If You Close Your Eyes

Inspired by Pompeii by Bastille.

The Hollow House is going to be demolished. The whole town is in shock, but there's nothing anyone can do about it.

But Sami and Tom are going to try.

My entry for the "Inspired by a song" contest!


2. Part 2

  July 19th.

  That’s when the house is scheduled for demolition. We have just over a week to prepare ourselves for the “break-in” – it seems strange calling it that when we had gone in there so often, but that’s technically what it was. We had decided to stay the night in the house so we didn’t have to worry about getting there ridiculously early in the morning. Everything was ready: we had roll mats and sleeping bags for the night, and a mixture of sandwiches and sweets so we didn’t starve while we were in there. We had torches, spare batteries, warm clothes, everything we could possibly need.

  I wake up early on the eighteenth. Tom had suggested that we get there early so no one sees us, and so we can go out to get anything we’ve forgotten, and I had agreed with him. I regret my decision now though, as I stumble across my room to shut my alarm clock off. Eight o’ clock is far too early to be getting up in the summer holidays. I pull back my curtains and open my windows. It’s as if summer has arrived in the space of a week. Away from the village, grey clouds are building up, but here, the sun is shining. A light breeze is blowing, but even this early there is a certain warmth in the air. I breathe in deeply and smile. It feels like a good omen.

  I pull on a strap top and a pair of shorts, listening to a magpie and the quiet rustling of the tree in my back garden. Just as I’m about to leave my room, I pause and listen. The breeze is carrying another sound into my room, an out of place, mechanical sound. My chest tightens, and I slowly walk back over to the window. For a moment, I think I must have imagined it. Then I poke my head out of the window and close my eyes in concentration. There. It’s faint, but I’m definitely not imagining it. I can hear voices, and beneath them the faint but unmistakable rumble of machinery.

  My stomach twists. I almost feel like I’m about to be sick. I run downstairs and almost trip over as I try to pull on my shoes while running through the door. I race down the street towards Tom’s house, my feet hitting the ground so quickly that they’re almost in time with my pounding heart. I’m so lost in my own fear that I’m oblivious to my surroundings and I crash right into Tom.

  “Whoa, it’s alright, I’m on my – wait, what’s happened?” he asks, his voice changing as he sees the look on my face.

  I take a deep breath. “It’s the house. I think they’re doing it today.”

  Tom’s eyes widen and he opens and closes his mouth like a goldfish, as though he’s trying to speak but can’t find the words. I grab him by the arm, and we run as fast as our feet will carry us towards the house.

  We’re too late.

  Even as we emerge into the clearing, the walls are coming crumbling down. I cry out in a mix of shock and despair. We were so close. Tears well up in my eyes, and I clap a hand over my mouth to stop myself from sobbing out loud. It’s just a house, I tell myself, it’s just a house. But it’s a lie, and I can’t stop the tears from spilling out.

  Tom wraps an arm around me and pulls me round so my head is buried in his chest. I throw my arms around his neck and try to slow my rapid breathing. He brings his hand to my face and gently brushes away my tears. I look up at him and our eyes meet. For a moment we stand, frozen, and then Tom leans in and kisses me gently. Everything else melts away. The dust begins to settle around us, but we stay there, caught up and lost in the moment.

  With my back turned and the smell of dust in the air, I can almost believe that the house is still standing and nothing has changed at all.

  Well, I think, pulling away and smiling shyly up at Tom, maybe not “nothing”.

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