The House On The Hill.

​Anything to suggest, the front yard invited an eclectic view, a sitting area, a quiet spot to relax created by carving out space with gravel and surrounded with greenery and climbing vines. The compound was green. The kitchen garden was filled with all kinds and varieties of edibles. The sweet gale, the bog myrtle shrub garden, bulking out flower beds with pretty, sweet smelling yellow flowers. The front door opened to a cosy resting room, folding and plush velvet papasan chair, a bean bag chair and a piano chair and a mounted piano. Another door open and led further inside where there were more group, cosy chairs. A double staircase led to the rooms above from a rather hidden door. The backyard, was the swimming pool. And the water was maintained at body temperature, you couldn’t even feel the water if you deep your toes. He was standing by the door contemplating, when he started filling with ideas . A better one rolled up in his memory sooner . Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Handle. He loved everything classical. 

He was woken by the feeling of slight scratching, a prick to his skin. When he drew himself to a sitting position on his bed. The cat was sitting a little to his feet , staring back up at him, meowing and trilling a sound he interpreted as “ Hello goodmorning – it’s time to get off this bed.” He played hard, he worked harder and he spent the whole night playing. He desperately wanted to feel the soothing of the music he played. But he couldn’t get himself to feel it so, again and again he ran his fingers across the piano keys . He loved cats they were the most adorable creatures he knew. The cutie cat was there to wake him up. He didn’t feel like it, but he wasn’t going to feel reluctant as to let down his cat. He smiled down at his cat, pushed aside the blanket and sat on the edge of the bed his hands folded to his face. The morning was surely cold and for a moment he felt like getting back to his warm blanket, only that Buency wasn’t going to let that happen. He took to the stairs and found himself in the kitchen, his eyelids making longer blinks to rest his frustrated and beseeching eyes. There was nothing in the kitchen,the fridge was empty just as the house had been empty for a whole month. Except for Buency, that seemed to be loving the space it had, and the long extended time it spent with the master. They were more closer than ever. He raised his hands to get something from the kitchen shelf and realised, his limbs were awkwardly shaking. The marble was weeping condensation and he was standing barefooted . He definitely needed something hot, something that could burn the morning cold. Coffee was a brilliant idea, but that meant he had to leave the house, an idea he was reluctant to consider. Disappointed, he hurried into the living room a quick peek at the fireplace, the windsor chair was just standing there, no one was sitting on it and there was no fire.He immediately began to appreciate the word family. He knew that if there were people in the house, there would have been fire as long as it was cold and the time would not have been an issue. He would have woken up to a warm house. But that wasn’t the case. He picked the remote , switched on the television and switched it off as soon as it started . There was a song by Peter Katz ; when the day is done . “What a terrible idea, ” he thought. The day wasn’t done yet, it had just started. It was that song that reminded him of the moments he shared , those moments he felt and thought would last forever. And for once he wished there was no such thing as fighting, no such thing as hatred and no such thing as disagreement. But he wasn’t ready for such a start. He wasn’t ready to let anything invade his morning and compromise it from the very beginning in ways unimaginable to him. Life in perspective, perception is two-faced bearable and unbearable. Attitude and belief forms the gist of any argument there should be about living. And sometimes life has a cheeky way of throwing things at people that they least expected. Scaling the walls of hard work to go wake prosperity, he was studying hard, he was working hard. He once asked himself though what his life would look like, or even taste like if there was the best lucky chance of putting it on a plate. He soon realised that easy as it sounded , it was a question that only extroverts had better, insightful and more satisfying answers to . The question was to him a minefield. It required great deal of experience, detail and attention. 

