“Home is where the heart is.”
- Pliny the Elder
Along the Amare River were houses with broken windows and roofs that were patched up with junk metal and wooden beams. The lead paint in most buildings had been scraped off the walls with chisels and the backs of hammers by concerned parents when the city would not pay to remove the poison on their walls.
French arches and African statues had held up over the years, despite being beaten down by violence and neglect. On the other side of the houses along the Amare river was Odi Street. It was infamous for being a hotbed of violence. Terrorists, rebels, and gangs gathered on the street where they often fought over their different philosophies.
One of the houses on Odi Street was owned by Kelly. It was temporary, thanks to Voltaire and Croft. Kelly had a fat bank account in another country that would allow her to move to a safer neighbourhood. All she had to do was spend one last night in a dying house with a broken lock. She had blocked the unreliable door with a chair and stubbornly sat in the clean, but simple living room with a shot gun and a large bag of rubber bullets. Once the house was secure, Kelly began to read a new book that her husband had brought home from the library. He knew she would love it because it was about architecture.
Kelly’s husband, Mallory, left their child’s bedroom and guided his wheelchair through the maze of stacked up moving boxes until he could sit next to his wife’s armchair. He looked around at all the boxes and said “Gabe is scared and excited about the big move.”
“Personally, I can’t wait to live in a real house again,” Kelly said as she thought back to her childhood with a sad smile. “Our new home will have a view of some of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Our new home is going to be a paradise.”
Mallory lovingly smiled at her as he picked up the TV remote and began to channel surf. He moved from channel to channel as he leaned in closer to his wife and basked in her confident smile. Mallory was the son of an African woman and Irish immigrate. He was a tall dark skinned man with black hair, beautiful eyes, and an Irish accent; many regarded him as quite handsome.
“What did you do today?” Kelly asked him as she studied a drawing of an old church in her book with deep interest.
“I learned to accept myself in Duval’s self-help group,” an actor on the television said with a smile that did not meet his eyes. Kelly found it funny since that particular group had been disbanded for over a year now.
“I was called to the principal’s office because Gabe got into another fight.” Mallory said “apparently, one of the kids told him that he cried like a girl.”
“Sticks and stones may break my bones,” said a young girl in an old black and white movie. Kelly thought it looked familiar, but Mallory changed the channel too quickly for her to be sure if she had seen the scene before.
“I am sorry I wasn’t there for our baby,” Kelly said as she closed her book and placed it in a box with her many others. It was the advantage of being married to a librarian. She turned to face her husband when she realized he wanted to have a long talk.
“My man is just out bringing home the bacon,” said a housewife from an old television show with a dutiful smile.
“No don’t be,” Mallory said “we need to learn how to survive when you are… gone.”
The television died.
Disclaimer: This is an original story that is not based on any real people or events. It is a work of fiction that is purely for your entertainment.