I can’t remember if the fence was crooked before or after the stranger came? In my memory he’s tall, thin, white haired and smiling. Perhaps he wasn’t all that tall though. Most people seem tall to me so perhaps he was shorter, more averaged sized. Either way, I can still see him standing in the larger gate, the one we used, not the one eaten by the conifers, smiling at my parents’ house. He was the one who revealed that it used to be two and not one, and he had lived there at some point, back when he was my age. At least I think he said that, I might have made that last bit up.
I think I was disappointing that my parents already knew the bit about our house not always being one dwelling. It was the same sort of disappointment that came I woke up from dreams with secret doors and hidden staircases. The mystery was never mine to find, it always belonged to someone else.
My room is now the guest room. Re-purposed now I have bricks and mortar to call my own. I still trace my hands along the hallway walls though, tracing the seams of the wallpaper, pressing against the bubbles beneath the drops. Part of me still hopes for secrets, tucked inside those walls.
White lilac blooms first,
near the front garden one edge.
Little else here changes.