Sara had anxiously awaited the parade of homes all year. She got it honest though. She could trace her desire to see the interior walls of homes back to her childhood. Her mother used to drive them to the biggest and most fancy neighborhoods in town every Sunday. It’d been five years since her mother had passed. These days, whenever Sara stepped into a new home, it was as if she was right next to her. She needed that now more than ever.
Her husband waited outside like he’d done for the previous two homes. He found a seat on the porch as Sara removed her shoes at the front door. Her mother never did like using those cheap boot covers. “It’s a house, not an operating room,” her mother would say. “You need to feel the wood underneath your toes before you buy a house like this.”
The kitchen was Sara’s favorite, and she was delighted when that was the first room she saw as she stepped inside. To her, the measure of a kitchen had nothing to do with appliances or backsplashes. It was the island. “Remember Sara, the island is the toolbox of the kitchen. It lets people know that you mean business.”
From the kitchen, she made her way to the living room. She took notice of the walls along the way. Her mom never did care much for shiplap. “Look how perfectly the boards fit together. Nothing in life is that perfect.” Sara had since grown old enough to relate.
The living room was everything a living room should be. There was one wall with built-in storage and plenty of windows throughout. “Built-in storage is practical. It’s the perfect way to let your company know that you’re not perfect, you just have plenty of places to stuff things.”
Up the red oak stairway and to the right was the first bedroom. It was a long rectangular room with a beautiful bay window at the end of it. It would have made a great family room or home office. Perhaps, one day, it might be a nursery for the right family. Sara looked out the window as other home viewers walked up and down the street. There were families big and small. There were young couples and old ones. Then there was her husband. He was waiting patiently for her on the steps where she’d left him. She knew he wanted nothing more than to storm the stairs and solve everything. He tried to talk to her. He tried to listen. He tried everything he could, but giving her space was the only thing he could control with any regularity.
The only thing Sara wanted was to remember her mother, and perhaps find some advice buried in the memories. She caught a glimpse of her hospital bracelet in the reflection of the window. That was a different memory altogether. She couldn’t bring herself to rip the bracelet off, not yet.
Someday soon she might remove the bracelet and bury it in a shoebox in the backyard. She could read some scripture and play some music. The doctor said that might help with the grieving process. But now, all she wanted to do was live in a dream where she and her mother could shop for baby clothes together, or at the very least talk about the miscarriage.
But her mother wasn’t around anymore, and her daughter never had a chance. It was just her, in that empty room that might make a good nursery for someone else, desperately wanting to wake up.