What was that? I listened closely, all alone in my dark bedroom, but heard nothing more. Just the house settling, I told myself. I rolled over and pulled the covers up tight around me. I’d never get to sleep.
My husband, David, had died only a couple of weeks before. Without him here with me, our cozy, familiar house became something else entirely in the darkness of the night. The moon cast a ghostly light across the floor through a gap in the curtain. Shadows in the corners of the room grew long and sinister. Creaks and groans echoed throughout the house, punctuated by mysterious animal calls outside. I stared at the ceiling, praying for the sun to rise. Another sleepless night, I thought.
I knew it was silly of me to feel so frightened. It was still the same house, one I’d even helped design myself. I was no architect, but David had encouraged me. “Get creative, Betty,” he said. “Build us our dream home.” I came up with an open-concept floor plan, a sprawling one-story farmhouse with a wraparound porch and a big bay kitchen window that looked out onto the yard and the woods beyond. Every moment in the house had felt like a blessing—until now.
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