Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 July 2011
Some rooms carry the essence of a house.
In the sitting room, Roisin stood motionless. There was a palpable presence of the past in that room. She revelled in the history of the room; grinned from ear to ear at the thought of the people who had once sat in the room, and who had been entertained there. She liked it very much, and with a little love and attention, the room would be back to its best. Intuitively, Roisin felt that the former owners would be pleased with the renovations she intended for the sitting room, restoring it to its former glory.
It was not the largest of sitting rooms she had ever seen, nor was it the smallest, but it certainly had the promise to be the cosiest room in the house. With a fireplace that looked too large for the room, it would heat up nicely in the harsh winter. Its mantle could be adorned with family photographs and ornaments that they had collected on their travels. In the summer, Roisin was certain that she could adequately cool it with the strategic placement of fans and perhaps, a small air conditioner.
‘Oh this is definitely my room,’ she said.
It resonated with her words, as if it were welcoming her, eager for her to turn it from the state of disrepair that it was currently in, to something more befitting of a pre-Civil War house.
‘Martin?’ she called out to her husband. ‘Martin, I think I love this house. Or at least, I love this room.’
Upstairs, in one of the three bedrooms, Martin barely heard his wife.
‘What? I can’t hear you,’ he replied, stomping on the floor. ‘Floor boards must be incredibly thick,’ he said to himself.
From the corner of his eye, Martin caught sight of a movement in the hall. He flicked his head around, but saw nothing.
‘Roisin?’ he waited for her response. ‘Roisin? Are you up here?’ There was no reply.
He walked to the window that looked out on the driveway. Henderson, the scared real estate agent, was hopping from one foot to the next. The sun had already started to burn the small section of his scalp that was lacking hair, and sweat was soaking through his white business shirt. Henderson looked in no way comfortable with waiting outside. Martin shifted his gaze to the land around the front of De Busson House. With the exception of Henderson standing out the front, there was nothing and no one for miles. Empty fields and a dirt road were the only things of any interest to see.
As he turned around, Martin caught another glimpse of movement.
‘Roisin? Stop screwing about.’
If she was there, Roisin was not replying. He strode towards the door, attention focussed on ascertaining the cause of these phantom movements. Poking his head around the doorjamb, Martin looked down the corridor. Nothing, not even a dust bunny. Too busy with his current investigation, Martin failed to see the man Henderson had spotted in the window moments before, his grey soldier’s coat less than pristine.
Leaving the room, Martin walked to the next room and poked his head in. It was small, but would serve well as a child’s room. The third room along the corridor could function equally well as either a guest room or a study. Heading back along to what Martin envisaged to be their bedroom, he noticed that the temperature had dropped.
‘Odd. Much cooler now,’ he shrugged his shoulders and headed back downstairs. Roisin was on her way up.
‘What do you think, Martin? Is it acceptable?’
He stopped on the stair above her. ‘I think, I think that we could do a lot with this.’
Roisin smiled. They were the words that she had hoped to hear. ‘Should we make our offer to Henderson, do you think?’
‘Depends. What do you think of the rooms up here?’ Martin asked.
‘I haven’t seen them yet.’
Her words puzzled him. ‘I heard you messing around in the corridor while I was in the main bedroom.’
She laughed and slapped him on the arm. ‘I’m on my way up now. I’ve only just come out of the sitting room.’
‘Are you sure?’ Martin was confused.
. . . To be continued . . .