In The House

Entry by: kevley

23rd October 2015
She parked her white car with the passenger side wheels on the pavement, then opened the door and climbed out of the seat and ran round the bonnet and towards the blue wooden door which her brother was holding open.
“My keys, Keith!” she shouted, once she was in the house. “Go get my keys!”
Under his breath Keith muttered Hello to you too, darling sister, before stepping out and opening the passenger door and reaching over to the ignition for the keys.
He thought about getting in the driver’s side and starting up the car and parking it neatly.
He thought about going for a ride in it. Now that would really piss off his big sister.

In a different city, a man slows down his bike, stands it neatly under the window, knocks on the brown door, and when it is opened he is invited into the house.
Being a guest he is offered a cushion to sit on the floor. Being a polite visitor he refuses and let the old man continue to use it.
Within minutes a cup of tea is placed in front of him and a bowl of sugar.

Meanwhile, Keith has decided against moving his sister’s care and gone back in the house, and placed her keys in the fruit bowl on the dresser on the wall from the door to the back room. There is one orange, starting to look dried up and unpalatable and a few mints in the bowl.
He decides he’d better try and be civil so shouts up the stairs:
“Kathy, do you want a cup of tea?”
There is a pause and then her voice:
“What? What. Oh, no”.
Keith returns to the sofa parallel to the dresser with the fruit bowl that he’d put the car keys in, and sat on the left end cushion, picked up the remote, press play and carried on watching the reality show, thinking how marvellous being able to pause live TV was.

The guest was silently marvelling at how calm and quiet it was in the house. He could hear children playing but their voices were subdued and their occasional laughter was a pleasure to hear and not an hindrance.
He was just draining his tea cup when the head of the house came in, shook his hand and sat down opposite him.
The guest refused another cup of tea and they chatted about the usual pleasantries. The harvest. The weather. Whether the road out of town would ever be repaired or not.

Upstairs, Kathy was talking to her mother. Mainly listening.
About how wonderful Keith is, staying at home and looking after her, not moving to the city.
Kathy just smiled, and said and a forced laugh:
“And before you ask, no, I’m not courting, and there’s no grandchildren on the horizon.”
Her mother looked disappointed as usual.
“Maybe that is something Keith could do along with everything else”.
Her mother looked puzzled:
“I mean provide grandchildren. “
“We both knew there’s no chance of that dear. Not after what went on in the house”.
Kathy picked up on the subtle reference to the years of their father abusing both her and her brother – that the most their mother had ever admitted to was that things had gone on ‘in the house’.
Kathy had used to her argue about the twisted logic – it would be better if Keith never had children in case he treated them how he’d been as a young boy, whilst her mother claimed it would be the making of Kathy to have a baby. So she could finally put behind her what went on ‘in the house’.

Meanwhile the guest asked permission to leave, and when it was granted with a smile, stood up, shook the hands of his hosts, making a fuss on the old man sitting on the cushion and went out into the afternoon sun.