I stared at the house. I had grown up in that house, but it held no happy memories for me. No, I didn’t have an abusive childhood. Rather, it was simply a neglected childhood. I’d been fed, clothed, and sent to school, but that was it. The people who’d raised me had done so out of some sense of obligation to my parents, but that was it. They’d agreed to look after my needs – you couldn’t really say ‘took care’ of me – until I turned eighteen and was a legal adult. They’d told me I could stay in the house until I’d found a job and my own apartment, but it had been made clear that that had to happen quickly.
There’d been no overt hostility, that would have almost been easier to deal with. Instead, it had been eighteen years of invisibility for me. I’d even pretended I was actually invisible for a month or so when I’d been about ten years old. Nothing had changed, so in a way, I really was invisible. No birthdays, no Christmas, no family vacations. Not even any photographs.
Now, ten years after I left, my obligatory guardians had died and in a surprise move, to me at least, they’d left me the house. A house I desperately needed but had no desire whatsoever to live in. Nothing and everything was tied up in this house. It had taken until a year or so ago for me to feel like I wasn’t invisible. Something told me if I moved back into this house, I’d be invisible again. No. I wasn’t going to do that. I’d fought too hard to become visible. I wasn’t giving it all up now.
“Burn it. Burn it all. I want no memories,” I muttered to myself.
“Dude?” Ellis came up behind me. “Burn it? Are you serious?”
I sighed. “No. There’s too much paperwork for that. But I’m definitely selling it. The sooner the better.”
Ellis nodded. He was one of the only people who had known me when I was invisible. His family had moved into town when we were in high school. To my immense surprise, we’d become friends. Over the years he’d managed to convince me that I wasn’t invisible. His family had more or less adopted me. I spent as much time as possible over at his house. Because of them, I got out of the invisibility cloak I’d been under since I could remember.
“I know. But you know I’d go find a flamethrower if you wanted…” Ellis grinned at me.
I laughed. “I know you would, and you know I’d do the same for you,” I responded.
He clapped me on the back. “Okay. So, no burning for now… bummer. But mom’s making lasagna tonight, so let’s finish up here and get back.”
“I love your mom’s lasagna! Let’s get moving,” I told him.
Ellis laughed and we walked back into the house to finish clearing out the furniture. We planned to come back next weekend and finish up the small repairs, throw a coat of paint on the walls, and then I’d find a realtor. I’d sell the house and burn the ties to the past.
I was done being invisible.
This weeks prompt came from Fiona Grey: Burn it. Burn it all. I want no memories. This short vignette is all that came to me, but I think I will be using something similar to this scene in a short story I’m currently working on. For more interesting responses, get thee over to More Odds Than Ends and see what everybody is doing.