Write about any topic you wish, but make sure your post features a bookcase, something cracked, and a song you love.
Casey put down the box in the hallway, straddling the top of it to push the two flaps on top together, and then using the heavy-duty packing tape, taped the top of the box shut. She carefully sat there on top of the box, let out a giant sigh as she looked around her, observing all the other piles of belongings that still needed to be packed.
Wiping the sweat from her brow, she decided that it was now as good a time as any to take a small drink break. She stood up and walked over to the kitchen. She rinsed out a glass that was sitting on the sink, and opened the freezer to pull out the ice cube tray. Plunging her grubby hand into the tray of ice, Casey pulled out a handful of ice, dropping it into the glass, and then turned on the tap to fill the glass with water.
Taking that first initial mouthful of ice-cold water brought her instant relief; Casey saw the chill of her breath as she exhaled, leaning back against the door of the pantry. She looked across the kitchen into the living and dining room, already feeling defeated over the amount of packing she still had to do.
The movers were due to arrive at eleven the following morning, and Casey was concerned that she wouldn’t be ready in time. She felt as though she had been working non-stop all day, but from what she could tell, had only managed to pack about seven or eight boxes. Clearly, she had underestimated how much stuff she actually had.
Picking up her glass, that had now covered itself in beads of moisture, Casey walked through the minefield strewn across the living room floor, and opened the sliding door, leading to the balcony. As she opened the door, the extreme heat from the scorching summer’s day smacked her in the face, and she winced as she stepped barefoot out onto the boiling hot tiles. Part of her slightly enjoyed that initial instant burning sensation on the bottom of her feet, but just as soon as it appeared, it disappeared. Standing on the balcony, she felt the intense heat from the sun penetrate the skin on the back of her neck and her shoulders, and she closed her eyes enjoying the immediate warming sensation it gave her.
Gulping down the rest of her ice water, Casey ventured back through the sliding glass doors into the minefield, letting out a sigh of relief from the cool air conditioning inside the house. She placed the glass back on the kitchen sink and decided that it was time to pick up the pace, and that only meant one thing – music.
Walking over towards the entertainment unit, amongst the chaos of unplugged A/V equipment and cables laying all over the bench, she pulled her phone out of her pocket, and plugged it into the surround sound stereo. Casey scrolled through to find her favourite playlist, ‘Bounce!’, and as soon as the first notes tweeted out of the speakers, she began to feel the bass thump through the floor. Squatting in front of the receiver she paused momentarily, with her hand millimetres away from the volume knob, and then as the chorus started, she grabbed the volume knob and gave it a big turn, dialling up the volume so that it echoed all through the house.
Casey stood up and danced her way into the spare bedroom, standing in the doorway, and quietly singing to herself She looked at the giant bookcase full of books, and rolled her eyes, knowing that this was going to be a painful and heavy job, packing up all the books.
There were shelves, and shelves absolutely stuffed with well worn paperbacks. The dog ears, and crinkled spines stood out so much more amongst the hardcovers, and part of her momentarily re-visited the idea of donating the lot of them to charity, and just downloading them all again as e-books… but nothing could ever replace the feel of real paper between her fingertips. Casey just hoped that she’d be able to still fit them all into her new apartment.
She began to assemble the bottoms of some much smaller, and more manageable moving boxes, and began to fill them with books. It became almost like a puzzle game, trying to ensure that she got as many books as possible into each box, without leaving too much of a gap. After about an hour, Casey taped up the very last of the boxes that were now piled up just near the doorway, and she stood up feeling rather pleased with herself and her accomplishment.
Casey looked back across the room at the rows of empty shelves, and then noticed the amount of dust that had made a home on the edges of each shelf. ‘Ugh, gross!’ Casey said to herself, and picked up her damp cloth and began to wipe the shelves down. After wiping down just one shelf, the cloth was now completely covered in caked-on dust and dirt, and she realised that this was going to be a much bigger job that she initially thought it would be. Pausing momentarily, Casey contemplated whether it would be worthwhile, taking extra time to clean the bookcases, or whether she should just leave them, and then let the movers deal with dirty, grubby shelves when they move it tomorrow.
