“Why is it so dark?” Harold asked
“Oh!” Pieter exclaimed, “I always forget to turn on the lights.”
And a large Victorian white house appeared before them.
“What a lovely house,” Pieter said, “is that your home?”
“No,” Harold said, “we lived there for awhile. It was the house we moved in when we were living in Florida. It was our fifth home. We moved four other times before my daughter was born. She barely could crawl when we moved here. We were expecting our fourth child.”
“Fourth, you say?” Pieter asked.
“Yes, we had twin boys they were one when we moved here,” Harold’s voice drifted.
“My, you had a growing family,” Pieter chuckled. “That must be her now.”
A woman with dark brown hair, and skin as white as snow, came around the house carrying a small child in her arms. She was glowing, her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were full of excitement.She had a smile so wide it was contagious.
“She seems happy,” Pieter beamed.
“She was always smiling,” Harold said. “She never had a bad day, you always wanted to be around her. She made you feel like your problems were suddenly solved. She had that kind of energy, that kind of aura. Honestly, I didn’t think I would marry her, and then… I did. She made me feel alive, as if anything was possible. Life was fun and exciting and I couldn’t wait to explore it. She never worried about anything. She made me believe in chasing after my dreams no matter how big they were. The bigger the better, she would always said. That’s why we moved to Florida, the company I was working for moved me to all kinds of places and she never complained once. She was always excited about every move.
“I was hoping the move to Florida would get my big break, that position I have been working for. I was determined to get it.”
“You made some sacrifices, didn’t you?” Pieter asked.
“Yes,” Harold shamelessly admitted. “I did. I barely spent time with my family. I worked from morning till night, and when I wasn’t working I was at parties and outings my work threw. She was there by my side, smiling. People at my work loved her, they always asked about her. You can say I was selfish, I was always thinking about work. It took up most of my time, that I didn’t have any spare moment for my family.”
“You could have made time,” Pieter acknowledge.
“I didn’t,” Harold said. “I was always thinking about the next big success in my life, the bigger office, the bigger salary, the bigger position. She never held it against me.”
“I’m sure it was worth it,” Pieter said, “this was a nice house.”
“It wasn’t ours,” Harold said. “We were renting it from my boss. His family didn’t use it and he hated to see such a big space going empty. He had rented it out before, but he never understood why they left before the end of their contract and wanted know if there was anything wrong with the place. I agreed, and with a growing family we needed the space. Liz was excited. At the time, we didn’t have much money. We were broke when we first got married. Everything we owned was given to us by a family member, which wasn’t much. But here we were making a life for our selves. Eventually the house became too big of a problem.”
“There goes your two boys,” Pieter smiled as two little twin boys followed behind the women. “Where are you in the picture?”
“I was probably at work,” Harold said. “Liz did all the unpacking. I hired a women to help her while I was at work. She cooked and cleaned so Liz didn’t have to do it all by herself. We also hired a nanny for the boys. Liz wasn’t showing just yet, but I knew she would be slowing down once she advanced in her pregnancy… much of this memory was fuzzy.”
“So what happened?”Pieter asked. “You said the house became too big of a problem.”
“There was something wrong with that house,” Harold leered it with disdain. “Something I couldn’t explain. I didn’t want to believe it, but Stacey, the nanny tried to convince me otherwise.”
“Whatever do you mean?”
“Stacey complained about noises,” Harold said, “loud noises, I assumed she had an active imagination. She was eighteen, and she was dating this boy that I sometimes caught her with in the house when she was left to babysit the children. It would infuriate me she would let a stranger into my home. I warned her that if I caught him inside the house one more time I would have him arrested and she would be fired. I knew she needed the job, but I was thinking of the safety of my children. She pleaded that she had been scared, that something in the house scarred her.”
“Did you believe her?”
“I don’t know,” Harold was visibly getting angry. “She was eighteen what else was I supposed to think. Eventually she stopped fussing about it at least with me.”
“Did Liz complain about it?”
“No, she never mentioned anything,” Harold said, “I guess that is why I assumed the nanny was lying.”
“What about the other women you hired?”
“She didn’t say much about it,” Harold said, “though, Liz would mention hearing her admonish Stacey and asked me if I knew what the whole thing was about. I didn’t tell her. I didn’t want her to worry. So I feigned.”
“Did you ever wonder why she didn’t quit if she was scarred?”
“She was afraid for children,” Harold said. “I had asked her why she staid, she said she was protecting the children because they got frighten by the noises.”