It was the house. Though only she knew it. And when she would talk about it, the slips, the revenge, her husband would laugh and tell her to knock it off. Her friends thought she was crazy. So she stopped mentioning it. The house was a rental after all. Nothing permanent. She thought maybe that’s why it was so mad at them.
Her first day there, she spent all afternoon in the old kitchen, trying to unpack their dishes. But the pine wood drawers stuck so bad, it took all her strength to open and shut them. Her frustration finally boiled over, and she kicked the bottom drawer, hard, leaving a mark in the original wood. That very moment, the sink began to back up.
The next day, she tried doing laundry in the basement, but the sink that the washing machine drained into clogged, so she hit it with a wrench out of anger. That very moment, the old glass doorknob on the basement door fell right off, trapping her downstairs. She had to wait two hours for her husband to come home to let her out.
The day after that, her two year old daughter woke up 4:00 a.m. And when she complained to the house, saying their last home let her daughter sleep until 9:00, a loud bang sounded from the basement. When she went to look, she found water pouring out of the water heater. And her two year old woke up at 4:00 for the next two months.
A year later, she finally made a bargain with the house. Down in the basement, late one night. She said, “I’m not afraid of you! I have bigger problems in my life than a grumpy house! You leave me alone! And if you do that, then we will try to treat you nicer!” Things were smooth after that, for the most part. Though the house hated the little things. But it had chosen the silent treatment after her bargain, ignoring them, instead of picking.
And that was just fine with her.