Jason had come a long way when he realized he forgot to bring his snow boots. It snowed a lot last year, which he only heard of. And this year he plans to not go back to the city until next year. Even Santa may fail to arrive in time, but snow in the country arrives a lot earlier than anybody can expect. His father along with his grandparents moved to the city many years ago. Since then he hasn’t got to come to the country and see where they grew up and where his father used to do horseback-riding. His mother was an alien to his father who borrowed his heart, savored it and then left Jason to him. She surely took nothing with her, but all that she cared to leave behind was never hers to own in the first place. It could have all been a lie, if he hadn’t met her two years back, in Amsterdam coaxing a novelty guy to name his daughter (with his wife, who is a separate woman) after her. It was quite funny, because that was when he got to know her name. His father was amazed to know that anyone like her could have a name like Paris. It’s actually quite weird that Jason never felt her need or her absence. Maybe it was because there was no craving from her side as well.
The countryside always looked beautiful in the pictures. This is the first time he is here. Well, this is the first time after he’s grown up. His father, Gary, who doesn’t like this place anymore, only told him to check if the old truck in the old garage is alright. Gary wants to sell it. So the first lock he opened was the garage’s. The truck seemed to be in an unusually good condition, given that it has not been used for 22 years. Gary is going to get a good profit out of it. That’s good. There’s a door in the back of the garage that leads into the adjacent house. But Jason chose to go inside the house through the front door. Front-door-entrance is a thing to Jason. When he switched on the lights, he found that the house is also in a very good condition, except the thick layer of dust. It now seems like a big shot to even think about staying here for two weeks. Jason is just too lazy when it comes to cleaning even if it’s his pencil sharpener. The rest of his family, which means his grandparents and Gary, however, are very neat about everything. It’s just laziness gained though practice. No genes working here. But Jason is also not okay with filth. And that is why the dust is bothering him now. Maybe, he would think about going back to the city.
Before anything else, he wants to look through the house where his father grew up. Checking houses and villages where your father grew up seems like a common interest throughout the world. However most of the people don’t know why they feel so eager about it. But Jason knows why. He idolizes his father, and this house bears witness to the life of that person before Paris happened to him. From the stories he heard from his granma, Gary used to be a very mischievous boy and listened to nobody. Buying a horse at the age of 14 kinda points that out. And Gary learned to ride it all by himself. He named it Arion. Arion died of a disease when Gary was 18. Arion was actually Gary’s age. And it was then Paris came into his life. Jason has seen Arion’s pictures. It had honey-colored fur and a black mane. Arion was fast. He was the only horse in the area, and Gary the only person to ever have a horse in the area. Jason could easily realize that those 4 years with Arion were Gary’s heyday. The house, for some unknown reason smells of maple syrup. Maple is not even a local tree. Jason suddenly became interested in finding the reason behind this smell. He tried to follow the smell and ended up in the dining room. But there was nothing good enough to be the source of the smell. Jason went into the kitchen. Nothing. But he found a stack of wood for the oven. Maybe those were maple wood. But moving close to the stack, he lost the smell. So he decided not to disturb the neat stack. He then started to go upstairs. It was dark at first. He couldn’t find the switch. He found one, pressed it, but in vain. He kept groping the walls in the dark. He needed to dust off the cobweb a number of times. Finally he found the right switch and the whole corridor came into light.
All of the rooms were locked. He went into the last room of the corridor. It is Gary’s. Well, it was Gary’s. All the stuff inside is just as he had heard. There was a big bed beside the west facing window, a wardrobe, which still has Gary’s clothes, a trunk beside it, which should contain his father’s school books, a writing desk with a single sofa. Gary wasn’t a fan of books back then as opposed to his present love for thrillers. Jason is more into fantasy and war novels. Sometimes they exchange books between themselves. They both have a library in their rooms. Jason however has a larger collection. There’s no competition though. He switched on the lights and found Arion’s backseat hung up on the wall behind the headboard. Cobwebs have now made the dark leather seat look grayish. To hell with filth, Jason took down the backseat and cleaned it off of cobwebs. It has Gary and Arion’s name written on its sides. Gary. Arion. None of them are same now. The former runs a shoe-business, but does not have to worry about the latter’s iron ones. Jason took the seat, switched off the lights, closed and locked the door, and went downstairs.
He forgot to switch off the corridor lights, so he went back up again only to find a door labeled Jason. He had totally forgotten about this. Gary had primarily thought of raising Jason there, so he was preparing his room. But Jason heard that he couldn’t do much and left the country forever. Gary doesn’t remember what he had put inside the room and his grandparents also know not more than that. He put the key in and turned. The door opened without noise. He switched on the light and found only one piece of furniture there. A bookshelf. As large as the one he has back home. He walked closer to it. There’s a metal label on the middle shelf, which read Wonderland. It might be the brand name. Apart from the shelf, there was nothing more. Memories were to be made in this room, but it never happened. He closed and locked the door, and went downstairs after switching off the lights. Jason left the house with Arion’s backseat and a name for his bookshelf.