I knocked but I guess you didn’t hear – #fridayfiction
On Thursday of the following week a moving van pulls into the driveway of Memory House and unloads the furniture from Oliver’s townhouse. Annie points to the precise spot where every item is to be placed and by early afternoon the house is exactly as she imagined it.
Well perhaps not exactly. There are still odds and ends to be done—unpack the boxes, set books on the shelves, hang the curtains, and find a spot where the painting of the Wyattsville Courthouse can be hung.
The side room that was once Ophelia’s sewing den is now Oliver’s study.
Although it is smaller than the study at the townhouse, everything fits. Annie unpacks the desk accessories then sets to polishing the furniture. She is pondering the arrangement of things when the cowbell clangs and Max comes charging in.
“I knocked, but I guess you didn’t hear.” She offers out a bottle of Merlot. “I figured tonight’s the night, so this is to go with dinner.”
Annie takes the bottle. “Thanks,” she says, “but tonight’s not the night. Tomorrow is. I want everything to be perfect and there’s still a lot to do.” She rattles off a list of still-to-be done chores.
“Can Oliver help with some of that stuff?”
Annie shakes her head. “He’d be glad to,” she says, “but with Judge Cooper on vacation, he doesn’t even have time for lunch.”
Max peels off her jacket and tosses it on the chair. “I’m not busy,” she says. “I’ll lend a hand.”
Once even the tiniest fleck of dust is gone from the office, they move on to the other rooms. Cleaning. Polishing. Shinning every surface until it gleams. It is almost six when they finish the downstairs.
Max drops onto the sofa and casts an eye around the room. “The place looks terrific,” she says. “So different from the way it was.”
Annie knows this is true. It is as Ophelia said. She and Oliver are no longer intruders; Memory House is now their home. Pieces of their life are visible in the furthest corner of every room. The sweetness of Ophelia’s memory is still here, but now it is simply a memory.
“Wait until you see the loft,” Annie says.
Max follows Annie up the stairs. When she peers into the room she sees the stacks of boxes to be unpacked, curtains waiting to be hung, and the ticking of a queen-size mattress that is yet to be covered, but already she can envision the room as it will be.
“Awesome,” she exclaims.