Passing over a little bridge, we watch the creek on both sides, the water flowing down. Once we get off the bridge, I see every single shop has the American flag hanging outside. As we slowly roll down the street, I look at my side of the street and the sidewalk consisting of tiny red blocks. The D’Amore pizza place has a red and white sign with green around it. I look inside and see someone tossing a pizza in the air behind the counter in the middle.
Right next door to the pizza place is Sweet Pixie Cuts. I try to look inside, but all I see is white. A small cast-iron table sits in front with two pink chairs.
Next is Grandma Susie’s Kitchen, and looking inside, all I see is red and white. A couple of people are sitting on the stools right at the front. A waitress carrying food with both hands. A billboard in front displays today’s specials written in pink chalk.
A big green awning with white writing hangs in front of the next shop. Tina’s Treasure Thrift Shop has racks of clothing lining the front two windows. A big cardboard BOGO sign in black hangs in the window. People walk down the street and wave to everyone. “I think everyone knows everyone,” I comment. Taking off my sunglasses, I realize more shops are across the street. “We should take a walk tomorrow night,” I say as Crystal turns left in the front of the pharmacy, which just has the mortar and pestle on it. We pass the courthouse, or at least that’s what I think it is because courthouse is written in the middle of it. I see a tavern on Crystal’s side but don’t catch the name as she turns left again to head into what looks like a development of new houses.
We continue down and pass a cul-de-sac with two houses on the street. I see a little girl riding her pink bike with her father chasing after her as she laughs and tries to get away. We turn down a gravel road, and I take in the lush trees on both sides as we get to the house. The white house looks deserted and nothing like the pictures.
“What the fuck?” I say as Crystal puts the car in park right in front of the house. I look up and see that one of the black shutters is falling loose from the window on the second floor. I open my door and climb out of the car, meeting Crystal in the front to take in our new home.
“That picture lied,” she says as she grabs her phone out of her pocket and calls Nanny. “I know you’re not answering because you know why I’m calling,” she says into the phone and then hangs up, turning to me. “Maybe it’s just the outside.” She digs through my purse for the key. “Let’s go inside and see how bad it is.” We walk up the front steps and find one whole step missing.
I shake my head as we make it to the door, turning and seeing that swing that called my name. The chains that hold the swing are rusted and covered in spider webs. The wicker seat is so dirty, and the pink rug that was under it is blown half over. “Okay, so we need to do a couple of projects,” I say as she puts the key in the door and turns the lock. “Well, at least we aren’t locked out,” I say as she pushes open the door and steps inside.
The huge living room is empty. The fireplace has a board nailed over it with a single white chair in the middle of the room facing it. The gray floor has seen better days. I turn the lights on, but they just flicker. We walk in to see the kitchen to our left with a wooden island in the middle and all the cabinets white and lifeless. The brown wooden butcher block counters provide the only color in the room. The white porcelain farmhouse sink faces the window looking out to the front. The windows have no shades. The white gas stove with black burners has seen better days as has the fridge. Crystal walks to it and opens it and groans at the smell. “We need to buy a new fridge and stove,” she says as I look around, thinking with the right couch and table, this place can be perfect.
I follow her down a short hallway where we find a simple bathroom on our left. The black and white flower tiles on the floor dress it up a bit, and a see-through curtain covers the window. I open the door on the right and find a huge master bedroom. Three windows face the water in the distance. Noticing again the white walls, I walk in and open the door to the bathroom. “Why is everything so white?” I say as the floor creaks under my feet. The ceiling in the bedroom was a dark wood, but someone painted over it. As is evident from the brown fan that sits dormant with spider webs hanging from it. Heading out the door in the corner of the room, I take in the covered porch and the other swing that drew me to this house, but I don’t look at it. Instead, I listen to the sound of the rumble of the ocean and the waves crashing on the shore. Looking out, all I see is the darkness of the night. “This is so cool,” I say as I glance at the swing. This one has some padding on it and gold chains holding it up.