, choosing a side that wasn’t mine, and taking everyone with her. She left me friendless and broken, and I didn’t even attempt to go to any of my classes that day, because I couldn’t stop crying. I sat down on my bed that day and pulled my computer out, tears rushing down my face as I vigorously typed all of the words that were flooding my thoughts.
When there were no more words to write down, I hit enter and titled the document ‘Dear Corinne’, wiping the tears from my face. That letter never made it to her, but it helped me understand what I was feeling, and allowed me to admit to my mom that I was feeling depressed, and needed to talk about it with someone.
Writing has always been my escape route. No matter how many houses, towns, and schools I moved in and out of, writing was the constant in my life, the stability when I had none. When the world is crashing down outside my windows and I can feel the pressure of my own brain pressing up against my skull, I can type until my fingers fall off, knowing that when I’m done I’ll feel relieved; Like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
I turn to my mom and ask to look at the inside of the house again. She nods and we walk inside together, walking up the stairs to the room that she says will be mine if we get the house. I notice a little corner in the room, the perfect size to put a desk. In front of this space is a window, the perfect place to look out and clear my mind, or find inspiration. The burning sensation has left my body now, and swallowing has become easier to manage. I sit down in front of the window and pull out my phone, writing down what I see and feel.
I look around the room once more, and realize that there is clear potential everywhere. I smile and take a deep breath.
“I love it.” I whisper.