The shutters on the house were a brilliant red. So red, it almost looked like house was crying, the windows being eyes, the wide red door being lips. The rest was a dismal gray, sad but homely, in a way. It was surrounded by droopy trees, and fallen leaves. The white rock driveway was no longer white– it was a dirty gray-brown. Weeds grew along the front, tall enough to suffocate the porch. The house stood tall. It was surrounded on both sides by smaller mobile-homes, all tattered and in huge disarray. It was there to stay, unlike the others. I wanted to hate this house, with its sadness and self-pity, but I couldn’t bring myself around to it. It was pathetic, like a rainy day that never ended, and yet– there was something about it that was familiar.
I watched from the mailbox– which was shaped like a miniature version of the house– as the former owners sat in rickety chairs in the carport. They sat among the piles of their belongings, each with a small red price sticker. The man was old, with a white beard and hair. The woman had tears in her eyes, as she watched her favorite possessions disappear into the hands of shoppers. My little brother and sister had already gone inside, but my mom had stopped to examine a couple chairs in the yard sale. My father was talking to the old man about the state of the small property. It looked to be about half an acre, with an empty pool, a storage shed, and a small motorcycle workshop in the back. It was set back from the street, so the backyard looked smaller than the front. All of it was covered in weeds that left stickers in your pant legs and tennis shoes. I waited a few minutes before going inside. I breathed in, and out.
This was it, I supposed. I didn’t know what was inside, but something whispered to me. Whether it was the drizzle of Florida rain that coated everything with hot, humid air, or something more. But there was this heavy feeling, yet a very refreshed, ready feeling. I couldn’t shake it, as I studied a tree in the front that hung over the street, perfectly shaped for climbing. There was no turning back. We couldn’t very well take the two giant yellow moving trucks and take them all the way back to Houston, could we? No. I just had to let everything go, and look forward. Right now, this forlorn, desolate house. This was it.
And now I sit at my computer, a completely different person than 5 years ago. This house has changed me. This place has been home for longer than any other place I remember. This sad gray house with red shutters and a red door, it’s still in disarray. But it has changed me. My name is different. My clothes are different, my hair too. My attitude toward life, my maturity as a sixteen-year-old. Everything I was is gone, replaced by me. Who was I, in that moment, when I faced the realization of change before? I was not who I am now, because I face the same, and yet it’s different. Who am I now? I used to know. In that first moment, I was sad, because I had to lay down everything I knew that I was and become someone I did not know, here in this old, sad house. But now I am sad because, just as I began to find who this new person would become, I must face change again, and now I don’t know who I was supposed to be, and I will become some other, better person. Will I ever find who I am? Because once the future becomes the present, it will have been altered to become something else. And that something else is a new person.