Living in the house was an affair but she was married to her home. It was a life long commitment that took all of her efforts, body and soul. She liked the house, an ordinary brick house in a quiet residential street in an average town but she loved it as a home, loved it as if it was a part of her, like a limb or another child.
She’d lived so long there now that she’d forgotten that she had lived anywhere else. The new house had grown up with her and her family, grown up around them, providing shelter and warmth. They had grown up together and the house had become a home, her home. Her life was her home and her home had become her life, filled with memories and emotions, the spirits of the past and her faded hopes for the future.
Her children had grown up there, conceived and delivered, as toddlers and adolescents. They had taken their first steps there, left to go to school from there and came back with their first boyfriends. The house had been their place of succour and safety, it was the centre of their map and their lives had radiated out from it. She was their centre, their magnetic point that had drawn them back, always back to the house and the home with her at its heart.
But now they had gone, they had been to university and came back but now they had left to build their own lives and loves, left to branch out and create their own ways in the world, a world in which they came to rely on her les and less. Only their vacant rooms remained, redolent of their childhood and heavy with their ghosts, reflected in the toys that still sat on their beds and the ornaments on their shelves, waiting for their return that will never come now. And she knew it but they are still a part of the house, her home, very much living in her memories.
She came to know every piece of her ordinary brick house, her home, every nook and cranny, every corner, all of its weaknesses, its needs and its quirks and her home had grown to know her every movement. It knew her by the creak of the stairs, the bang of the doors and the tread of her feet across the carpeted floors. She has grown up in the house and they had grown together into her home. She had made it what it is and without her it had been nothing but a shell of bricks and mortar, an empty and lifeless vessel.
They felt their age now, both of them creaking and groaning more and more as the months passed into years. The anniversaries had gone by, silver, pearl and ruby and it had been a long marriage, fruitful and fulfilling, both comfortable in each others company. But now she could feel that the marriage was coming to an end, she was losing the love for her home and it was turning back into a house. It was demanding more and more of her time and attention, things to replace and items to repair. It was decaying, dying, and she was preparing for the inevitable day when they would no longer be together, when they would be married no longer.
Soon she would be leaving her home, the home of her life, the home of her children and once again it would become just a house, an ordinary brick house in a quiet residential street.