Libby settled by the curtains, contemplating what the colour of the walls should be.
“Blue,” Carlos said as he was engulfed by the waves of his wife’s eyes. Libby pondered out the window, casting a shadow on the wall behind her.
“It could work,” started Libby, her shadow growing larger. “But it would clash with the curtains.”
Her back was completely on the wall now. Her imagination spurred lemon chiffon paint around the room. Delicate lace curtains fringed around the window, and an oak table firmly planted in the centre of the room. A crystal chandelier hovering above the table, mirroring an array of reflected, chromatic light. An antique portrait hoisted on the wall right where she leaned.
“I don’t like blue,” she chimed in.
Libby knew the first time she stepped beyond the picket fence to trample the exposed lawn, what colour the walls in this suburban unit would be, and the exact placements she wanted her furniture. The blueprints of the house had been set. Libby spiralled deep into her blueprints, organizing and executing even how the dishes in her cupboard would be stacked. One by one, the dishes flew out of the cupboard, raining onto the ground like a meteor shower, smashing to sharp shards. A sense of danger bugged the room. The walls around Libby and Carlos were tremoring, and so were they.
“Carlos, what’s happening?” Libby cautiously edged away from the wall.
The floor beneath them trembled and quivered; the ground was getting unstable. Boxes around the house thudded as the shaking grew more and more vigorous. Residents in the neighbourhood swarmed out of their homes to the street. An aggressive convulsion wiped through the neighbourhood. A cacophony louder than the engine of a jet arose in more homes than others.
It was unsafe to stay in the home now. Carlos seized Libby’s hand and pulled her towards the front door. He tried at the lock of their only exit, but it was sealed tight.
“What? This can’t be happening!” Libby daunted at the thought of no escape.
“You must be doing it wrong – you have to be!” She was desperate to get out.
She couldn’t bear to look at the rubble of what used be her new home, let alone be buried under it. Disbelief overwhelmed her. She jolted the reluctant handle, her sweaty palms surrendering to dismay. Tears rolled down her cheek and she panted with panic. She didn’t care about the condition of her house anymore; she just wanted to get out. She thrust herself at the door, punching, kicking and screaming at it. The earth jolted and both she and Carlos were flung to the opposite side of the room. The shaking became more aggressive and agitated the home. Carlos dragged Libby to a corner away from windows and furniture, trusting it would be safer. He cradled her tightly in his arms, rocked by the movement of the earth. She sobbed into his chest. Anyone one trying to stand would be turned into a milkshake. A disturbing creak of the house startled the two. Libby’s eyes widened; she knew exactly what that sound meant. She glanced over to the fear-stricken face of Carlos and buried her face into his neck. The ceiling caved in.