I slowly walk around the room, wiping my finger through a thick layer of dust on a book shelf in the corner, I take a curiously glance at the spines of the books, I don’t recognise any of the titles or authors, picking one up I read the blurb and discover it’s a self help book, aimed at beating depression, I hope whoever owned this house before managed to find some happiness before the reaping happened.
The next shelf up is devoted to knick knacks, candles and a few photo frames. Smiling faces peer up at me from various coloured frames, captioning the story of a young family and their decline. A young couple, obviously, deliriously in love standing on a beach at sunset. The same couple, ecstatically cooing over a chubby baby. That same chubby child, now a few years older, dressed in dungarees with a red t-shirt, his pudgy arms reaching out to whoever is behind the camera, being pushed on a swing by the gorgeous brunette from the earlier pictures, the evidence of time passing shows in the small crinkles in the corner of her eyes but does not dilute her beauty. Not yet anyway. In the next picture, the woman is laying in a hospital bed, her face pale and drawn out, hair thinning and brittle but her eyes are just as bright as before, ocean blue, green, smiling out from dark grey smudges, a weary smile on her skeletal face. The boy, now 8 or 9 sitting on the bed next to her, his solemn face downcast at the open book on his lap. The pictures grow gloomier and gloomier, ending the story with a morose teenage boy standing next to the man who previously looked so young and vibrant, now a man aged beyond his years, puffy watery eyes under a cap of grey unruly hair, his feeble arms reaching out to the boy- turned away and uninterested, trying to reach for the child he once was.