Feeling embarrassed at the thought of being judged by the removalists, she decided to clean them properly, because then she wouldn’t need to do it when she got to her new apartment. She walked out of the room briefly, returning with a large bottle of surface spray and a handful of cleaning rags. As she wiped up all the grime from the bookcase, she made a promise to herself that once she was in her new apartment, she would make a more conscientious effort to dust on a much more regular basis, because this was just too disgusting for her.
With the bookcases soon looking brand new again, she turned her attention to the other piles of belongings around the spare room, packing them all into boxes, and taping them shut, and piling them up near the other boxes by the doorway. Taking out the giant permanent marker from her pocket, she scrawled ‘SPARE ROOM’ onto all the boxes, before taking one last look around the room, feeling good with this small achievement.
‘Right. One down… six more rooms to go’, Casey groaned, dreading how long it was going to take to pack up the other rooms. At this rate, she’ll be lucky if she gets to even sleep at all – trying to mentally prepare herself for the reality of working all through the night.
Stepping over the boxes, Casey walked down towards the bedroom, and then stopped herself in the doorway. She looked at the mess in front of her. There were piles and piles of stuff all over the bed, and all over the floor; there almost wasn’t even enough room to get from one side of the room to the other, but she knew that she had to get stuck into this room before her now ex-girlfriend returned home, because Casey knew she would lose her mind if she were to see the bedroom in it’s current state.
Taking a deep breath, she picked up an armful of flat boxes, and her packing tape, and tiptoed through the minefield and tried to determine which pile to deal with first. Halfway through packing her second box, she had a revelation, and immediately sprang to her feet jumping over piles to go searching for the suitcases, deciding instead to start packing her clothes, and doing a clothing cull at the same time, meaning she’d have less to pack. If Casey packed up most of her clothes, then she could use all that free wardrobe space to store any boxes she packs, and attempt to clear some floor space.
Flinging open the suitcase, Casey stood in front of the wardrobe, wondering just which area to tackle first. Given that it was boiling hot, Casey decided to begin packing all her winter clothes and just get them out of the way. It was great, because she approached it with the constant question ‘If I saw this in a store today, would I buy it?’, and answering ‘No’ to a lot of items of clothing, meant less stuff that she actually had to pack, and more that she was able to donate to goodwill – a win-win situation. Casey continued to sort through her clothing, until she came across a coat.
It was Casey’s absolute favourite coat. She bought it when her and her girlfriend travelled to Paris almost two years ago. She remembered the precise moment she saw it in the window. It was snowing, and they were on their way back to the hotel after seeing an Opera. Instead of taking a taxi, they decided to walk, thinking that it would be more romantic – Paris. Snow. Love. Girlfriend. It couldn’t possibly get any better than that. Well, that was until Casey saw this coat and it was love at first sight. In that moment, she knew she needed to own that coat immediately. With the store being closed at the time, she walked past that window at least seven or eight times during the rest of their stay in Paris, before plucking up the courage to walk in and enquire about the coat.
Not being able to speak a word of French, and the salesgirl unable to speak English, Casey managed to communicate that she wanted to at least try the coat on… and it was pure heaven. It was such a perfect fit, and despite looking heavy and bulky, it was surprisingly light and form-fitting. Casey stood there in front of the mirrors in the change-room, admiring how good the coat looked, and how good she looked in it, and decided thought to herself, ‘fuck it, I never buy myself anything. I deserve this!’. Until she reached into the pocket to look at the price.
