Rose and I stop inside and stare. We had both dreamed about this day. It was a building we had written stories about, had wondered about, had done research on. There is a feeling of awe we both feel, standing there with broken glass under our feet, bits of boards stacked up nearby.
Carefully, cautiously, we walk forward, through each room. We wonder about the stories each room contains. We run our fingers along the cracked green paint and step around the peeling grey tile.
In one room there is an ugly grey desk and an old record player. There’s a sign for the missing pool table. Rose wonders aloud, “Why was the pool table taken, but not this,” and places a finger on the record player. I shake my head. “Why did they take all of the curtains except that last one?” I point to the single fluttering yellow curtain. It is a strange thing. I never know who decides what is taken, what is left behind. We go upstairs and stare at the abandoned library. Books are scattered over the floor like a thousand lost souls. I turn away and don’t know whether I’m going to cry or throw up. It is just… wrong.
“Why was this left here?” Rose asks, her voice breaking, but I shake my head. I don’t know why. I don’t know why anything was abandoned here with this building. “Come on,” I whisper. “It’s time to go.”
“I wish the walls could talk,” Rose whispers and I wonder if we’re thinking the same thing. We do that sometimes. As if we were twins in another reality, and this reality messed that up, putting us in different families, in different times. But here, in this broken down building, age and family and differences don’t matter. There are just the echoes of a dying place that used to be a home.