An old house reflects from the puddle. Not clearly, just enough for a small boy to notice. People pass by, too occupied by their thoughts. They never notice. The boy always becomes happy and sometimes even claps his little hands as he passes. Because the puddle looks different every time.
When the sun’s out even just a little, the reflection of the old wooden apartment house gets a warm glow. He knows that every time winter comes, the old house starts looking as if it were made from delicate glass. The boy had seen the house’s reflection in dark colors, with just a few bright spots from the glistening street lights. Sometimes, he´d notice two dark spots on one of the windows. Barely visible, the two spots reflect from the puddle; overshadowed by the sunset colors which always offer the most spectacular views.
Today, a piece of flowery wallpaper lands in the puddle. It gets completely soaked. Then drowns. Sally and John had bought that wallpaper together a few years ago.
“Let´s get the one with the red flowers,” Sally said.
“No, it´s too girly. Let´s get the one with light-gray stripes,” John argued.
As always, Sally was right when it came to decorating. Even if she wouldn´t have been, John loved her too much to say no.
A few months ago, Sally and John’s next-door neighbor – an old lady, who had lived in the house since the beginning – had fallen ill. Sally had made her a beautiful get-well card with flowers on it. They both loved flowers. The old lady had put it up on her refrigerator door. Two weeks ago, she passed away, the poor old lady. Today, the card that was still hanging on her refrigerator fell down. The wind sweeps it along the street.
A door gets shattered to pieces. The same chalky-blue door that connected two 3rd floor loft apartments. Number 7 and number 8. Peter´s and Miriam´s separate apartments they had been, up until the two found each other, dated for a year, and then decided to make a doorway to connect their apartments. That was 27 years ago. The door had stood there for so long. Now, it´s gone. Yet the two of them are still standing together. Somewhere.
“I want that rocking pony.” A small red-headed girl had cried in the middle of a Supermarket.
“No. You can´t have it. You’ll get tired of it.” Her mom, Tessa, had said.
Just like John, Tessa loved her sweetheart too much to win that fight. The little girl got her wooden pony. Green was its saddle and blue were its eyes. Today, the pony is lying on its side under a heavy wooden beam. The red-headed girl is now 24 and doesn´t miss the pony anymore. She has a grownup life now.
A lovely old couple used to live across from Tessa´s apartment. They had had a window with a crack running along its left side. Every evening, during the sunset, the two used to stand side by side behind the window. The crack didn´t bother them because they were enjoying the sunset and each other’s company. They’d been watching the sunsets together for over 50 years.
“Dear, do you think we´ll ever move?”
“Not a chance. This is our home. We´ll stay here forever. Just you and me, dear.”
But they did eventually move. They had to. And no one knows where they are now. Did they ever find another place to call their home or another window to watch the sunsets from? All we know for sure is that their old window finally shattered today.
Also, Timothy´s kitchen table broke today. He can never eat behind it again. Ever. He had had some of his best meals at that table. His wife Maggie had been and still is a great cook. Tim adored her cooking and the size of his waistline was a testimony to that. He used to be slim when they moved into the house. But he just couldn’t resist the good food that was laid out on the white carved kitchen table every evening.
“Mmm. I love the potato mash.” Tim used to say.
“Thank you darling.” Maggie had often answered.
“And how in the world did you get that meat so tender?”
“It´s a secret, darling.” A secret that Timothy never did find out sitting behind that white carved table.
Today, a heart got broken. Cracked in half even. Ricky had carved the heart into one of the wooden wall beams back when the house was being built. He used to spend time on the construction site with his father who had been one of the three men building the house. Back then, Ricky had had a crush on Julie. No one knew. It was his little secret. The heart he’d carved out for Julie had been hidden for decades under layers of plaster, tapestry and paint.
No one had ever seen it. But today, someone cracked it in half. Now, it will never get mended. Nor will it ever be seen.
“Yellow, Daddy! Look how yellow the puddle is today,” the new color makes the little boy happy once again.
“Come along now. We´re in a hurry.”
“But daddy. Look at the yellow bulldozer that is reflecting from the puddle. I’ve never seen the puddle so yellow before.”
“Stop it with the puddle! Let´s go!”
Years pass. A young man walks past the puddle, feeling an urge to stop for a brief moment, thinking to himself: “How weird. The puddle is empty. It used to reflect an old house. I wonder whatever happened to that old house? Or was there even a house? Maybe I´m remembering it wrong.”
He then continues on his way. He needs to meet his fiancé in 15 minutes to go look at an apartment in a cozy old house. But it´s about 20 minutes away so he must hurry. As they are looking around in the apartment, the woman says to her fiancé: “I hope we grow old together in this house. And I hope we will watch sunsets together through that window.”
“My grandparents used to live nearby. They would always talk about the time they used to watch sunsets together from their old apartment´s window. Every night. It sounds so romantic.”
“Ok, let´s watch the sunsets then.” The young man smiles.
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