“It’s hard to move to a new house when your parents want to live and see a new place, but it is even harder to move to a new house when you are expecting a baby. Especially when almost all my friends are asking me these questions. They were asking questions like ‘when are you moving’ and ‘where are you moving to.’ It’s really annoying and stressful. “
It’s hard to move to a new house when your parents want to live and see a new place, but it is even harder to move to a new house when you are expecting a baby. Especially when almost all my friends are asking me these questions. They were asking questions like “when are you moving” and “where are you moving to.” It’s really annoying and stressful. Even if your best friend is always telling them that if they wanted to talk to me, they had to talk about something else. One day after Laura had told them what she told every day, they just stood there. I knew that after a few seconds they would burst out. Then when they just stood there, Laura took my hand and led me to the bench in the playground, away from everybody else. I felt a little nervous even though I’d known Laura since we were little kids. I knew Laura would want to talk to me about the new house and didn’t want to talk about the new house at all, but I knew I owed Laura an explanation to my behavior. And all my other friends… why were they acting so nosey and making me nervous and uncomfortable.
“What’s wrong, Aine?” she asked me in a concerned voice. “You seem different. A little bit paler and more quiet.”
“I don’t want to move,” I said. “I’ve lived in my house all my life, and I’m nervous and a bit sad to be leaving it. I’m excited about the baby, but I can’t believe I have to leave all my memories from my old house behind.” I thought about my bedroom and knowing where everything was. I could walk that house with my eyes closed. I was going to miss it. I knew that I had been acting less playful and being more quiet lately. It was only a matter of time that Laura would notice something was up.
“Your new house is going to be great, don’t worry,” Laura said, reassuring me.
“Let’s stop talking about the house,” I said, feeling a bit better. Laura usually gave good advice. I’m grateful for my clever, kind friend. “Maybe we should go on the swings.”
to talk with my parents about the move.
“Everybody at school keeps asking me when we are moving and where we are going to move to,” I said to them.
“We will be moving soon, sweetie,” my mom said, rubbing her belly, “and then they will all stop asking you these questions because they will know about it.”
“You know it’s unusual to move in our town,” Dad said.
We were sitting in my bedroom, the bedroom I loved and was soon going to move out of. I started to cry thinking about leaving this room.
My mom looked over at me and said, “Aine, it’s all right. All your furniture will be moved to the new house. We can make the room look the same.”
“But it won’t be the same,” I moaned.
I couldn’t understand why we have to move and see someplace new and have more adventures in the new place. It just wasn’t fair. I knew another person meant that we needed more space, but it all seemed unfair to me. The next day, Laura and I sat on the same bench we sat on yesterday outside of the playground.
I told Laura, “I’m moving in a week. You can tell the others that ‘cause they’ve obviously been wanting to know that for ages.”
I knew that as soon as the group of girls from my school walked by my house last week and saw me packing that they would start asking questions. They told everyone that I was moving, and now everyone was curious about when it would happen. People don’t usually move in our neighborhood, so everyone was curious.
“Don’t talk like that!” Laura said. I felt uneasy like I wanted to run away from that spot, but stayed on that bench in the playground. With Laura.
“Well, it’s true,” I said.
“Yes but even though I know I won’t tell anyone that you are moving in a week. So have you seen the house?”
“Not yet. I’m seeing the new house in two days, on Thursday.”
Ring, ring —
“There’s the bell. We’d better go to class,” Laura said.
“Yeah, let’s go, c’mon.”
“This is the first time I’m taking a half day of school, and I’m going to look at my new house,” I said. It was a bright sunny morning. There were very few clouds in the sky, and we were standing outside Green Hill Waldorf School. I was feeling nervous for the first time at my school.
And in my first few classes, I could not concentrate. By lunch I felt a little bit dizzy. And by the time Mom showed up, I felt so dizzy that the door frame seemed to be tipping slightly to the left. Mom definitely noticed something that Laura hadn’t. Mom brought me to the school nurse. She gave some pills to swallow. I felt better after that, but I was still shaking slightly. We got into the car. I waved to Laura. She waved back.
