It isn’t our intended destination, but driving through our hometown, my sister and I feel a need to see the house we grew up in. Laura turns onto the street, slowing the car as we near it.
“Huh,” I utter.
“They painted the front door red.”
Laura pulls over, craning her neck to see. “What do you think of it?”
“It’s hard to say. I think I like it, but it’s a shock to my system.”
“I know what you mean.” Laura pauses. “I like the stuff on the porch, but it’s a little much.”
“Agreed,” I say. Then, “I wonder what they did to the inside.”
“Let’s go ring the bell and introduce ourselves. Maybe they’ll give us a tour.”
“No way!” I cry. “We can’t do that!”
“Oh, come on. We grew up there. They’ll understand.”
I capitulate. We walk up to the house, ring the bell and wait.
“Shit. I guess they’re not home.”
Laura sidles over to the window, cups her hand over her eyes and peers in. “Oh my God!” she says. “They knocked out the wall between the dining room and kitchen!”
“Really? How does it look?” Hesitantly, I join her at the window, crouching down for a better view.
“I wonder what they’ve done with the den,” Laura says.
Suddenly, the front door opens. A man looks out. “Who is that?” he asks.
Scared and mortified both, Laura and I freeze.
The man narrows his eyes, looks us over. Then, “Are you the O’Hara girls?”
“Yes,” we say in unison. Then, in a rush, “We were driving by and got curious and thought. . .”
The man smiles.
“Don’t worry about it,” he says. “Your father did the exact same thing.”