I’ve lived in this house for nearly twenty years. I know it’s creaks, I know it’s cracks. I know precisely what every light switch does and I know which power outlets work better than others. I know the exact amount of steps from my room to the restroom and can navigate there in the dark of night with only the slight moonlight that reflects down the hall from the tall windows above the formal dining room. I know which rooms stay the coldest and which get the hottest. I can proudly say that I’ve been the only person who has occupied every bedroom in this house at one point or another. I’ve lived here with 13 different people, not all at once of course.
When I was a kid I built a fort in the wooden slats above the garage; remnants of my childhood junk still lie in the rafters. I’ve climbed on the roof with my brothers, conquered nearly every tree in the yard, and hopped the brick walls countless times as it was just more fun than using the gate.
I’ve laughed here, I’ve cried here. I’ve thought about running away a time or two during those angsty pre-teen years. I’ve seen this house hold more people than I could count and I’ve sat in its silent emptiness too. I’ve snuck out of this house and I’ve snuck back in, knowing exactly how to close the door to make the least amount of noise and which creaky floorboards to avoid.
I’ve moved away and I’ve come back, always a little bit different as a person, but to the home that has stayed the same.
In 30 days I will move out of this house, for good. I will pack up all of my things, with the exception of trying to secretly leave behind a few boxes of childhood memories pushed into the furthest back closet with hopes of safe keeping. In 30 days I will move into my own place… with a husband.
Somehow, in all the emotion of planning a wedding and preparing for marriage, it’s the moving out of this house and knowing that it won’t be my home anymore that gets me teary-eyed at night. I’m going to miss this Oxford home.