Something clicked in the house behind her and she jumped. It was amazing how empty and cold a place could feel without furniture.
Rochelle awkwardly wedged another box onto the growing pile. Daniel was clattering about in the kitchen, probably looking for the box with the kettle in it. She rocked back on her heels and surveyed the bare room. The stairs were carpeted in a murky brown. She couldn’t tell if that had been the original colour or one created by time and muddy feet. There was a large stain on the ceiling above her head too and she tried not to think what that might turn into.
“Cheer up,” Daniel suggested, wandering by her towards the open door, “It’ll look nice once we’ve had a chance to spruce it up a bit.”
Rochelle smiled weakly at him as he went out for another box. Daniel had wanted a project and boy had he found one. She didn’t want to spoil his enthusiasm by showing just how panicked she was at the thought of living here. Her feet scuffed over a hole in the black and white tiles.
She wandered into the kitchen: more murky brown. The windows were letting in lots of afternoon sunlight though. She imagined it glimmering off blue counters and brass fittings.
She went over to the sink. More stains she really didn’t want to speculate on. In the garden, a bird was hopping on the weed clogged patio. There was a stretch of lumpy lawn (yet more murky brown, rather than a true green), rising gently to a line of shaggy evergreens. Something clicked in the house behind her and she jumped. It was amazing how empty and cold a place could feel without furniture. She rubbed at her arms, feeling like she was five again and lost somewhere unknown.
The bird took flight, skimming across the garden. She imagined emerald grass unfurling as it flew, bright orange flowers rising up in orderly beds and the paving slabs shining new and white. A swing gently swayed from one of the branches of the trees.
“Found it,” Daniel announced.
Rochelle blinked and turned to him. He was smiling nervously and holding up the kettle.
“Alright?” he asked, his eyes darting around the dingy kitchen.
She smiled back and went to take the kettle from him.
“It will be.”