Samantha Ribeiro

Pick Your Dream House

Samantha Ribeiro

Pick Your Dream House

You used to play a game when we went on drives down Manasota Beach Road. You would pick the house you wanted to live in when you were older. There was one rule; you said that you had to be close to me, so that when we had kids we could have our sister-child dates. You always picked the “Spanish yellow rice house,” as I called it. It was the color of Spanish yellow rice, and stood three stories high with three huge arches over the door way, and an iron fence surrounding it. We always drove by it slowly so we could get every detail. You liked it because there was a huge uncovered red and orange stone patio, an open yard, and lots of windows. I always told you that you wouldn’t need a house that big even if you had seven kids. You always laughed and responded that it didn’t matter; it was the nicest house on the block.

I wonder where you live now. I would like to believe you’re in that Spanish yellow rice house or one just like it. That you are inside making dinner with your freshly sun-kissed hands for your prince charming.That you have a note somewhere on a bulletin board in the kitchen to call your sister, because even though you don’t have kids yet and neither does she, you miss her so much and want to talk about the day she moves down the road.

But I know better.

You’re probably in some broken down house with him. The guy who told you that you would look better if you lost ten pounds, that crack makes you feel great, and that he would give you everything you ever needed. He didn’t know that you had an eating disorder, an addictive personality, and believed anything a guy that seemed to like you said.

I bet he still doesn’t.

Maybe you’re in that house smoking a pipe, avoiding food at any cost because he told you that was good. Maybe you’re happy. Or maybe you’re too worn down-too numb to know how you feel. I like to believe that underneath your brittle bones and absent mind, you are still there. That the girl who played pick your dream house is still there. That you still want that house. And most of all, I like to believe that you still think about those drives. I like to believe that you miss them, that you miss me. 

SAMANTHA RIBEIRO is currently a college student at St. Lawrence University, where she is studying biology. This is her first publication.

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