The boxes in the corner of the room flood me with distant memories of new doorknobs and hinges, as I once again say goodbye to the old. As I stare at the boxes, each arranged according to room, I notice one missing. I begin the hunt for the missing box, although I am unsure what it is I am looking for. I rifle through cupboards and empty rooms, climbing over the furniture so beautifully misplaced. I take the hunt outside, where I am greeted by a tall man, a stranger. He gently nudges me to the side and proceeds to walk into my house. It was then I noticed it, the brown taped over memories, alone on the driveway. The temptation was strong, my nine-year-old self fighting the urge to peep inside this mysterious unmarked object. My imagination running wild, I begin to question what this lonely box may contain. Could it be a small trinket, where all your wishes come true with a single touch? Or a small puppy, waiting to be opened in my new, unseen home?
When my mother joined me on the deserted driveway, it was evident that she too was unaware of the boxes contents. Although, her urge must have been stronger than mine, as within the minute the box had been opened and emptied. It was the sudden drop of her emotions that I realized this box was more precious than I had originally assumed. Inside, all neatly stacked according to name, was a hundred CD’s belonging to my late aunty. She had lived with us for almost a year, as she could no longer fight her chemo-delimited body alone. Her CD’s were her redeemer, forcing her to take a step back from reality and into the classic rock world of AC/DC and Metallica. To this day, I still cannot listen to Highway To Hell without the image of her head banging to an air guitar in the sun lit living room. I can still remember her smile, kind and welcoming. And although her body was failing, her positive energy was not.
But the CD’s were a sudden reminder of what we had lost, that bad things do happen, even to the best of people. They retold the story of her life, the good and the bad, her heartbreaks and redemptions.
My mother resealed the box and neatly placed it on to the truck. Pushing back her tears, she looked down to me with a faint smile, holding back her emotions.
I think the hardest part was the realization that my aunty will never step into the new home. That this old, red bricked house was her last.