Welcome Home

Her stockinged feet are silent as she tiptoes through the hallway, sliding ever so slightly on the tiled floor and giggling like a schoolgirl as she does. She catches her reflection in the oven door and barely recognizes herself, hair neatly tucked into a bun, each strand in place, her shirt tucked into the waistline of her penciled skirt. If you had told her two years ago that this is where she would find herself, she would have rolled her eyes, or, worse, ignored you entirely. No one wanted to be ignored by Precious. To be ignored was to be rejected, to be considered as an outcast, to be pushed to the side with all of the others who had done her wrong in her life. The list was short, but meaningful – a who’s who of bad news.

She glances towards the clock and starts. They’ll be here any minute! She flings the kitchen windows open, letting the garden-fresh breeze fill the room, before making her way to the lounge. She reaches into her Mary Poppins-like handbag and pulls out a wad of magazines, fanning them across the surface of the coffee table. She picks pillows up from the couches one by one and fluffs them so that they seem both inviting and too perfect to be ruined by being sat on. She has an eye for these things, her managers tell her, for the small touches that make a house feel like a home. She closes her eyes and winces ever so slightly as her feet are pushed into the black heels that sit beside the couch, and prepares herself for the onslaught just as the doorbell rings. She takes a moment to breathe deeply, before plastering her face with the most welcoming smile she can muster. All perfect teeth and bright lipstick, she opens the door. “Welcome,” she shrills and opens her arms to invite the viewers in.

“Good job today,” a loud, warm voice rings in her ear. “A record sell! Of course, no one is surprised.”
Precious laughs softly, sweetly, demurely, though inside she is ululating with joy.
“I’ve never seen five million Rand put on the table so fast in my life. And it’s all thanks to you. You’re on your way up, my girl. Rest assured, you’re going places!””
The number scares her. She tries to picture what it would look like, but her bank balance has never held more than four digits at a time, when it even gets that high. She keeps the phone to her ear well after the other line has gone dead, barely hearing the words of praise that are being adorned upon her as her head is filled with beautiful houses that she will never be able to afford. Houses that she’s so good at making feel like a home. She looks around her at the corrugated iron walls, the rusted stove, the single mattress in the corner and wonders what it is that really makes a home.

 

Prompt:
Real Estate Agents do the hard work of selling property – typically involving valuations, inspections, listings, and hosting lots of potential buyers. Commercial property has a similar, if more lucrative, version.
Write at least 500 words, following a character in this career. If necessary, read up a little on what the stresses and responsibilities are. If you’re still stuck, write about the relationships or family life someone in this career might have.

welcome-home

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