Liam sprawled himself across the kitchen bench, his worn Ramones shirt lifting slightly to expose a trail of hair on his stomach.
“The space, the beautiful bench space!”
The childish glimmer in his eye made me chuckle. After more than a week of time sensitive house hunting, it was heartening to see that his smile still came with ease.
“I don’t know about this red, though. Seems an odd choice,” I said. The cupboards and the feature wall were a unique shade of red, akin to the colour of dried blood. This plus a white marble counter top, grey shelving, and pine floorboards, made my mind swim with possible colour combinations.
“It’s not too bad,” Liam replied, straightening himself and moving directly to the curtained, floor length windows. He tugged at the plastic pulley, revealing a stark backyard. Compared to the kitchen, it was dull – all concrete and stones – but Liam was not dissuaded. “I could plant flowers over there! Give it a little colour. Wish this was grass though.”
“It definitely needs more green. We could grow tomatoes. You know how well Dad’s turned out, and he barely has to do anything to them.”
Up the four stairs to a landing with four doors. One appeared to be locked – though later we discovered it was merely stiff with disuse and led to a spacious laundry. The next was a large bathroom with – thank the gods! – a bathtub. My years in Japan had made a bathtub essential to me, so Liam knew it was non-negotiable. As soon as I spotted it, I turned to Liam with a ridiculous smile and he chuckled.
“This is the place, Liam! Deal done, decision made. Back yard, bathtub, bench space; that’s all we need.”
The quirk in his smile suggested that he was as convinced as I was, but he urged us on anyway.
The other two doors led to a second bedroom – now my office – and a small study, which Liam confidently declared his own the moment he spotted the ethernet port.
Wondering how the house could get any better, we climbed a long flight of wooden stairs to the master bedroom.
“I am definitely going to stack it down these stairs. You saw the bruises from J and A’s house – and their stairs have carpet! I might actually break something,” I panted as we reached the top.
“You’ll be fine, love.”
It was warm up there, a concern instantly dampened when we spotted the air conditioner.
“Yes!” I cried. “We won’t have to sleep in the lounge room in summer! Which would be super awkward with the massive windows.”
“Plus, plenty of wardrobe space.” Liam raised a comical eyebrow as he rolled open the mirrored doors, revealing three times as much space as we’d had in the last apartment.
“Ok, I’ll take this part, and ALL of the shelving. You can have that part.” I pointed to a single rack.
Liam couldn’t stop smiling. “I’m fine with that.”
“We even have an ensuite,” I declared, turning in my sensible flats and padding across the room. It had a small shower, toilet and basin; enough for a lazy Sunday or late night lurch with a full bladder. I squeezed in and experimentally closed the sliding door – which had no handles. It was a tight fit for anyone with an arse – of which Liam had none and I had enough for the both of us.
I opened the door to find his eager face mirroring mine.
“I love it,” I said, my grin toothy as I fought my excitement.
“Do you wanna ask for an application?” asked Liam, and we turned back to the stairs – which I descended delicately.
“Definitely. I really want this house, Liam. Like, REALLY want it.”
“Me too, love. Me too.”
(Writing Prompt: Re-write the ‘where you live’ piece, applying these four focuses: scene-by-scene construction, dialogue, point of view, status symbols. This will allow your non-fiction to read like fiction.)