THE NEW HOUSE
The New House is a short story about Bella who does not want to move house.
The New House
Bella felt she had been packing for ever. She read somewhere that moving house was one of the most stressful things in life and she totally agreed - she felt stressed. Why had she agreed to sell this house she loved it she had loved it from the moment she saw it. Peter had never felt the same as she did he had accepted it was all they could afford at the time. “Ex council house” he would say “but it is only temporary we will move as soon as we can”. That had been 10 years ago and Bella had never wanted to be anywhere else but this ex council house.
Part of her was in this house she thought. They had spent months decorating it before they were married and Peter had carried her over the thresh-hold on their wedding night. Both her children had been conceived in this house and all the sleepless nights with her babies she had walked it’s floors. She loved the street where the occupants of the houses were so friendly and helpful. They arranged trips for the children in the school holidays, street parties for special occasions and helped each other when anyone was in need. Oh why had she agreed to move. Yes the new house was bigger - more room for their growing children and more suitable for Peter’s advancing career. “I will need to entertain sometimes and how can I bring my superiors to a council estate” he would moan. So she had given in went looking at houses usually managing to find something wrong with them until the one in Clover Place. She had searched to find something that was not right with the detached house but had to admit she could not. “It’s perfect” Peter would tell people “isn’t it Bell?” and Bella had to admit is was.
She jumped up grabbing her coat I will go and have another look maybe I will find a fault if I look hard enough she said to herself. Bella drove up the tree lined street of perfect houses until she reached number 4. She parked the car and walked up to the gate. It did not look like anyone was at home so she thought I will have a look around after all in two days time it will belong to Peter and I. She opened the gate and walked down the neat path bordered by brightly scented flowers. She passed the wooden front door with it’s polished brass knocker and letter box and walked around to the back of the house. The back garden looked like an advert in a magazine well cared for lawns with a little greenhouse at the bottom a patio area with a table and chairs and the cutest little summerhouse. Bella had to admit that summer days spent in this garden would be a delight for the whole family and a wonderful place to entertain their family and friends on hot summer days. Bella sank onto one of the chairs on the patio as tears ran down her face. “Hello can I help you?” came a voice from the patio door. Bella jumped brushing away the tears she mumbled “I am sorry I just wanted to..” It’s Mrs Mason isn’t it” said the smiling woman coming towards her. “Yees” stuttered Bella “I am sorry to intrude I just wanted” “You wanted to have another look around but of course” broke in Mrs Black “please come in I will put the kettle on”.
Bella followed Mrs Black inside the house. “Please come through to the kitchen” Mrs Black said over her shoulder as she lead the way. Bella followed sneaking a look at the neat perfect dining room which lead onto the large kitchen. “Please take a seat” Mrs Black said indicating chairs set around a table which was covered in boxes. “I hate packing but you must be up to the eyes in packing as well” chirped Mrs Black. “Yes I hate packing and so thought I would take a break from it I hope you don’t mind me coming here like this” Bella said as she pulled out a chair and sat down. “Not at all” said Mrs Black “in fact I am really pleased to have the break to tell you the truth I was getting myself into a bit of a state”. “Really” said Bella “is something wrong?”. “You will think I am silly old woman but you see dear I have lived in this house since I got married, brought my family up here it is full of my life 40 years of my life” sighed Mrs Black. “Oh I do understand” cried Bella “why did you decide to sell the house if you feel like that?” “Needs must dear, needs must” said Mrs Black as she put a china tea cup in front of Bella “biscuit dear”. Mrs Black sat down at the table and pouring the tea into the cups she went on “My Bill dear he had a stroke you see can’t manage the stairs or the garden anymore so we have a nice little downstairs flat - easy to look after”. “I am sad of course” went on Mrs Black “but the house is not a person it’s bricks and mortar it’s the people who make the memories and my Bill is more important then any house. Bella looked at this lovely wise lady and she heard herself saying “Yes you are right Mrs Black the people we love are more important than bricks and mortar”.
As Bella stood up to leave an hour later she felt a weight had been lifted from her. Mrs Black had promised to come back to the house and visit her and introduce her to the neighbours. Bella had promised Mrs Black she would take her place on the street’s coffee morning rota and she would look after the Cherry Tree which Mr & Mrs Black had planted on their first wedding anniversary. “Back to the packing then” said Bella as she waved goodbye to Mrs Black. As Bella walked through the lovely garden she found herself planning a garden party for all her old and new neighbours. Life moves on Mrs Black had said and Bella heard herself agreeing Yes Mrs Black life has to move on.
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