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It is a frosty, mid-Autumn morning when I make the journey to my father’s house. We live almost a whole hour and thirty minutes apart. On the travel there, I give myself the usual pep talk about why am I doing this. "He is always forcing me to socialize with her," I begin. "To see if she (and, himself) can win over my approval. I do not mind it. She is an awfully nice girl — maybe a little too nice, even for him — but as for 'gaining my affection,' she is far from it."
Thinking about this and twirling it around in my brain, I am left with a sour feeling about coming to this house. I made three right turns, two lefts, and a roundabout before arriving at the house. It was deep in the country on a tiny backroad. There it sat — on five acres of land — a decent-sized farm house painted white and red. The drive down the driveway took forever. Pulling closer to the house, I spot a car parked outside; her car.
"I cannot do this. I cannot be here." I start to freak out. Taking several breaths, I get out and walks up to the house. The house was immaculate. The house was gorgeous. I walk inside and head towards the back. There were breath-taking wonders behind every door and down every hallway. I stop at the kitchen. A spacious bay window protruding from the west dining room wall; a "Chef's hole" (as I like to call it) cut deep in its east. I glide over the recently waxed, oak-stained hardwood floor to the master suite. On the bed lies her shirt, a shirt that brought back so many faded memories. Memories of a time well forgotten… by choice.
I walk into my bedroom. Just sitting in this room alone gives me an unsettling feeling. This suffocating atmosphere of false happiness. Everything just frozen in time from the last visit I made somewhere in a past life. A past life where it is just me; only me. Not her. I am twenty-one now, and my memories of this house are none too pleasant. I wish they were better; more fond, more kind. I need to rewrite these memories, to walk around and create new ones. I peek into the room directly next to mines. It was still. The triple-bunk bed took up majority of the room; one bed on the bottom with two on the top. The colors on the walls were still that eerie shade of yellow, blue, and green. Vintage Scooby-Doo character stickers were stuck all around the bottom halves. I thought my room was frozen, but not compared to here. This was like a time machine. Baby clothes hung in the closet. Cartoon blankets covered all three of the beds. Toddler toys were strewn about the floor. — Memories… Those bittersweet memories…
I wander back out into the dining room. They were waiting for me; already prepared dinner was laid out. "What am I doing here? Why put myself through reliving my past?" I ask myself again. "Why am I here?" Today is the day that WE meet. She already has him, so why drag me into the mix? Approval or not, I did not want to be here. If it means that much then take my blessing, and let me move on with my life. It is no offense to him or her. I just cannot bring myself to settle. I give her credit; she tries. Conversation, gifts; you name it, she does it. I feel flattered, seriously. I like her. Like I had mentioned earlier, she is a really sweet girl. I just do not think that she is right for him.
The dinner is awkward, the three of us sitting there in silence. I can hear her shuffling on the kitchen tile. She is nervous. He is nervous. I am anxious. “I like you,” I blurt out. “You are really a sweet woman. Why would you want to stay here?” She looks puzzled. He looks annoyed. I can tell that what I am about to do will change this whole day. If she is about to become family, then she must be warned about all of our secrets.
“How may I address you?” I ask her.
“Ms. Linda,” I begin, “there are a few things that I must tell you.” I take a deep breath. I hope she is as good-of-heart as I believe that she is. Although, if she has any common sense, she would run. But I fear that knowing this knowledge about us, she will stay.