Rules for Moving by Nancy Star
English | 2020 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB | 3.2 MB
To the outside world, beloved advice columnist Lane Meckler has all the answers. What no one knows is that she also has a secret: her life is a disaster, and it’s just gotten worse. Her husband, whom she was planning to leave, has died in a freak accident. Her six-year-old son, Henry, has stopped speaking to everyone but her. Lane’s solution? Move. Growing up, that was what her family did best.
But when she and Henry pack up and leave, Lane realizes that their next home is no better, and she finally begins to ask herself some hard questions. What made her family move so often? Why has she always felt like an outsider? How can she get Henry to speak?
On a journey to help her son find his voice, Lane discovers that somewhere along the way she lost her own. If she wants to help him, she’ll need to find the courage to face the past and to speak the truth she’s been hiding from for years..
What a headache. It had never crossed her mind that the house on Applegate Road—her neighbor’s house—would end up to be one of those listings that kept her awake at night. A stubborn house that just wouldn’t sell. A gem of a place where everything went wrong. Today’s problem, a pregnant woman. Dana had nothing against pregnant women. She’d happily led five perfectly normal pregnant women up and down these stairs this month alone. But this woman was so pregnant—nine months at least, possibly ten—she could barely move. Dana could feel it coming; the prospective buyer’s water was going to break right there, on the recently recleaned round rug that sat in the center of the once-again-spotless foyer. She took a breath and reminded herself that she had a fully stocked Realtor’s Secret Kit in the trunk of her car. While it was true that so far the kit had only been put to the test on ink, coffee, and blood, she was confident—pretty confident—that it would be up to the challenge of amniotic fluid, if it came to that.
The woman’s husband, who’d already made two jokes about how it wasn’t his idea to move, was sluggish until he got to the basement. There, as if woken from hibernation, he charged into the utility room. A moment later he slumped. There was nothing in Dana’s secret kit to fix this. Sellers could scrub till their muscles were sore but a clean boiler still wasn’t pretty. Basements were so often like that, disappointing.
She hustled him out and guided them both to the main downstairs space. “Here’s what I love. A blank slate. Waiting to be transformed. You see bare walls. I see magical playroom.”
Two stony faces stared back at her. Normally she could connect with anyone. Her husband said she could connect with a corpse. But these two? Nothing. It was the house. It made her nervous. Like it was judging her. “So!” She brightened her smile. “Ready to go up and see the kitchen? You are going to be over the moon when you see the kitchen.”
“Could use an update,” she allowed as she watched them scan the maple cabinets, doors askew. “But the beauty of that is you get to do it how you want.” She saw the man glance at the one chipped terra-cotta floor tile. “What counts is the bones. Floors you can change. If the bones are bad, nothing you can do.”
The air felt flat. She leaned toward the woman. “Can I tell you a secret? This is my block. Trust me, I don’t show this house to anyone I wouldn’t want on my block.” The woman’s spine seemed to stiffen. “Don’t worry. I’m a very respectful neighbor. I never pry. Come. Let me show you the best part.” She whisked them to the large window at the back of the living room. “Look how big the yard is. And how private. There’s so much you could do with that space. Put in an outdoor kitchen. Bluestone patio. Farmhouse table. Tea lights on the bushes. Oh my god, I want to come over to your house for dinner and you haven’t even said if you like it.”