I do not live in this house anymore.
The decision, surprisingly, wasn't hard to make. Packing didn't take more than some hours. I was done by lunchtime and had time to sit around on a dusty floor, looking around me, at walls that would never talk. Everything I wanted to take along was already outside, packed into easy-to-carry boxes.
I opened the red cardboard matchbox. It was all that remained to be done.
A spark, a match dropped onto the threadbare straw carpet, and the smell of sulphur dragging itself through the house. Upstairs and downstairs, into the basement and up to the attic, finding every knothole, every square of wallpaper, every empty bottle and broken candlestand and creaking doorless cupboard. Smoke trailed into every bedroom, wreathing the mothball curtains, discovering the old bicycle in the kitchen, the doll's cradle in the nursery. Fire danced around the boxes left stacked in corners, boxes packed to bursting and sealed tightly shut, many more than the ones saved. All that was outgrown turned into cinders. Evidence of lives past crumbled into ash. After I was gone and the key buried in the backyard, nobody should be able to find a trail.
I couldn't do it.
My old house still stands as and where I left it. Maybe I will come back one day. And then again, maybe not. Funny thing is, I'm not afraid. If some stranger like you were to walk through the woods and find my house, you would see the door standing open and a waiting fireplace. An umbrella hung in the hall. An untouched piano. And maybe as you drink a cup of tea and look at the pictures on the wall, you will see a glimpse of what was my home. You might as well. Think of me when you do.