The place had been abandoned for a long time, or at least that’s what could be inferred by the state of the house as a whole. Some glasses had broken, due to the wind or objects hitting them with strong force, moss and fungi had grown in the most humid places and every single object was covered by a very thick layer of dust, except the things near the terrace, through which the rain and the wind of many days had entered and sort of cleaned the space a bit. It didn’t look better as there was a lot of sand from the beach below and fragments of plants and other things. The place was a mess but there was some magic to it even like that.
Formerly, that house had been part of condominium where only the richest people had houses by the beach, places where they could escape if they needed so. Maybe they had very busy lives in the city or maybe they just wanted to change views from time to time. There were even houses that were visited only once. But the one described was the last one of them all. The others were in ruins: they had been affected by the cliff crumbling into the beach or had just had less luck than the house that still stood there, almost defiantly.
There were pictures of the people that used to live there or at least own the place: most of the photos showed a couple in their fifties, smiling or hugging and one where they kissed in some sort of celebration. There was only one picture of other people, most likely their children but it could be anyone as humidity had taken its toll on the picture and faces could not really be compared to the others. The point was that it seemed to be the house of people that were probably retired and had decided to have a place far from the chaos of the cities.
The largest room was the living room, with the dining table just adjacent to it in a sort of platform that made way to the balcony, that had gone unaffected by the disaster that had claimed so many of the other houses. If a person could have been there, they would have seen a fiery ocean outside, a possible storm forming in the horizon and little to no wildlife in the vicinity. In the house, there were some small rodents and insects but no big animals, something had scared them off, or maybe the lack of people was unappealing, maybe they had learned to deal with us.
Everything in this room was obviously expensive and that was obvious because of how it had stood against the wind and the humidity. The wood used all over the place was obviously of high quality as was the steel by the fireplace and even the fabrics in the furniture. The couple had probably spent lots of days planning what to buy and how to install it inside, how would it look best.
But now, no one was there. Same for the bedrooms, which the house had three. The biggest one, of course, was the master bedroom that also had a balcony but smaller. The couple probably loved to look at the ocean every morning and talked about that view often. Or maybe, as many humans do, they never acknowledged their privilege, because when people already have something they’ve yearned for long, they decided to move on to some other things and the magic that used to exist is just lost. People are very hard to please.
The bed and linen smelled awful but that was caused by the broken windows and the fact that rain had somehow created a giant puddle beneath the bed. It was almost a death trap because beneath that puddle laid all the pieces of broken glass from the windows. A human would have to be very careful walking around that room, as large as it was. There was a sofa there and a TV that had stopped working some time ago (there was no electricity) and a very large bathroom inside.
It had a circular bathtub by the window overlooking the ocean and a lot of space for clothes and to be naked around. It should have been a really nice place to hang out as a couple or even alone. The glasses here had not been shattered yet so the room seemed less chaotic than the rest. The drawers were still filled with things the woman that lived there had bought but rarely used: many types of creams and lotions, bath salts for the bathtub, soaps in every shape, form and odor and several other things that would make a hotel manager blush out of embarrassment.
The other two rooms were smaller. The one across the master bedroom was a bit larger and its windows were also shattered. It looked towards the entrance, were the cars would have been parked. It didn’t really have anything personal around except a teddy bear that was still sitting on the bed. It was impossible to know who had been the owner of that bear: there were no pictures in the bedroom and there were no other objects to relate it to. And the whole place was done in white, so one it was probably not a child’s toy but who knows, maybe it was.
The last bedroom was smaller, also overlooking the parking area. That room’s particularity was the fact that it had a rather old computer on a table on the opposite side of the bed. There was a calendar besides it and a small cactus that was the only living thing in the room. It was strange to see that patch of green next to all the rather dull colors of the rooms. It was, without a doubt, a sign of life. But no one was really there to appreciate it anymore. There was even a small pink flower on top of it, but no one would ever see that. No way to know if they did before.
Suddenly, the room shook as if another tremor had occurred but the force that was shaking the house did not come from below but from above. From the small bedroom, something could be seen in the sky, sort of a shadow slowly moving among the clouds but making the ground shake a lot. It was very high up and its shape or trajectory was very difficult to pin down. After a few moments the vibrations stop and only the sound of one of the paintings in the living room falling to the ground broke the silence. It had held on to the wall as long as it had been able to but the forces of nature had finally won.
The last space in the house was the kitchen, which appeared to have been frozen in time. Everything there was just as if someone had come and clean it everyday since the couple had left the house. The pans and pots were very still in their places, also the glasses of wine and the entire silverware. It looked ready to be used but no one would ever use any of it again. It was nice to imagine what they had cooked in such a great place, such a clean and white space. Maybe they had thrown parties with lots of canapés and alcohol. Maybe they had been more intimate, and had just cooked meals for the two of them.
It was weird not to see any grease of any part of the kitchen and the fact that there was no fungus in there but other parts of the house were just invaded by it. Maybe one of them was very into cleaning or had a special love for cooking. That was also interesting. Imagining who they actually were, what had made them laugh in that kitchen, what shows they liked to watch on TV, if they had eaten many times only the two of us in that dining table or if they had spent many nights feeling the night air in their faces and just looking at the ocean.
The same ocean that now seemed a bit gray and that, strangely, was slowly pulling back. The few birds that remained it the bitch went away and there was only the house to face the destiny that had been set for the world. That house had known love, hope and laughter but also sadness and anger. It had been a house were some humans had decided to live and enjoy their time together but they had been made to leave and cut short what was going to be a long stay. They probably planned a proper life there.
The ocean was coming back, tall and monstrous. The house, and many other houses inland and far from there, where going to disappear. And with them the memories of thousands, maybe millions of people which only dream was to have a place to go back to when things got unbearable, where they could be with the people they loved and just enjoy the simplicity of human life. But that was no more. That time in that place, came to an end in a moment.