More specifically, antique street lanterns.  They edged and lit the path under the sprawling branches of Oak, or maybe it was Maple that canopied the road.  The feeling was eerie like a scene from a sleepy hollow nightmare.  Suddenly, the trees thinned and gave way to a large circular drive with a Weeping Willow at its center; the long, slender branches heavy with rain.   The forest pines were still thick, surrounding the perimeter of the house like armor with its protective foliage.

Constance parked the car in the circle drive at the front of the house.  I had imagined their house looking many different ways but, this wasn’t one of them.  It was enchanting, elegant, and timeless.  Homes weren’t made like this anymore; it had to be more than a hundred years-old.  The soft white light emanating from the long windows was inviting and I could feel the warmth as I stepped out of the car.  For a lack of a better word, I was stunned.

“Wow.”

She smiled.  “I’ll take that as it meets your approval.”

I could hear the oceans waves lapping in the distance, hidden just beyond the fortress of trees and darkness.  I was far out of my element.

“Are you ready, Kat?” she asked.

Not even, I thought as I grabbed my bag from the trunk.  But, I breathed a laugh and replied.

“Sure.”

The interior of the house was equally as welcoming and charming.  The layout was very open and spacious.  The wooden floors, large elegant displays of flowers, soft neutral colors, antique knickknacks and vivid paintings.  I felt like I just stepped into a Pottery Barn catalog.  The back, east-facing wall was lined with floor to ceiling windows and French doors opening to the back yard, I guessed.  A wide trumpet shaped staircase dominated the north side of the room.

At the top of the stairs, three figures began their decent.   The first two I immediately recognized from my dad’s photo album.  Stunning didn’t even begin to describe these inhumanely beautiful creatures.  Evie was slender and taller than I imagined.  Her deep brown hair worn in a ponytail reached half way down her back.  Mr. Hamlin was the other recognizable face; his youthful appearance was equally as shocking as Constance’s.  He too was tall with smartly combed brown hair and a medium build.  I could tell through his fitted sweater that he was no stranger to the gym.  I noted that they were all the same, perfectly symmetrical, sharp straight lines, and a captivating radiance emanating from the surface of their skin.  They belonged on the cover of some fashion magazine; GQ and Glamour came to mind.

The third face I didn’t recognize.  He was boyish; fifteen tops.  He seemed more like me than the others-painfully average and awkward.  The nameless boy was the only one that didn’t make me feel self conscious or inadequate.  I didn’t know him, but I liked him already.

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