Why So Special?
Sebastian Quintero

7567 lived in his home, but he wasn’t too fond of it. Everyone had the same small house. A generic white stucco wall with a weathered down red roof and chimney. A small path of shrubbery on either side of the entrance and a small tree where the birds sang the same repetitive tune every hour on the hour. No one was sure what kind it was, but it looked nice. He always walked out of the same door, worked his same job, and went back to the same home. His home was very small, ten by twelve feet. It wasn’t run down by any means. The sink ran the water smoothly, the door never creaked, the restroom was spotless with a checkerboard tiles. The showerhead had only three setting, but it was broken so it was always stuck in the jetstream setting. He hated the jetstream setting. Everyone in his area had these homes, but he dreamed of moving.

He already applied for relocation, and he got accepted. He got promoted to the luxurious upper class. Everyone dreamed of going there. He didn’t know anyone who’s been there personally, but everyone knew the stories. The air was cleaner, the bird sang more beautifully, and the homes were beautiful. He packed his bags a day early. He began neatly folding his clothes, but he began to toss them because he was going to be late to his farewell party with his friends.

His friends congratulated him on his  promotion, and had a nice get together. Everyone was trying to hide it, but twenty minutes in and all they could talk about him moving.

“Do you think it’s as good as they say it is?” asked his friend.

“Will the skies be bluer?” asked another.

“Will the damn birds sings a new song?”

The next day he left for his new home. He got out of the bus, and something felt wrong. He asked the driver if this was his stop.

“This is the place you were assigned to,” groaned the driver.

“But it looks not different from where I came from. Surely this is a mistake.” he asserted.

The driver begrudgingly spared a few more seconds of his time saying, “This is the place you were assigned to. If you think the mayor made a mistake, you’re wrong. But go ahead, try and dispute this and you won’t make it through the front door. Get used to your new home and let me go back to doing my job.”

He tried to get back on the bus, but the doors slid closed. The thing almost took a finger as its own. He walked down the all too familiar neighborhood. Everything was the same. The trees, the roofs, the doors, and the goddamn birds. He sees the neighbor walking by, all happy. 7567 had never seen anyone that happy to go home, so he shouts, “Hey, what gives?!”

The man turns around with less of a grin, and more a look of confusion.

“Is there something wrong?” he asks.

“Yeah!” 7567 replied, “I heard that these houses were supposed to be better. More special.”

The man understands what is happening, and replies.

“Do you know what makes your house unique, special, and unlike anyone else’s?”

7567 tries to come up with a few answers, but he negates them in his head. He can’t find an answer he likes, so he finally answers. “Alright, I give up. What makes this house so special?” only to get the answer “It’s yours.”

First published: November 2017
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