We had gotten married as students and we were poor. Year by year we worked and saved. We had babies, moved states, had different jobs, and finally, started a business that made us comfortable.
We were never rich, but when a beautiful two-acre plot was put up for sale around the corner from where we lived, we knew it was where we would build.
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Our marriage hadn’t been easy, but we kept at it. There were times we weren’t happy and even a point at which we separated. The new house, surrounded by fruit trees and blackberry bushes, represented a destination that we’d been fighting for a long time.
We sold the home we lived in, moved in with his parents, and began the build of our forever home. We didn’t know, however, that our forever would end in months instead of years.
We dreamt, drew up, and designed every inch of our home. I picked out every finish, every tile, and every paint colour with my family in mind. Maybe it would be such a perfect oasis for us, that we could move forward from our past and live happily ever after...
Months after moving in, we realised that the past would follow us straight into our white farmhouse and that it would demand to be dealt with.
We gave it six more months of trying to forgive and move forward until finally, exhausted and broken, we decided to file for divorce.
We sold the house, and I hoped that a new family would move in and find their happily ever after in the home I had painstakingly brought to life. It brought me comfort to imagine a different couple gathering around the fireplace on Christmas morning opening their stockings. Or having family gatherings on the back porch that we had stained by hand.