We pulled up into the driveway of a beautiful white house with a gabled roof. We got out of the car and walked towards the house. I was feeling nervous. We pushed on the door, and it swung open easily. We walked into the house, and we hadn’t put our furniture in there yet, but I could imagine all of it in place. The first room was a big room with a fireplace. Next to the fireplace there was a wooden door that led into a long narrow room with a sink, an oven, a dishwasher, and a lot of other kitchen supplies. We walked into a room to the left of the kitchen, and there was a set of stairs leading up to the second floor. As we walked up the stairs, we saw a few rooms once we reached the top of the second floor. Almost all of them looked to me, like bedrooms — except one that stood out. It was the smallest room, and it seemed to be a bathroom because it had a sink and toilet and a bathtub. Then, there was the biggest room and two small ones. One for me and one for the baby, I thought. We checked out every room, but outside the sun was setting.
Mom said, “We have to go now,” before it gets too dark. I was surprised by how much I liked the house. It was nice, but this feeling turned bittersweet quickly when I remembered my old house and how much I would miss it.
The next morning, I told Laura all about the house.
She said, “It sounds nice!” trying to support me, “but I understand that you will miss your old house too.”
I felt that same bittersweetness I felt when I left the new house yesterday. Laura saw that something was different, so she didn’t say anymore.
The next morning, I woke up, and I knew it was the big day: moving day. I heard many trucks pulling up to take our things to the new house. I got up quickly, pulled on the first clothes I could find, and ran downstairs full of nervous sadness and excitement. Mom was packing some things to eat for breakfast so that we could go right away and start unpacking. We got our stuff, got into the car, and followed the trucks. I watched my old house out the window as we drove away, and I felt really sad to be leaving it.
I asked Mom who would be moving into our old house, and she replied “We have met them once… they were really nice!”
After a few minutes, she pulled up into our new driveway. We got out, and the truck drivers got out as well. We all started taking stuff into the house, and I began to quickly pick up boxes and move them into the new house. I was both nervous and excited, so I moved quickly. Finally, we had gotten most of the stuff into the house, and only had a few boxes left.
Mom said, “Let’s eat the stuff we packed for breakfast! It’s getting really late, and I am sure we all feel really hungry.”
We agreed. I was starving. We started eating our sandwiches and fruit.
Mom and Dad told me I could explore while they took the rest of the boxes in. I ran all around the house, eager to check out the new space. I saw a ladder going up to the attic that I hadn’t noticed last time. I was curious so decided to go take a look. I quickly climbed up the ladder, and finally, panting, I arrived at the top. When I stood up I saw a door leading to a room in the attic. I walked into the room, and there was just old furniture. In the middle of the room however, there was a creature. It had the body of a horse, the head of a lion, and the wings of an eagle. I was scared. I ran out of the room, slammed the door behind me, and quickly climbed down the ladder.
I didn’t tell my family what I had seen in the attic. I probably will not see it again anyway, I thought to myself. We started unpacking the boxes, even though we knew we wouldn’t finish unpacking it all today. We decided to try anyway. By the end of the day, we had gotten out a couch and a few chairs and put them together, but nothing else. We slept on mats on the floor, and in the morning I woke up feeling sore and still tired.
I tried to go back to sleep, but it was no use. I was too much awake. With everyone else still asleep, and my mind free to wander, I started thinking about the creature I had seen. I thought about how the creature hadn’t harmed me, and I decided to go up again and see it. I needed to get breakfast, but I wanted to go up and see it as soon as possible. I went upstairs and climbed the ladder. I walked to the door, pushed it open, and was welcomed with a huge shock. The room had changed completely, except for the huge creature who still stood in the middle. Instead of old dusty boxes and furniture, it looked exactly like a kitchen. The kitchen did not look like the one in our new house, however, it looked like the kitchen in Laura’s house. I peered past the creature, and there was exactly what I needed: breakfast. Cereal and a jug of milk sat behind him, and so I walked towards it. I tried to get around the creature, but he roared at me with his lion face. Terrified, I ran out of the room and back down the stairs.
When I got downstairs, I saw that it looked like my parents were awake. I asked them for some breakfast, and it came right away. As I ate, I could not stop thinking about the creature, and how the room had changed, and how the room had exactly what I needed. Thinking about the kitchen, I remembered that it was Laura’s kitchen, and Laura was coming over today, and I could show her the creature and the room.
