These Four Walls

Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old?

When we first moved to this house I got to pick my own room, I’d been ambitious and asked for the largest in the house. Mum said no. I settled for the second largest. The room was big enough to fit a bed and not much else, my wardrobe had to be relegated to the hallway outside my door, a door which didn’t close properly. The walls of my room had been painted pink by the previous owner, at this point in my life I was very anti-pink. I was certainly not keen on the particular shade of pink that suffocated my walls. It was so strong that sunglasses had to be worn upon entering. Every morning I woke up with a throbbing headache. Why would anybody want walls that appeared to be severely sunburnt?

When it was announced I could redecorate, I opted for blue, a nice cool tone that was happy and relaxed. I bought a large spiral stamp, submerged it in silver paint and jumped around the room scattering metallic patterns across the walls. In the years we lived there Mum never got round to replacing the bright pink curtains, they stayed as a constant reminder of my rooms former life.

My room was my fortress and together we went through many transformations.

A social hang out. Bunk beds, adorned with dolphin bed linen and teddy bears were often inhabited by as many friends as I could fit in there. I still marvel at the idea we managed to squeeze seven of us into two beds on one particular sleepover.

A show of maturity. A large rectangular mirror propped against the wall. The floor in front scattered with pots of eye shadow and tubes of lip gloss. I spent hours sat in front of this posing with my camera, trying to get the perfect picture to use for MySpace.

An act of rebellion. Somewhere beneath the mountains of dirty clothes there was a carpet. My walls were also hidden. Plastered over every inch were poster of bands I idolised, mainly Green Day. I will always love you Billie Joe Armstrong.

A cry for help. Walls stripped, left cold and baron. My bed dismantled I preferred to sleep on a mattress on the floor. I would sit for hours alone. Wishing everything would get better.

A place to build memories. Bunk beds returned to their former glory. Bed sheets draped from the top to turn the bottom bunk into a tent. We would cook copious servings of cous cous and watch indie movies on my laptop. Paying little attention to the films, too busy laughing with each other.

After we lost the house, I returned to collect the last few things. I stood in my empty room. I cried as I said my goodbyes. Who’d have thought a few walls could help mould you into the person you’re supposed to be?


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