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When I was 16 years old, my family and I moved into 1913 neo-Gothic home.

It was modeled in the shape of a large M with

3 rooms,

              2 bathrooms,

                                    a kitchen,

                                                   a garage,

                                                                   an attic

and a large backyard.  The backyard held a tall, strong oak tree with branches reaching across the full extent of the house. When we pulled into our new home for the first time, and the car came to a halt,  I ran straight toward the tree. When I climbed to the top of it, I noticed how the house seemed somewhat isolated from the rest of the neighborhood. 

“Wimberley! Get down from there,” mom yelled, “Come help us unpack!”

Coming out of my trance, I walked toward the back patio entrance. My mom and dad were standing in front of a large portrait of a girl. I assumed it had been left behind by previous owners.

Why do her eyes seem so sad?” I asked. My mom seemed so caught up in the little girl’s eyes that she barely flinched when I tripped and broke a vase near the front door.

I knew how much this move meant to my parents, more than they probably realized. The paper thin walls of our 2 bedroom apartment didn’t give so much discretion to our money problems. Mom was barely making ends meet at her real estate agency, and dad couldn’t seem to make a breakthrough on his latest novel. This house was our final hope. Mom got a new job with promise, and dad had high hopes of getting the creative serenity only the countryside could offer. While I hoped for a fresh start; I wanted to escape the headaches that life and the people back home were so hellbent on giving.

Walking back into the living room, the large portrait of the little girl seemed to have changed. While the little girl once stood alone, she was now accompanied by a little boy.  

Their big eyes captured the fear and heartache they so realistically portrayed. The little girl held onto the little boy with a tight grip, and as I walked closer to the painting, the eyes of the little girl moved with my every movement. The portrait was so realistic; if I hadn’t known I could’ve sworn it was a photograph. Then, as I reached forward, a hand snatched me… (TO BE CONTINUED)

Bitia Alanis

Rhodes '22

Bitia Alanis is a student at Rhodes College. She enjoys surfing the web, writing, reading, Netflix and allowing a space for people to connect and enjoy the many qualities of life. She's empathetic and always strives to make herself the best she can be.
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