Finally, the doorbell rang. I jumped up and opened the door. There stood Laura and her parents. My parents and Laura’s parents started chatting, and Laura and I slipped upstairs. We climbed up the ladder and walked to the room. As we were walking, I told Laura all about the room, the creature, and how it roared at me. Laura seemed a bit scared by the time we had reached the room. She pushed the door open and gasped as she saw the creature. I looked at the room. This time, it was completely white, and there was nothing behind the creature now.
Laura was really surprised. “There is nothing in the room,” Laura said, “besides this creature!”
“We will come back when the room is more exciting,” I said. “Right now it’s just this creature.”
We walked back out and started helping unpack. I knew by the end of today that we would be finished unpacking.
My room was the last to unpack. We put my bed together, placed the covers on the bed, and put the carpet and the drawer next to my bed and lamp. We filled the room with everything else that was in my old room. Then we had lunch and went outside the house. We rested in some chairs outside my house and talked and played until dinner time. Then, I climbed into my bed. It did not feel the same even though it was the same. Finally, after laying for a while I fell asleep.
Mom was right when she said that everybody was going to stop asking me about the move. Everybody who had been asking me the questions became my friends again, but I still had the creature and the room in my mind. Laura and I spent our days trying to think about how we could get the creature to do what we wanted it to do. All we could think of was to train it like you do to a dog, but we knew that would not work. We had to think every day, and finally one day we were having a sleepover, and we went up to the attic to think. Then it came to me: if the room had whatever you needed, it would have the thing we needed to tame the creature.
“How would we get past the creature, to get the thing?” said Laura.
“I don’t know,” I replied.
We went into the room anyway. The creature seemed more aggressive than ever once we entered. It charged at us the minute that we got into the room. We jumped aside, terrified. The creature backed up and charged again — this time at Laura. I jumped on its back. As soon as I did this, it flew into the air with its eagle wings. It did not seem able to get down while I was on its back. Laura looked at the thing behind the creature. It seemed to be some sort of ball.
She picked up the ball and said, “Come down!” The creature did exactly what she said. We were amazed. I jumped off its back. “Don’t harm us!” she commanded again at the creature. We ran out of the room and hid the ball in my new bedroom. We knew the creature could not get it.
A few weeks passed, and Laura and I didn’t really know or need to use the ball or go visit the creature. That was until one Friday afternoon after a particularly rough day of school. I was finding it hard to focus on school work with all the newness of moving, so when I got my English essay back and saw that I got a C, I was pretty upset. The only thing that comforted me was the thought of Laura coming over later on after school that day. When she got here, she suggested we play ball and that sounded good to me. We went to take the ball outside, and when I walked to the screen door that lead to the backyard and tried to slide it open, it would not budge. I never had any trouble opening the screen door at my old house. We were thinking what to do when we remembered the creature. We ran up to my room and grabbed the glass ball, then hurried up the ladder. We pushed the door to the attic open and stepped inside.
The creature ran at us, but I shouted “Stop!” and held up the glass ball, and the creature froze.
Laura and I asked the creature to help us open the screen door, and he obeyed.
He flew around the house, and finally he got to the screen. We asked him again to open the door. Slowly, so that we could see what he was doing, the creature placed one of his hoofs on the handle, spun it around three times, and then pushed the door open. We ran outside and thanked the creature. We saw the creature fly away and back up to the attic, so we began to play with the ball. When it started to get dark, we had to leave, and my parents came home.
A few days later, I woke up before my parents, hungry for something to eat. I went into the kitchen and yanked on the handle of the cupboard the same way I always did to open it and get some cereal. It did not pull open.
“Oh yeah… different cupboard” I reminded myself.
I crept up to the attic to get the help of the creature. I had the glass ball, and I raised it up as I stepped into the room.
I whispered, “Can you help me open the cupboard drawer?” to him.
The creature flew quietly out of the room and down to the kitchen. I followed quickly and quietly. He put his hoof on the handle of the cupboard and put a lot of weight onto it. It flew open. I thanked the creature and did something I never had done before. I reached out my hand, and I pet the creature on the head and said, “Thanks” one more time. The creature nodded his head at me and flew quietly back to his room in the attic.
