It enchanted her the moment she saw it. He took a few visits to warm to the place. It was narrow, from the street, if street was even the correct word; a side road, called Whippoorwill Lane. A poetic name, he said when he saw the rustic sign jutting out among the pines.
Outside, it was gorgeous; country, rustic, inviting if a little distant. White, paint peeling and flaked; the plaster was crumbling in places, cracked in others. Two stories, with a tall, narrow front door, windows set deep in the double brick walls, eyes that watched the world. There were spiderwebs and darkness on the inside, frost and dust on the outside.
Those windows were eyes that spoke so eloquently of lives that could be lived there.
She told him, and he considered; she pointed out one path, then illustrated another, drawing the lines and connections. She leant against the FOR SALE sign, she surveyed the white picket fence, she sized the garden up; neglected and barren as it was, she painted for him a picture of marigolds and lilacs and buttercups. Of a herb garden, of a vegetable patch, a winter garden.
He blew his cheeks out at the price, and he questioned the reliability of the hot water and the electricity; he made a pained face whenever she said that it wasn't that expensive, that they'd find a way to make it work. He was trying to finish his third novel, she was trying to find them a home, to build a place for them and for whatever might come of them.
And he had to admit, those lives she mapped out for him were lives he would love to live. He saw a big yellow dog, a little girl and a little boy; he saw flowers by the fence and sunshine in the back garden. He saw a fire place in winter, rambling roses and nights in the forest. He saw kissing her in the threshold, making love in the master bedroom. Collecting antiques, writing for him and painting for her. Listening to the birds, raising chickens and collecting eggs in the morning.
It made him think of home. When he told her this, she smiled knowingly in that way she always did; the way specially formulated to drive him crazy.
They bought it, because she asked him. She looked at him with her big, grey eyes and said to him, "I love it."
So he bought it.
Number nine, Whippoorwill; it felt like home.