I sat by the window, staring at the church across the street as bats flew around the bell tower. It is late at night, but I cannot sleep knowing this is my last night in this house. My grandma’s place, it is, but soon to be no more.
“You loved this house,” I muttered. “It didn’t matter what took place in this house. You loved it.”
It was six months ago that she passed away in this house. In her favorite room, on a bed that gave her plenty of rest. Rest for eternity now.
Now, here is the house, practically empty, as I am the last to leave and welcome the new owners.
“Are you sure you want to do this, Pete?” my sister Lisa asked me.
“You need to get home to your family,” I told her. “I don’t have one, and my partner can take care of the business while I am gone. I will be good.”
“I wish someone else could take care of it, but no one else around that lives or cares.”
My grandma had three children. My mother died in a car wreck going on five years ago. Then a son, named Greg, who was killed in Afghanistan months before he was to retire. Last one is Nate, who disappeared a few years ago. My grandma knew where he went, but refused to tell anyone. I figured he joined a bizarre cult since he was always into that type of thing.
Lisa and I were the only children by my mother. Greg had three children, none of them liked grandma at all. When they asked, or I should say, demanded their father’s stuff, grandma had adamantly refused their request.
“They would have taken his stuff and tried to sell all of it,” my grandma told me one day, a couple of years ago. “I would rather give his stuff to you or Lisa. Not those spoiled kids. If Greg wasn’t gone so much he would have brought them up the right way.”
I know grandma couldn’t stand Greg’s wife. She rather tries to buy her children’s love. More of a friend than a mother.
Thankfully, I had to work for what I wanted. My father left soon after I was born, so mother had to work constantly, sometimes two jobs for us to survive. Very few gifts came our way. One for our birthday, and a couple for Christmas.
I continued to look out the window as the bats continued to circle the tower. It’s nice to be in the attic, where I can see everything on this side of town. It seemed not that long ago I hated stepping foot in the attic. Like many I knew or heard of, they were very creepy. Dark, creaking all the time, that made me feel like there was always another invisible entity with me. The thought made me look behind me.
“No one there,” I said. “Or I can’t see them.”
With everyone into the paranormal nowadays, ghost hunters would have a heyday with this house. I never had an incident with this place, but a different story for Lisa.
The house was a funeral home back at the end of the 19th century and into the first quarter of the 20th century. As soon as you enter the front door, there is a room to the left. A room where the deceased is taken to be prepared for burial. Lisa couldn’t remember the amount of times she saw people leave and enter that room. Definitely not family members, and they wore clothing similar to the time the funeral home was in operation.
“At first, it freaked me out,” she told me a few years ago. “Over time, you get somewhat used to it. The only ones that give me the creeps are the ones that look at me. I quickly exit the hallway and sometimes exit the house with the chills.”
“Time to stop thinking of such things now,” I muttered, sitting up in the attic in the middle of the night by myself. “I need to be here when the owners show up tomorrow. Not scare myself out of the house.”
Once again I looked out the window, the bats still flying. Immediately a memory came to mind of the one night Lisa and I were outside, and with pistols in hand, shot suction darts at the bats. We didn’t come close to hitting one, but we had a fun time. A couple of scary moments as the bats came close to our head.
“Some of the silly things we did,” I thought.
Another memory that surfaced was the amount of family members that lived in the house at one time. We actually lived in the house for a bit until my wife found an excellent job in another state.
But, at the time we lived there grandma’s mother lived there, one of her uncles lived there, and also one of her brothers lived here. Even then it didn’t feel like a full house, since it was such a large house.
Memories of times long gone. Ones that are fading away while others that are crystal clear.
“I guess I will walk into the house one last time,” I said as I stood up.
I went over to the stairs and went down to the second story. I looked at each room, and the character each of them has.
“Don’t make homes like these anymore.”
I entered grandma’s room and stood there for the longest period, circling the room.
“I miss you grandma.”
I left the room and went down to the ground floor. Walked through each room, memories of events that took place in each of the rooms. I could practically smell the delicious meals grandma made as I entered the kitchen.
I then went back to the living room and lay down. On the cot. It didn’t take long for sleep to come.
The next day the new owners came, and I handed the keys over. I went out to the car. Before I got in, I looked at the house one last time and saw the curtain move.
“Strange,” I thought.
Got into the car and drove away.