White Walls
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Health and Wellness

White Walls

Saying Goodbye to a Childhood Home

White Walls

I walk up the stairs and am instantly greeted by the overwhelming scent of chemicals and change. The pictures are all gone; my beloved pets who no longer roam the halls, my baby cousin who is now in middle school, and my parents smiling and holding each other, though now living in separate states are all missing. The pictures have been boxed up or thrown away, or maybe even ripped in half. The holes created by housing nails for over a decade have been filled in and patched over, as if they never even existed. The walls are white. "Everything needs to be vanilla," my mother explains. However, life is not vanilla. Nothing about living in this house has ever been as mundane and typical as vanilla.

Walking through this house is like a tour of everything that has ever gone wrong. All the pain, heartbreak, and anger creating jagged puzzle pieces that form memories I don't want to keep. Even the recollection of some of the best times of my life feel like betrayal. These beautiful and spirited thoughts feel tarnished by disappointments and longing for a return that I know will never come. I walk between these walls, now replaced with this blindingly bright coat of white paint, and watch fragments of my life unfold.

The kitchen table where family dinners with lighthearted conversations became announcements of job losses and cancer. The broken screen door I used to carefully slide open at night so I could stick my toes in the pool and look up at the moon. My dad's home office with a lousy twin bed shoved in the corner, originally because "they just slept better in different beds" before the truth really came out. The basement where my brother punched a hole in the wall after I told him my secret. All these memories, just a few of the ones that feel engraved into the foundation of this old house.

I look at these new "vanilla" walls. I hope the next family that lives within them has an easier time than we all did. I hope this fresh coat of paint and the monochromatic color scheme are enough to hide the ghosts of everything that happened here. As I prepare for the next chapter of my life, I search for my own set of white walls. A place where I know of no pain or torment that occurred in that precise geographical location. This is the circle of life. White walls become a comforting shade, carefully selected to fit the people the walls support. The newly painted walls are perforated with pictures and decorations, filling the house with nostalgia and joy. And then, once that excitement and dedication fades, the walls must return to the flavor of vanilla, preparing to pick up the pieces and begin again.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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