From Nightmare to Dream Come True

Written By: Cheryl Attard

It was an irritable day for me. I was stuck waiting in the car with the feeling of failing to pick up marbles with chopsticks. Outside the car were my parents and sister looking to buy the ugliest house I had ever seen. The house that they had their minds clung to just as gum sticks to a city sidewalk, was not my dream house. Every attempt I had to scrape that gum off was useless.
I had seen it on a tour a few months ahead. The house was two family, two floor home. But the broker didn’t tell us that it was a jenga tower waiting to hit the ground. The first floor was not much but a couple bedrooms with a floor literally filled with mold. It smelled exactly as it looked, but worse. The second half of that floor was a “kitchen and living room” with beaten up furniture, a rusty fireplace, and a puke colored kitchen greasier than John Travolta’s hair gel. It smelled exactly like rat droppings. The upstairs floor was another two bedrooms. Instead of throw-up was the smell of cats. There was also a small roof filled with seagull droppings. On the exterior of the house was a broken hot tub, a cracked patio, a shed with shingles missing, and a messed up floating dock. There was also a lawn filled up with sand with a pretty (but also broken) dolphin fountain, and a three legged barbeque that was not even capable of cooking paper. I imagined the yard was a happy place before hurricane Sandy demolished it: with happy children running around in it. But now it was just a place meant for people to run past it.
Right after the lawn, was the sand and (bay) water. My dad loved the idea that we would finally have our own beach. It was nothing like a beach to me, muddy water and dried up dirty-looking seaweed ashore. The only beach I liked was the one I always go to in Malta, surrounded with clear blue sea and orange sand. There you could snorkel and see a variety of colors swimming around you, with a cool feeling surrounding you the deeper you dove. Here trying to snorkel (I found out later), there is nothing visible but mud filling up your lense, and the feeling of sticky seaweed gnawing at your legs. The dock was a float board held by single piece of wood, that should have drifted away years ago.
It was all in my head that the house was the opposite of the palace of my dreams. I didn’t need to live in a worn out shoe in the middle of nowhere, I hoped for a high class Hamptons house with a large pool and six chimneys. My dad had always dreamed of getting a messy sloppy house to fix it up himself and make it much nicer. The perspective I had was much more pessimistic. The house was way, way too far from sloppy and was not even possible to fix; better you just knock it over with a wrecking ball. I was more than thankful that my parents decided we would not live in this “house” until they finish renovating it, which like I predicted took forever. And of course they ended up buying it.
A few months later I had to spend my first night there. It was a snowy Saturday morning in our city home. I had locked myself for two hours inside the bathroom. They were pounding on the door waiting for me to come in the car. I thought that I would not survive in a house that could easily be knocked over by a single snowflake. When I heard my sister pretending that she was messing with my ipad, it shot my nerves. I reluctantly ran out of the door. I found my ipad and some of my things packed.
And before I knew it I was packed into the car. After the long car ride the day went faster than I expected. When it was time to go to bed I could not sleep at all. It wasn’t the blow up bed I was sleeping on that bothered me. It wasn’t even the cat residue or the fact of where I was. What truly bothered me was this feeling inside me.
The feeling that kept me awake is not exactly describable. It was a mix between confusion and the aftertaste of when someone else proves you square wrong. I was wondering if maybe my dad was right. What If we take away of the kitty carpets, and remove all the mold and other junk inside and out… If we put a kitchen where the roof is and add another floor on top of that for bedrooms. If we make where the kitchen is into another garage. We would need two garages for the space we would be needing. Especially if we were going have kayaks, a jet ski and a boat. We would also have to elevate the house, which would take double the work and effort. At that my last thought finished, and I closed my eyes; because I believed things were more likely to end up as I predicted at the beginning.
Four years had gone by since that night. I was now living in this East End community instead of the city. Many changes had been made. The house ended up exactly as my dad predicted, only better. Without our struggle and determination, no progress would have been made. The house no longer smelled or looked like what it once did. It has a breezy view with the small waves always passing by. The yard was now a lawn with a hammock and swinging chairs to relax on. When I have problems in life there is my space to relax and think things through. Peace is always a result of hard work. I can’t wait for the end of summer, and the start of new experiences in my new school.