During the early days of renovation, I’d suffer from dust allergies and was confined to my bedroom, sniffling over Ramen noodles; meanwhile my siblings had the chance to explore the inner depths of our basement where they stumbled across antique railroad tracks. The “new” house was not what I had in mind. I wanted the cookie-cutter suburban house with a pool. When we moved out of our cramped apartment, I didn’t think that we’d be coming to an old, 1900’s era house whose peeling pink paint fell like dandruff.
Eventually, I grew accustomed to the dust and gave in to the allure of the house’s mysteries. Every corner in the house had its idiosyncrasies. I especially loved exploring our backyard where I would feel like a paleontologist whenever I dug up pieces of broken china sets in the dirt; and I’d imagine the previous owners having 18th century British tea parties in my backyard. Little did I know that I would grow close to this house just like the tangled grape vine that sneaked its way through the roof shingles. Or that this would be the same house where we’d bury our six pet parakeets, trick the neighborhood kids into buying pet fish (which were really larvae growing in puddles), and sink our teeth into the succulent peaches from our tree after a long day of schoolwork. The same rooms that were once covered in ugly wallpaper, are now colored with warm browns, reds, and yellows representing the red chili and cumin that my mom uses to make traditional Pakistani food. The barren patch of dirt in the backyard now produces plump, scarlet tomatoes.
However, with the new train station coming near my home, this place won’t feel the same. It took so long to make the house mine and now the encroaching train will bring foreigners to the place that once felt foreign. My future memories will forever be altered by the rumbling of the wheels and piercing noise of the train whistle of the oncoming green line.