(photo by yistergirl)
It was a mammoth Victorian, dingy white, with exes of tape on the windows, three stories plus a basement and an attic no one ever visited. It sat on a line of newer, smaller houses that repeated the neighborhood’s pattern of dereliction with cement gardens and security doors and plastic potted plants. The street was bald and one dimensional save the four old-growth walnut trees flanking the Victorian, remnants of forgotten ancestors; one and a half in front and two behind.
Jo and her little brother Max didn’t live there, they just visited, usually for the weekend but sometimes longer. Their mother Joyce had a thing with Philip, a longstanding resident whose seniority and hard work at the program meant conjugal visits whenever he wanted. They stayed with Philip in the first bedroom on the second floor, at the top of the once-grand curving staircase. Joyce and Philip shared a double bed and the kids rolled out sleeping bags on the closet floor.
The rest of this story is closed for remodeling. Thank you for reading!
A couple links that informed/inspired: