When I was twelve years old, my mother and father packed up our house and moved us to the other side of the city. I didn't want to leave. I liked our house, especially my bedroom, with its squeaky wooden floorboards and creaky window that I couldn't quite open myself. When my mother called up the stairs to tell me that we were leaving in 5 minutes, I wanted to crawl into the cubby hole where my book box used to be and stay there forever. Instead, I shuffled down the stairs, dragging my rucksack and my feet. My father was already in the car, and my mother was standing by the open front door, peeling tiny shards of paint off the doorframe of the living room. She stopped when she saw me.
"Are you sure you've got everything?" she asked me. "We can't come back to get anything, you know." I nodded, and walked out of my house behind her. The sky was leaden and thick-looking, full of sullen clouds. A couple of flakes of snow drifted indecisively past my face and onto the sleeves of my jacket. My mother, after locking the front door, looked up at the sky in an irritated fashion and shivered slightly. She hurried to the car and got in, and I followed her, throwing my rucksack into the footwell. My mother glared at me and gestured towards my father - he was asleep, snuffling gently to himself.
I read most of the way to the new house - my mother said she had no idea how I could do it without feeling sick. A rare and fairly useful talent. By the time we pulled into our new drive-way, it was snowing proper; big, fat flakes stuck themselves to my hair as soon as I left the car. The last time it had snowed properly like this, I had built a squat, smilng snowman in our front garden with the Polish boy who used to live next door. He hadn't spoken any English, but we'd communicated quite happily with the shared snow.
I stared at our new house. It was a flat, grey bungalow, with a scrap of dejected lawn at the front next to the driveway and a sad-looking little tree in the furthest corner. I heard my mother get out of the car behind me, and then heard her sign - "Oh, no." I turned around, and saw she was looking in the direction of the window nearest the front door. There was a jagged hole in the glass.
"What is it?" My father's voice, low and gravelly, came out of the car.
"Nothing," my mother said quickly, and leant back into the car towards him. I stayed, staring at the little house, and wondered how our lives had led us to it.