He stopped the car across the street from the house.
“Why are you stopping here?” his wife asked.
“You know, over the years, whenever I looked at this house, I always thought: Now that’s a beautiful house,” was his roundabout answer.
“Our dream house,” she agreed.
“The whole lot is beautiful. Of course, it’ll look better once the For Sale sign comes down.”
“You can tell the people who lived here really loved this place,” she assured him.
He gave her a flash of smile.
She nodded. “Let’s go inside.”
He shook his head. “I don’t know if that’d be a good idea.”
“Why not? You’ve got the key. What’s wrong with us going in our own house?”
“Technically, it is our house, isn’t it? Okay, but just for a minute.”
He turned the car into the driveway. They went into the house. The big emptiness of it hit them inside the doorway.
Even their voices seemed different in the void. “Remember the first day?” he asked.
“It looked just like this, except completely different.”
“The whole world was completely different then.”
“I remember you said it’d be the perfect place to raise a family,” she told him.
He pursed his lips and looked away.
She took his arm. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it that way. Your company downsized. That’s not your fault.”
“It’s getting late,” he surmised without the aid of a timepiece. “We’d better get to the closing and turn over the keys to the new people.”
His hand trembled a bit as he locked the door for the last time. She lifted up his face and wiped a budding tear from his eye. “There will be other good jobs and other dream houses,” she promised.
They got into the car and went away.