Okay, for starters, I had to laugh when this question came up. It was about a year ago that I wrote a column for work about card board boxes and my inability to rid myself of them for the difficulty it took me to acquire the amount I needed to move halfway across my home state.
And now I’m packing boxes again, across town this time.
In reality, I’ve moved very few times and I’ve never really had a bad experience. I’m hoping this time is the same as all the times before.
So instead of a real-life example, I give you this micro flash fiction instead.
*A disclaimer: I’ve never hired a moving truck and so I have no idea if this story is even possible in reality. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
The house was big and the porch built to match. Our new two-story farm house stood before us in all its majesty. It was the picturesque fairy tale country home, complete with a white picket fence.
It was our dream home.
I looked over at Jamie and she smiled back at me. I’d hoped she was thinking the same thing I was; a couple kids running around in the front yard someday. There weren’t any kids yet, but Jamie and I hoped to start our family soon enough. I put my arm around her shoulders and she leaned into me. I felt her sigh of contentment.
“It’s perfect, Scott,” she said as she looked up at me.
I leaned down to kiss her forehead. “It’s going to be an amazing place for us.”
Her smile only grew.
Just then, we heard a vehicle approaching and turned to see our moving truck rumbling down the narrow country lane, dust billowing out behind it.
“Oh, quick,” Jamie squealed. “Give me the keys and I’ll go unlock the house while you guys start carrying boxes in.”
I laughed at her enthusiasm but dug the key out of my jeans pocket anyway. I planted one last kiss on her forehead before releasing my arm from around her neck. She practically skipped up the pathway to that giant porch.
The truck came to a screeching halt in front of our new home and I cringed as the tires slid on the gravel. That couldn’t be good for our stuff inside. The movers climbed out and headed to the back, seeming to ignore me. Suddenly getting a sour taste in my mouth and a knot in my stomach, I followed the guys to the back of the truck. They slid open the door and right away I knew something wasn’t right.
The red-haired doll sticking out of the top of the box marked “Annie’s Toys” was one of the first thing I noticed.
As the movers began to lower the ramps and moved to start unloading the boxes, I cleared my throat and tried to speak, hardly knowing what to say.
“Ah, guys, I don’t think this is the right truck,” I said lamely.
The two guys stopped and just looked at me with blank expressions. I tried again.
“Um, what I mean, is, this is not our stuff…” I waved my hand toward the boxes.
By now, Jamie had come back from unlocking the house. She bounded up the ramp and said, “All set!” She grabbed a box without noticing the strange names written on it and headed for the house. The two movers sort of looked back and forth at each other and then continued to pick up some stranger’s couch and move it out of the truck.
“Ah, Jamie,” I called as I bounded out of the back of the truck. I caught up with her on the porch of our new house. She turned and looked at me, right away scanning my empty hands. She looked at me accusingly. Her mouth began to open to lecture me about not helping, but I cut her off. “There’s a bit of a problem,” I told her.
“What is it?” she asked, her brows suddenly furrowing.
I simply took the box from her she’d been carrying and pointed to the writing: “Annie’s Toys.”
Her jaw dropped open as she looked at the box. Just then, the movers walked past us, carrying the couch between the two of them, walked up the steps and into our new house.
Jamie’s jaw was still gapping open when she turned to me. “Um, gentlemen, I think there's been some sort of mistake,” she called out and the movers stopped, the couch half way over the threshold, and looked at Jamie. Their expressions were borderline bored. The movers looked back towards each other, shrugged and then kept going, taking some stranger's couch into our house.
“That’s not our couch,” she stated then turned to me. "Scott, that's not our couch."
I shrugged, at a loss for what to do.
This was a moving-day nightmare.