As I ate my cereal, I was thinking of what I could name the creature. I wasn’t sure if it was a boy or a girl, so I decided to ask Laura for advice when I went to school. Right before school, I hurried to Laura and told her about what I was thinking. I told Laura to come to my house after school so that we could figure out what to name the creature. That night, we took the glass ball once more and hurried up to the attic. We had our plan all ready. We ran into the room and called into the glass ball before anything else could happen.
“Fly to the top of the room if you are a girl, and stay where you are if you are a boy!” we commanded.
The creature flew into the air until it reached the top of the room.
“Thank you!” we said and then hurried out of the room. Now we knew that the creature was a girl.
“What are you going to name her?” Laura asked, once we got back downstairs.
“I don’t know!” I said. “You have to help me figure it out.” We went to my bedroom and sat on my bed.
“The creature is in your house, Aine,” said Laura.
“Yes, but you helped me get the glass ball,” I said.
“What about ‘Wings?’” said Laura.
“Just because she has wings doesn’t mean we have to call her Wings!” I said.
“… but she looks like a ‘Wings!’” said Laura.
“What about Wither Wings?” I said, offering a compromise. “That way it’s Wings and something else.”
“Okay,” said Laura. “Wither Wings is a nice name.”
Two weeks later, I woke up with a fever, and my mom would not let me go to school. All morning, I felt grumpy and bored, so I decided to entertain myself and visit Wither Wings. I grabbed the ball and climbed the ladder into the room. I wondered if I could ever make Wither Wings talk. That was probably impossible even with the ball.
“Hi,” I said to the creature, testing to see if it could speak. Wither Wings did not answer. I guess I had to communicate with Wither Wings by motions, since she couldn’t speak. I waved at Wither Wings, not entirely sure what “want” I had come there to fulfill. She flapped her wings back at me. Mom was about to leave the house, and I decided that maybe I could ride Wither Wings after she left and nobody would know.
Just then, I heard Mom call, “Bye!”
“Bye!” I called back. I heard the door shut, and the noise of car wheels driving down the driveway. I got on Wither Wings and called into the ball which I had brought just in case, “Fly!”
Wither Wings took off. She flew down the stairs and around the living room. I was having a lot of fun. I managed to spin the door knob once, then she zoomed around the room twice, and finally we went past the door knob once more, I spun it one last time and pushed it open. Wither Wings flew out of the door immediately out into the backyard and the open air. She zoomed around the backyard and made to go out on the street, but I turned her back around. Finally, it seemed Wither Wings was getting tired, so I called into the glass ball, “Go back home!” She flew back through the door, up the stairs, up the ladder, and into her room. I waved goodbye, and then I ran back downstairs to get some lunch.
The next day, I was feeling better, and Mom let me go to school. I told Laura all about riding Wither Wings and what an adventure it was. She asked if she could ride Wither Wings one time, and I told her she could if we had enough time when my parents were out and we were in the house alone. We decided to ask our mothers for a sleepover. After school that night, I waited for mom to come home. When she walked through the door, I asked her immediately for the sleepover.
She said, “Tomorrow night?” placing her hand on her belly with a tired look on her face… “Which house?”
“This house!” I said.
She told me she had to think about it.
After dinner, she looked a bit better. “Yes, you can have Laura sleepover tomorrow,” she said, “but your dad and I are going out so you will be here alone.”
“Okay!” I said. We were very excited. The day passed by slowly, but evening finally came. We ran all the way to my new house, and we slammed the screen door behind us. We raced up the stairs and appeared panting in front of the ladder.
“Well,” said Laura, “you go up first!” I climbed up the ladder still taking steady breaths as I climbed, Laura at my heels. When we reached the attic, we could hear the heavy breath of Wither Wings. We stepped into the room.
“We’re back,” I said. Laura swung her leg over Wither Wings. I did the same. “Fly,” I said absentmindedly. Wither Wings, to my surprise, rose into the air. The ball was still in my pocket.
The writer charms with her depiction of Aine and her real-life concerns about moving. The story takes a delightful turn when Aine’s curiosity leads to a startling attic discovery. I look forward to reading more writing from talented author, Ms. Djordjevic.