He went back to his room to prepare to go get something for his stomach , he had realised how hungry he was that morning.His eating habits had changed from bad to worse and he wasn’t even sure when he last ate . And there was that silence in his room , plenty of silence except for the purring of his cat that was enjoying the warmth of his empty bed. “What a traitor,” he thought but with a flash of a smile on his face . He ran his hand through its soft hair and held onto its tiny head lightly, something that ignited fun and pleasant exchange of play session. And in that same moment, the voice of his mom lingered in his head, swaddling his thoughts like a sea mist. Soothing him like it had done before and urging him on. He understood that his past wasn’t going to define him and he resolved not to regret anything he was going to do, because it was what he wanted to do that would make him someone. His mom told him it would not matter who she is, and that the only thing that was of importance was what he wished to be and how hard he was willing to fight for it. His mom was soft of speech, free of heart , quick to listen but slow to speak. Black of hair but light of skin. She was adorable. Democratic in her dealings and abundance of wisdom. And her humility was unparalleled. He couldn’t stomach that someone he barely knew, claimed he was some sort of his property. It pained him that he was just 3 miles away from his mom and she had to tender an application to see him for minutes not even hours . It was disgusting. He lived in a big house with amazing decor, but for what. There was nothing to be happy about. And his wish for uncensored justice grew stronger and bigger, bigger than the house he lived . He knew that one day he will administer justice, however cruel, it would be without flinching and without relenting. After all, justice is not revenge. But that was something his mom would be very much against, she had a heart a big heart in spite of all . From his window, he could see the kitchen garden and wondered if everything else was as beautiful as the flowers he could see. 

He checked into this southside cafe with wonderful artistic design, sat at the far corner next to a glass window. His pet bag on a seat beside him. There was a screen on the wall and he paid little attention to what was playing. Constantly he tossed his keys from his left hand to his right . The place was already filled with magnificent smell of great food . There was wine too, but he was only 16 years of age and it was morning, who does that . It was already 9:30 in the morning and it would not have been a bad idea settling for food either , after all it was his business . But he just wanted coffee. Then a burst. “What a sweet pet, how cute. You know what, I was standing by  the door wondering what seat to take, guess I’ll settle for this if you don’t mind.” The pet bag was already on her lap. She wasn’t bluffing. ” For most of the days I have been around, I see you coming from the house on the hill.I’m your distant neighbour, call me Jessie.” He was surprised, and said nothing. For a while, he stared into his cup of coffee, longer than he expected, unsure how to react or what to say . He was absorbed completely by the confidence Jessie exuded. Then, with an expression of admiration and a mix of respect but coupled with with an air of you are great , you just caught me flat footed but I surely can cope with that. “You know, I was more afraid of sitting here alone, but I should be afraid of you knowing my spot. I suppose you know who I am,” he said with a smile. “Perhaps, anything else I should know, ” she asked. She was so eloquent, and she was pushing. He was a conservative, and not very good with small talk. He worked hard to keep his life to himself, and there was Jessie, who wanted to know more. Something that triggered his anxiety. Regardless of his state, his flair and skills for doing things was strictly something of his own and of its kind. In spite of an awful lot going through his head, he wasn’t going to let it show. He said enough. It was until they left, when he felt the difference. Jessie had triggered his ideas. And he missed the conversation the moment they parted. He wanted to honour that memory and he secretly hoped they talked more. As he walked home, he felt the tension gather, there was an emptiness attached to the house on the hill. It might have been comfortable, it might have been the best. And maybe it was a dream house to those who could see it from a far. But it lacked the most important thing. The excitement, the exuberance it ought to have had and there was that longing for happiness. It was devoid. And it caused him pain, more than he could bear. A feeling that reminded him, the expression on his mom’s face the day he had to go, and most vividly of all the line of tears. She had lost the care of her only son to another man and to another woman who were scarcely concerned and their responsibility she questioned . He bow his head to disguise the tears he felt gathering. He looked back hoping that somehow, Jessie was still watching him in secret. And that she could see through him. Oh, how he needed a touch, a word, a smile, a spark to delectable memories. An isolated idea wanted him to go back and speak to her more , spend the whole day listening to her. But he just knew her and that would have been mysterious and ridiculous . He wished he knew her better. He wanted to close his eyes and forget everything but just when he did, he heard her voice fresh and new floating around his head . He opened his eyes hoping that she was there, hoping that it was real. As if to add insult to injury, the gate of the house on hill stood undisturbed and unmoving. It was very difficult that he was at the very place he thought was wrong.  Clearly it wasn’t what he expected it to be. He stood condemned to a house that added little meaning and spurned more doubts to his life and existence. 

