Home * About * Subscribe by Kindle
_____________________________________________
Writers of the Apocalypse * My Music
_____________________________________________

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The House My Father Gave Me

When I was about 18 years old, there was a woman who I thought was my friend. Her husband has been put in jail for embezzling, and I hung around her house a lot. I practically lived there. I babysat her kids, often for free, and listened to her wail and moan about the pole dancing culture. I can't remember her name now: maybe it was Lynn.

She couldn't afford where they were living anymore. One day while visiting another friend, I came across a vacant house. I told her about it, and she got very excited. She wanted to rent it. So, being the friend I was, I set about to get the owner's information for her. I found it, too, and she got permission to rent this house.

She promised me a room in that house - and this was a good opportunity for me. Where I lived with my parents, there was no hope. There was no bus system, no taxies, and no one willing to help me get to and from work. To move in with Lynn in that house, which was situated right on the edge of our tiny town, meant I could walk to work. Hell, it meant I could work. Maybe buy a car. Maybe finish college. My hopes were very up over her offer.

The house had a reputation for being haunted - this did not scare me at all. I viewed it with her, and she promised me the first room when you entered the house. It was bigger than any room I had ever had in my poor upbringing.

She got the house, and on the day she signed the paperwork she took back her offer to me. However, she said, I could come over and see the house.

"Give me a rock out of your collection," Dad said to me. I got one out of my little keepsake box: it was a small stone, like the kind you buy in a new age shop. He put it in his pocket.

My father and I loaded up in his old truck and we went over there.

She gave me the tour while Dad touched everything. His eyes were bright in that lit way that meant he was up to something. He touched the walls, the doorknobs, the doors. So while Lynn showed me the living room, he slid his hand across the wall paneling.

Lynn walked away for a moment - I can't remember what for - and I turned to the only door in the house that was closed. "That was supposed to be my room," I said to Dad.

"Do you want to see what's inside?" he asked me.

And then, all of it's own, the doorknob turned and the door opened.

I walked to the door of the bedroom and looked inside. Lynn already had a bed in there. The carpet was green. The light from the window was adequate but not fantastic - much like my dashed hopes to earn a better life.

Dad took out the stone and right there in front of Lynn, he put all of the house's energy into that stone. The feelings I felt in that moment were a mixture of gratitude that my father would do this for me, as well as surprise that he even would. He handed me the stone and said, "Here, Jennifer. Here is your house."

Lynn didn't stay in the house for long. I spoke to her only one time after that; it was to hear her complain that the house had lost its energy. And I guess that was the final straw in my relationship with her. During the time I'd known her, she'd used me for a nanny. She'd *smudged me* because a new age friend had told her I was evil. And she just... wasn't right. A few years later another friend said they'd heard from her and she'd asked how I was.

"I don't care," I had responded - which was very uncharacteristic of me back then. I'd have done anything to be your friend in those days. "She owes me an apology."

And that's the last I'd ever heard or saw of Lynn.

I kept that house with me for many years until the stone disappeared one day.  That was my house; the house that my father gave me.