Without any furniture, the house seemed smaller somehow. There was more space, and sounds carried further, but the house was less. Less warmth, less life, less . . . everything. It bothered him. All he wanted to do was go through one more time to make sure there was nothing left behind.
But everywhere he turned, he saw something he couldn’t take with him. There was the freshly painted wall where his son had used crayons to scribble a masterpiece. The dining room held years of dinner conversations. And the bedroom . . . So much left behind.
The house was empty of things and full of memories. The effect was jarring. Bare floors and bare walls mocked every echo of reminiscence, suggesting it had all been a lie. Someone new would be moving in, making their own memories, painting over those he was leaving.
The laughter and the tears in the living room made him question how he could walk away, leave so much here to be forgotten. Then he reached the front door. So many hellos. And one more goodbye. It overshadowed everything else. He looked back at the house, full of his past, trading it all so that he could get rid of that one goodbye, and he wondered if even that was enough.