A place of dust, of things, long forgotten.
Some people don’t know they have an attic.
Some just don’t acknowledge it.
Several forget they own an attic all together.
Very few actually use theirs. It’s too fragile up there to keep all sorts of things like in movies, right?
I for one didn’t even have an attic at all.
Or at least, that what I’d thought.
Our house (us being my mother, father and baby sister) was a very, very old cabin. My grandparents had passed it down to us after their parents had to them. We lived in solitude. All alone in the mountains, nothing to do.
Nobody to bother.
Only the trees and grassy mountainside.
The only connection we had to the outside world was our huge box of a computer. It hardly ever worked, but on the rare occasion that it did, I was always first to the old box. There was a yearning in me to see the world that was so far away from mine.
Other than the computer, I would spend my days exploring our giant cabin. I had never found an entrance into any sort of attic, no matter how hard I looked, and when I asked my parents they had said they’d never seen an attic. I just assumed there wasn’t one.
Even though, when I researched it, I figured out that an attic is important for maintaining the temperature of the house. I still assumed that ours did not exist. It wasn’t like our home was always the perfect warmth or anything. The house was especially old when the weather outside was harsh.
At least that what I had thought up until the moment I met a friend.
Little did our family know, five miles away, a new cabin was being built. A larger, newer cabin.
We were going to have neighbors.
And when I found out, I was ecstatic.
Our neighbors were called the Darwins. And they had a kid that was my age.
His name was Cole.
My name was Kola.
It was perfect.
Our friendship hit off from the moment we glimpsed each other. We made eye contact and snuck away from the grownup conversation to go and play.
We played until the sun sank behind our tall mountain and Cole’s mother had been gone for hours.
Only, when we started to play the classic game of hide and go seek, we discovered something.
The cupboard on the right side of our loft did not open. However, the one identical to it, on the left side of the loft, did. All that the open cupboard held was our winter coats, so I wondered,
Why was the other one bolted shut?
Every day, Cole would come over to do school with me and every day, we would attempt to open the mysterious cupboard.
Until one day, we’d had enough. I finally worked up the courage to ask my mom about the strange cabinet and was surprised to find out that she did not know much about it either. Later that day, we were going to force it open.
My father was grunting like an ox while he pried the door open.
When it finally popped open, my mother gasped.
Apparently we did have an attic.
A hidden one.
There was a narrow staircase that led up to a dark unknown cavern.
“Well, we finally found the entrance to the attic.” My mother laughed.
My mother went in to explore it first. We watched as she disappeared into the thick blackness of uncertainty.
Little did we know that she would never come back to us
We would have never suspected that the moment she entered that black hole, the entirety of our lives would change.
That day, my mother fell from the ceiling and broke her neck.
She didn't survive.
My father blocked off the attic and said we would never go into it again.
I couldn't agree less
10 years later:
As I stared up into the last place I’d seen my mother I couldn't help but remember the last words she had spoken before she left us.
“Well, we finally found the entrance to the attic.” she had cheered.
How’s that for famous last words.
And just moments after she had spoken them the entrance had been bolted shut. I promised myself that I would never open it again.
And yet, here I was, standing in front of the gaping hole, remembering.
Remembering how curious of a person my mother had been all those years ago…
And how she would never have wanted her death to be in vain, she would have wanted us to explore the attic even with her gone.
But that never happened.
Maybe, now, it should. I thought.
The house belonged to me now.
I was older, I could do whatever I wanted.
I could re-enter the attic.
But there was something holding me back.
I did not have a family, (I was only 20 years old after all.) but I did have a fiance.
His name was Cole.
He had comforted me after my mother passed away, and stuck by my side ever since. If I was to enter this attic and fall, what would he think.
I wrote a note.
I told him not to grieve for me if I fell, just to move on with life.
It would have to suffice.
I took in a sharp breath and ran up the stairs into the attic.
Everything was dark and dim, and I couldn't see anything around me.
The only thing up here was an inch of dust.
I sneezed, and it turned into a sniffle.
Tears fell down my cheeks, and I began to sob, my mother had died for nothing. There was nothing up here but dust.
And she had snapped her neck for it.
I had the sudden urge to run out of this dangerous minefield as soon as possible.
I could not suffer the same fate as her.
I was about to run when a glimmer caught my eye. There was a necklace.
My mothers necklace.
The one we’d thought went missing, but had apparently fallen off into this dusty attic.
I walked over to it and grabbed it.
Then the floor fell out from beneath me.
I was falling, but then, suddenly I wasn't. There was a hand gripping mine and pulling me away from certain death.
I looked up to see who it was.
He carried me out of the attic and wouldn't put me down till he was sure I was on safe ground.
I was safe.
Later, we blocked off the attic and wrote a sign on the door.
“Attic: Do not enter. Unstable ground.”
Nobody would enter that attic again. I was sure of it.
It was safer this way.