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A moving story
Looking around the old house for the last time, Anna recalled many nostalgic memories. The old house was a house anyone would be proud of but she would never dream of selling it. It would not be right even though she knew it would be extremely valuable. Certain things can only be priceless.
Anna reflected on the happy times she'd spent amusing herself with the house's occupants. There was Mr. Brown with his bowler hat and black umbrella. Anna would never forget how he stood patiently in the hallway, briefcase beside him and pocket watch at the ready with a perpetual look of dismay on his face, worried that he might never catch the early train to the city.
Mrs. Brown would be remembered affectionately too; dressed in a smart grey dress she would sit by the fire in the drawing room in the most comfortable looking rocking chair one could imagine. With her tapestry on her knee, the expression on her face could only be described as one of contentment.
The Brown's children too, as they played with the rocking horse in the attic would always be remembered with affection. The dappled horse moved to and fro at the touch of a hand just like Mrs. Brown's rocker and the baby's swinging crib in the attic but everything else throughout the building remained motionless.
The house was in need of a coat of paint but Marjorie's grandpapa would see to that otherwise it was as good and as solid as the day Mama had bought it. It was three storey and Georgian with impressive stone steps and balustrades leading right up to an imposing front door. It was a house anyone would be grateful for. The grand mahogany staircase with spacious rooms leading off was a delight to behold. Paintings and family heirlooms were on display in every part of the house. The people who lived here were used to every luxury that most folk could only aspire to.
Anna peered into the dining room and counted the plates on the dresser to see that none were missing, checking that the matching dining table and chairs were positioned correctly, and the pictures on the walls were hung squarely.
"Oh, how I have loved this house!" Anna declared to herself, sighing deeply, "but now it's time to move on. Mama says cousin Marjorie is coming soon and I mustn't keep her waiting." Anna knew she had to say her goodbyes hastily.
"Goodbye bathroom," she smiled to herself, gazing at the gleaming white Victoriana suite with its golden taps, perfect in every detail. She moved her hands lovingly over the floral wallpaper and adjusted the curtains slightly ensuring that everything was in order for when her cousin arrived; Anna knew she would love and care for the house too.
The hallway, with its imposing grandfather clock that always said five to twelve and the brightly polished chequered tiles, looked as welcoming as ever. The tabby cat too, was slumbering as always in his wicker basket beneath the hat stand.
The kitchen - Anna's favourite room - looked inviting. She could almost smell the herbs and onions as they hung from the rack above the farmhouse table. A set of gleaming copper pans held pride of place on the old welsh dresser but the range which was as black and shiny as Mr Brown's bowler hat, remained the kitchen's focal point.
Only Anna's own voice pervaded the silence and her warm breath caused the only movement in the air. She smiled again, gently patting the delicate white Broderie Anglaise counterpanes in the bedrooms as she made sure the rugs were in place beside the four poster beds and the polished wooden floors were free of dust.
Anna had looked after the house well for six delightful years; designing the curtains, choosing carpets and searching diligently through Mama's wallpaper books for the correct pattern to match the rest of the décor.
"I've done a good job haven't I puss?" She remarked to the slumbering cat in the hallway.
At that moment Anna noticed something in the bedroom was missing. "Where is the turquoise porcelain jug and bowl?" she asked herself, panicking momentarily before remembering that she'd already packed several delicate items separately as a precautionary measure.
A tear formed now in the corner of Anna's eye as she realised that in parting with the house she was leaving her childhood behind. Soon both would be consigned to memory.
"Farewell front parlour," she whispered, admiring the comfortable club leather suite.
"Goodbye, library." Rows upon rows of unread books faced her, covering the whole of one wall.
"Bye, nursery. Bye Tom." Anna smiled at the silently crying baby in his cot, noiseless rattle in hand.
Then, hearing Cousin Marjorie's footsteps fast approaching, she gave everything one final glance and was satisfied that all was perfect and ready for the new owner.
There was still sadness in Anna's heart but it was soon to be replaced with the pleasure of seeing another's joy.
There would be no keys to handover, no money to exchange hands and no legal documents to sign... just Anna's hope that the house would continue to be well-loved.
Then Anna closed the door, carefully fastening it to the hinges at the side of the house and she stood up to run her hands across the red tiles on the roof. They would look splendid after Marjorie's grandpapa had given them a fresh coat of paint. Then everything would be perfect like a mansion in miniature. "Happy Birthday Marjorie," Anna declared cheerfully as her young cousin entered the room. "I thought you would like to have my doll's house."
© 2015 Stella Kaye