I feel that if I were to face my fear and walk up to the door and knock on it, something interesting will happen. The anticipation of the situation is eating away at me. If I ignore the feeling that a strange or dangerous person may be hiding there, I might just get a nice surprise.
I have day-dreamed of the moment that I do that. Instead of passing the house which intrigues me so much. It has been derelict for some years, for at least the five years that I have lived nearby. It was once neat and tidy bungalow with a nice garden, but the lack of care means that you now cannot see the garden and the archway which once covered the front of the pathway has grown all the way along it, leaving a tunnel to the door. It is in darkness, but someone has cut a walk through to the door. I often drove past it on the way home and looked for lights and signs of life throughout the winter months when it grew dark early, there has been none. There is an old camper van parked in the driveway, which has not turned a wheel during that time either. In fact it has been there for so long that a grapevine has grown up around it over the top and when it overhangs the pavement, someone cuts the edges back and slings the pieces over the fence again. You would barely notice what was stored behind what is now the makeshift hedge. The roof of the house is showing signs of damage, the odd loose slate here and there, the pointing around the chimney loose and the gutters hanging down in places. You cannot see the windows at the front of the house. I would love to get in there and take a look. It’s not one of those big old houses, which I loved to go and look at if we passed them on rides out in the car. It’s just what was once someone’s home, probably built around the 1930’s. My kind of era for houses.
I imagine that I will summon the courage and knock at the door one day. That some elderly person will shuffle their way to the door and we will begin to talk. They will not want to be rude or send me packing for disturbing their day. I will offer help, perhaps to cut back the hedge for them and let some light return to their house if they would like that, or help them with getting some shopping maybe. I will listen to their stories and hear about their life. It might inspire me to write about them, in some future book. I look for characters everywhere, inspiration in the strangest of places. Meanwhile, we will walk the dog past the house as often as possible and dream of what is behind the front door, of how the garden looks, of what story it can tell me.
I think of the person who has left this place as it stands for so many years. Maybe they have left and not returned, maybe they have been there all along, waiting for the knock at the door to find out if anyone will care. Maybe I will brighten’s someone day by offering some form of comfort or help when they need it and show them some understanding. I hope that I will not be too late for them.
Time to knock at the door…