Writers seem to like inaccessible places to hold up and ponder. So, it makes all kind of sense where Hope used to hang out.
That old red-painted clubhouse, that’s the only place I really wanted to be. I could think, play, and just relax in it. It was hidden in the very back corner of my backyard in North Carolina. When looking around, it seemed as if it was supposed to be sitting in the middle of the woods. It did to me at least; I loved imagining adventure.
It was small, but it was mine. I had a little step-ladder with about two steps, just perfect for my second grade legs to reach. The step led to a cut-out door just the right size for me to walk through without bumping my head on the way in. It was very dim inside, and the only light that crept through was from the window, cut-out just like the door, and the small opening to go up to the loft above. It was perfect. I was the only one who could fit inside it. We were perfect for each other.
The wood inside was old and cheap, small pieces in the wood were missing, but I didn’t care. I hardly noticed it, to be honest. The room was empty, but that was fine. That’s how I liked it.
The air smelled of muggy, dusty, old wood. I never seemed to mind; most of my time was spent on the loft anyway. The loft was above, just lurking above the ladder which led up to it. I crept up that ladder almost everyday. I would climb carefully though, I was always worried I would hit my head on one of the exposed nails. There was barely any room. The ceiling was so low. I could barely stand on my knees without the top of my messy hair skimming it. It was alright though. I laid there most of the time.
I watched the wonders of the world around the openings all around me. My favorite thing to do in the winter was to bring a pillow and blanket up there and read my favorite books. My mom always had to send my big brother outside to get me. I would step down the small steps very upset. I would have never left that place, if it had been my choice.
I needed that place and that clubhouse needed me too. I know it did. I always walked somewhat unwillingly down the small path to the back to the door of my house. I’d turn around, just before I grabbed the door knob to walk into the house, and wonder what the place had in store for me next. I wonder if it’s still there…