Casey needed to cover her mouth, to muffle the shriek she let out when she gawked in horror at the price on the tag. ‘Surely, this is a mistake? What makes it cost so much?’ But when she pulled out her phone to immediately calculate the price conversion, Casey discovered that it was going to cost her even more than what was on the price tag. She simply couldn’t justify that amount of money, even for something so unbelievably stunning. Reluctantly taking off the coat, she sheepishly walked it back over to the mannequin and thanked the shopgirl, before exiting the store, pausing for one more look through the window.
A couple of days later, they walked past the store again, and Casey noticed that the window display was different. Something was missing… the coat! Letting out a small sigh, they continued walking past, and Casey accepted that it simply wasn’t meant to be, and some other skinny bitch now owned her coat.
The night before they left, a blizzard forced them to stay in their hotel room. They decided that it was the perfect opportunity to have a night of indulgence. They booked in-room massages and facials, and ordered room service, and just before they peeled back the lids off their individual tubs of ice cream, Sarah reached under the bed, and presented Casey with a giant box, tied up with a big thick ribbon.
‘What’s this?’, Casey enquired, with one raised eyebrow.
‘Just open it’, Sarah replied.
‘No, what is it? Why did you get me a present?’
‘Well, because I love you, and I want to make you happy.’
‘But you already make me happy, you didn’t need to…’
‘Just open the damn box!’, Sarah interrupted.
Not looking away from Sarah, Casey slowly undid the thick ribbon, sliding it off the box and lifting the lid, revealing a layer of tissue paper. As she peeled back the top layer of tissue paper, she saw a layer of fine blood-red wool, and her eyes widened and her jaw dropped. ‘Tell me you didn’t… Is this… OH MY GOD… IS THIS…?’
‘I dunno, you’ll just have to have a look!’
Casey slowly ran her fingers across the incredibly soft woollen material, and she could feel the tears welling in her eyes, she gently lifted it out of the box, and there in her hands, was that coat she had tried on merely days ago. She looked at Sarah, trying her hardest not to cry. ‘I… I… I don’t know what to say… Thank you… This is just amazing. I just… Speechless.’
‘I went in and had a chat to the salesgirl in the store, and she said that she had noticed you admiring the coat for several days, and that you looked breathtaking in it, and that it deserved to be owned by somebody who was going to value and appreciate it as a piece of great fashion, and you were clearly that person, and she gave me a discount, so I couldn’t resist!’
‘I love it so much… thank you… this is amazing!’, Casey said, fighting back her tears.
Casey’s attention was brought back to the bedroom as some terrible 90’s song began blaring over the speakers in the loungeroom. Caught with the dilemma of what to do with the coat, as much as she loved it, it was something that Sarah had brought for her, and would forever be a reminder of her, and Casey simply wasn’t ready to accept that in her new life as a single girl. She flung the coat over to the ‘donation’ pile on the bed, but the belt of the coat whipped around, connecting with the photo frame of her and Sarah on Sarah’s side of the bed, knocking off the side table, sending it crashing to the floor.
Casey gasped, covering her mouth with her hands, and then ran around the bed to see the frame laying face down on a bed of broken glass. ‘FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!’. Picking up the frame, and shaking out the glass, she knew that she could at least manage to get the glass replaced, and she was going to have to tell Sarah. That wasn’t going to be fun… that was until she sat the crack in the frame.
Casey let out a scream, ‘FUUUUUUUUUUCK!!’. She knew that this was an antique frame that Sarah’s grandmother had given to Sarah when she announced to her family that she was a lesbian and was going to be moving out of home. Sarah’s grandma was so incredibly fine with it, and when she gave Sarah her photo frame, Sarah was so shocked, because it was something that Sarah’s mother had been wanting for many, many years – as it was something that originally belonged to Sarah’s Great-Great-Great Grandmother, and had been passed down from mother to daughter in each generation – naturally Sarah assumed that her mother would pass it on to her, but not in this instance.
This was a priceless antique, and Casey couldn’t believe that she had just accidentally broken it. Nothing could replace it, and Sarah was going to flip out when she returned home.
Casey was going to be in a lot of trouble, and soon!