The house looked like a two storey if you are looking at it from the other side across the street. But if you go around the front, you will see that it was a semi-bungalow really. The reason was, the house was built on the very edge of a cliff and whoever was responsible for erecting it was either cut the budget by refusing to fill the deep end with fresh soil or deliberately left it that way to save yet another room space. The result was quite unique.
When I first saw the house, I thought it was out of place. It had nothing in common with its neighbors. It was small but smartly built, using all the available space and had an appearance of something which is more belongs to some fancy subdivision. While all its neighbors were having high secluded fences, solid big gates complete with dead bolts and padlocks, the place had a cute, low fence which barely coming up to my waist. The gate and the grills were painted chocolate brown, so were the bars on the windows, the front door and the roof; the rest was in cream color.
The funny thing was the color of the window panes, it was green; as if somebody had added them as an afterthought. Inside, I saw that the living room-kitchen was in L-form. It could have been a simple square if the left corner hadn’t been cut off to make a bedroom, which was closed when I came in. The walls inside were painted pinkish-white, while the border some five inches from the floor was done in mauve color. A kitchen counter to the right in flamed beige took the most entire length of the L. Between the counter and the bedroom was a door that leads to the terrace. Next to it was the bathroom, and next to the bathroom was a spiral staircase leading down to a bedroom. It was cleverly built. A room under the terrace. Very private. One has no business being down there unless one wants to be in that space per se.
It was the icing of the whole house and became right away my favorite place. It was painted white and greens. Dark green marble floor, sea green walls, and light green ceiling in termites finish. Somebody brushed white paint lightly over the green finish. The result was pretty amazing _ a green sky dotted with fluffy white clouds. Terrific! A green, round ceiling lamp with mirror around it completed the effect. But the best part I like was the bathroom. It was tucked under the stairs, and the entrance was built under a slightly raised archway painted in white in contrast to the greenest of the room.
The bathroom itself was done in green tiles all the way up to half of the wall, the other half was in white color, and so were the toilet bowl, the paper and the soap holder. There was no door, simply because there was no place to put one. Moss green venetian blinds divided the privacy of the two rooms. The only window there was in the room was the one facing the other side of the street. It had smoked brown sliding glass on it. Brown window panes in green bedroom? And green windows in cream and chocolate brown living room? Was it a coincidence? Or somebody deliberately mixed them up together? If _ why?
The furniture in the room was all in white brass. The bed; the dresser with three folding mirrors, the matching velvet chair, the standing oval whole body mirror, it was all there, fully intact. Above the bed, on the wall was a set of hats. Thirteen in total. I counted them. Six on hooks of each side forming a triangle, and a big one in the middle with green sash tied around it. The smaller ones had multi-colored ribbons on them. I thought at first that the hats were made of straw or perhaps rattan, but on closer inspection, I discovered that they were made of paper. Pages from yellow pages telephone books cleverly rolled in tiny pipes and soaked in varnish to resemble a native product. It was the most cunning pieces of art I have ever seen. The house itself had an abandoned forgotten feeling hanging in every corner, which is I think very common with empty places.
But the bedroom in contrast seems very much alive. As if the occupant had just popped out to get some soda and will be back any second. It was also warmer than the rest of the house which was strange considering it’s location under the ground. The room had some smell also. A sweet, fresh lingering fragrant, like how a bathroom smells after somebody just took a bath. If the house wasn’t for sale, I could almost be sure that somebody was still living there. At least downstairs. There were half empty bottles of perfumes on the dresser, combs and powders. There were books everywhere, even on the bed, dolls and stuffed toys too. Even the bed covers were turned out as if someone just woke up and forgot to make up the bed. I find it strange.
In the end, my parents decided to buy the house on the other side of the street instead opposite of this one. We needed a bigger place and the house across certainly was. I counted the steps on my way up, there were thirteen of them.
Another strange thing. I have never been superstitious but I shuddered nonetheless.
~ to be continued