He was sitting on a chair, his hands on the piano. His body was slightly moving , his head too moved with the crescendo and diminuendo of the piece he was playing when he stopped abruptly, his hands shaking, his breathing was racing and his eyes roaming without blinking. The harmonic progression wasn’t working. Execution may have been right but, it wasn’t working at all. His body was there, but his mind was wondering someplace far. He was thinking about the price of loneliness and the tenderness of friendship. But it is pretty far-fetched to claim that people provided satisfaction and relaxation, or at least if they sometimes do they as often do not. He stood from his chair and walked around the house touching the walls, the antique tiles covering the fire place. The tusk table and the ottoman, in a larsen velvet. It would have been easy to think, he was proud and at peace from the things he could see and touch. But he was confused and was hurting . He understood that tight bonds could make him vulnerable so he was careful not to have any before , but he needed a friend and perhaps more than a friend and he hated that about himself because it made him vulnerable. His only friend had been his pet. Was it luck or just coincidence, he was lucky Jessie crossed his path at the time he needed someone more reasonable than his pet, someone useful. He promised himself that he would study her and one day maybe understand her. That same evening, he was at the southside. He ordered a takeaway, simple lemon baked dill salmon and mache salad. He was sitting at his spot waiting for his order and Jessie didn’t show up when he left and he felt a little disappointed . He later learnt that, she wasn’t much of a speaker either. She just had her special way of letting people in her life, people she maybe cared about . She was calm, relaxed and peaceful and she extended it to whomever she talked. She was a business enthusiast. She loved singing but was a little shy to do so in public . Cooking was her favourite, but her intelligence was way past the kitchen. She was gifted at encouraging people and he learnt a lot from her. He needed her more than he was ready to admit. He asked a lot from her and at one point he felt he was exploiting her kindness. She was the only person he told anything about his life. He admired her more than he could gather the courage to say. Sometimes he found it difficult to talk to her, he felt so close and yet so distant. He was wary of his life messing her life. Sometimes he just watched her do things and said nothing .She was vibrant and full of ideas, patient but persistent. He needed her, he wanted her more than he could think to imagine , the last person upon which he could possibly rely for advancement. But he thought, he was too much for her and she was too good for his messed up life. Sometimes he wondered what her thoughts were, and what she felt. He wanted to give up many times but when he reached the inflection point, she was always there. He knew her just enough but he adored her. For sure she was. Her hair, the long braids, the coyness and the expressive of her eyes. She was surely a design that was highly successful in kingdom of creativity. And she was special to him and was scared of losing her. One day as he was standing in a distant beside his shadow, he wondered whether he felt huge or small or whether his heart had grown small that it could fit in her, or whether it had grown so big that she could fit in his heart. But words are the nuggets that stay and give comfort, did she know what she meant to him and was he going to tell her. He didn’t express things often, actually he didn’t just feel things often . He had gotten himself into a predicament. He had drawned in sentiment for Jessie. And whether he loved classical more was completely oblivious. But the most important things remained the hardest to say. He found her a challenge; one that, in spite of all that was happening , continued to stimulate. 

And so the conversation futile, though it may have seemed sometimes he wanted to continue  and he was left to wonder, had he simply failed to find the answers to the questions he sought in life. Was she the answer , or they just didn’t have answers. It was evident that she mattered. He had learnt so much yet so little. When he was drawn to understand more, it was time to leave the house on the hill.The House On The Hill


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