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F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote
𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘩...𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘮𝘺 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘺, 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦’𝘴 𝘯𝘰 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘵. 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵. 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘮𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰 𝘳𝘶𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨. 𝘞𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘵. 𝘐 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘵. 𝘐 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶. 𝘐 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘷𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘦𝘭𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦. 𝘐 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘮𝘦𝘦𝘵 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸. 𝘐 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘢 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘥 𝘰𝘧, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵, 𝘐 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯.
Drew never thought much about it, but maybe that is why he was holding Aubrey’s hand as he led her down a dirt road in Virginia, refusing to answer any questions that she had. As the two walk along the road, they see a few houses in the slight distance until the dirt road leads them right in front of one.
Aubrey froze for a moment in the tall unkempt grass. She looked at Drew before back at the house before them. Right in front of them stood an old farmhouse; the windows cracked, shingles falling off the roof, the front porch about to cave in, and that was only what Aubrey could see from where he stood.
”What...What is this?”
”Isn’t it great?” Drew cheered with a huge smile as he walked to the house, a skip in his step as he walked up the front steps. He turned back to Aubrey. “We have all this land, five acres. Can you imagine? We leave that busy city of DC, and only a few miles away, we have this. And the front porch goes all around the house, and we can watch the sunset, and-”
”It looks broken,” Aubreyconfessed as she walked towards the house. She placed his foot on the first step of the porch, only for it to crack and nearly break. Drew held her hand to make sure she arrived safely on the porch.
”It just needs a little love. But look at what we have here.”
”We don’t have anything here. This isn’t ours,” Aubrey stated. Last she checked, they didn’t own this place and never once spoke about it before this. The smile on Drew’s face grew, and it didn’t take long for Aubrey to realize what his fiancee was thinking. “You didn’t.”
“I did. I barely had to pay anything for it. Isn’t it great!”
”Drew, I don’t know. This is a lot to take in right now,” Aubrey confessed. “This place is practically falling apart.”
”It’s not falling apart. It’s just...a little neglected,” Drew gently held Aubrey’s hand as he led her inside the house. The inside was just as bad as the outside. There was no working electricity, the wallpaper was peeling off the walls, and the interior was falling apart. “Just think about it. Right here will be a wonderful sitting room for people to sit in and the kitchen! Asher, you’ll love what we can do with the kitchen,” Drew cheered as he started to lead the woman through the first floor of the house.
When they got upstairs, Drew showed them what could be their room, and then he took her to the room across the hall.
”This can be the kids’ room,” he said with a huge smile as he slowly opened the door. The room was underwhelming. Like the rest of the house, it had no working electricity, a moldy carpet that was half ripped up to show the floorboards, the glass of the window was cracked, and above the window frame was a bird’s nest. The light from the sun gently came into the room, allowing there to be light, unlike in other rooms that were darker. “We can get them huge cribs and a rug with the cute animals on it that babies like.”
Aubrey watched as Drew walked around the room, telling her about how they could decorate it and what they could do to it. The woman stayed still at the doorway, watching her hyperactive fiancee make his way around the room and continue to speak. She didn’t have any form of reaction until Drew leaned on the wall and nearly fell through it as its sheetrock crumpled.
“Don’t...Don’t think about that,” Drew quickly said as he pushed himself to stand straight up, brushing off the dust on himself now. “We can easily fix that with some...construction stuff. What do you think?”
Aubrey looked at her future husband. The dopey smile on his face, the sparkle in his eyes, and now the dust in his hair made Aubrey fall in love with Drew all over again. “Only if we paint the kids’ room blue.”
”Any shade you want.”
”And can we paint daisies on the walls?”
”I’ll hire the best painter in the world to do it.”
The two looked at each other, nothing but love between them as they stood in their future home.
The house was broken. It was neglected and most certainly abused. It has probably seen and experienced many things with the secrets that the wall hidden in their decaying sheetrock. The floorboards were creaky, the roof was falling, and they could probably count on one hand how many windows weren’t damaged. But it was theirs now, and it could be whatever they wanted. It was a fresh start for the house and a new chapter for Drew and Aubrey.
There was a sense of joy between the two of them. It was scary. They were beyond scared especially being their floor below them creaked more than it should, but what was life without an adventure? What was life without excitement? Or Passion? Or love? Life without that was boring. It was dull and redundant. Drew didn’t want that, and neither did Asher.
Drew spent his life moving around so many places that he wanted a home to set roots down finally, and Aubrey wanted a life that allowed him to get away from his mistakes in the past. They both knew they were ready for the next chapter. They just had to take the leap of faith. It was the start over that they both so desperately craved and deserved.
”I have a sledgehammer in the trunk if you want to start tonight,” Drew then said with a smile.
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