Mike had all kinds of regrets about the divorce, not so much that it happened, but its impact on the kids. He had a lot to deal with there. But, during the quiet times at night, when he was alone, he thought about their house; his wife got it in the divorce. But, if she wanted to stay there, he wasn't going to stand in the way.
He loved the house, for sure. A beautiful colonial. The best part was the property, which was on the bay with a big yard, with dozens of grand oak trees. But his regrets had more to do with what happened there: the times he spent with the kids in the yard, climbing on the play gym and up to the tree house, going out on the sail boat, looking for Easter eggs, planting a Christmas tree.
With all those memories, Mike was looking for a change. He bought a downtown condo. He decorated it with art deco antiques and bought modern furntiure when the older stuff wasn't available, like couches and coffee tables.
His first opportunity to show off the condo was unexpected. He had a date with Michele, with whom he had a business relationship for several years. They planned to meet at the condo and go to the history museum, a few blocks away. Michele arrived about 15 minutes early and Mike was still in the shower. As he scrambled to pull on his jeans and grab his shirt, he asked Michele upstairs while he put on his sneakers.
As his first visitor, he was nervous about Michele's reaction to the condo and his decision to mix two styles of furniture. She loved it and that immediately kicked off a day long conversation about art deco architecture and house decorating.
In time, Mike's kids came over and spent lots of time there and Michele, and her kids, were frequent visitors too.
And Mike came to realize; this was home.
This was written in response to the Week 38 Trifecta Writing Challenge. While this is a "prequel" to my earlier post called, "The Movie", it was not written to tell the story of Mike and Michele's relationship, which I expect will be the subject of future posts.