Finally, Mr. Much-Travelled arrived at his destination. From the outside the house didn’t seem extraordinary. It wasn’t the grandest or the largest in the street. In some ways it appeared to have eased itself into place–a tight spot between two fine looking town houses. Nonetheless, its discreet aspect was pleasing, if a little unconventional. The red front door seemed to exude a silent invitation to come in. Mr. Much-Travelled took the final few steps up. The door was slightly ajar and checking, once more, a grubby piece of paper he decided that it was indeed the correct address. As he entered–for the first time in a long time–he dropped his battered suitcase onto the hallway floor and whispered, ‘Home at last.’
Not that he’d been here before. It was just oddly familiar, as if some buried memory had suddenly found its source. The house seemed much bigger on the inside and, as Mr. Much-Travelled stood in silence, he felt a deep warm welcome invite him to remove his well worn coat and shoes.
Padding quietly through the hall his gaze rolled from object to object and he brushed his hand gently across the edge of a sideboard filled with photographs of people he didn’t recognise but seemed to know. Eventually, he reached the large French doors at the back of the house. He stood utterly still as he looked out onto what could only be described as the most magnificent garden he’d ever seen. A broad place of flowers and trees, paths and fountains. Mr. Much-Travelled was suspended in thought as though time was on pause and, as he looked over the garden, the dust and dirt of his many travelling years washed away. There was a sudden rush of fresh expectation. He felt like a child discovering an unexplored map. For a moment a thousand new possibilities began to sparkle like quartz glistening in a rock.