“It could be worse, though,” Gunnar said after I had been silently staring at the broken windows.
I finally peeled my eyes off them and checked the rest of the damage. The house was anything but white, and I remembered my father hired someone to paint it only a few months before we left for the Vindictoria pack. Now, there were green and black spots all over the facade. I even spotted graffiti on the walls, but they were mostly hidden by bushes and trees, which hid a huge part of the front.
“But I doubt anyone broke in. The holes in the windows are too small to break in, and the door looks intact. Unless there is a backdoor, they could have tried.”
“A break-in,” I gasped.
I hadn’t thought about that possibility, and just imagining that someone entered my house and waltzed all over my memories made me sick to the stomach.
Gunnar grabbed my hand and pulled me to the door. “Come on, let’s see the real deal.”
I gulped. As if the outside wasn’t real enough already.
We stopped in front of the front door, and I fumbled with the keys, struggling to find the right one, my hands trembling.
Gunnar placed his hand on the small of my back and leaned closer. “Calm down. Everything will be okay.”
His breath tingled my neck, and I took a shivering deep breath. Finally, I calmed down enough to unlock the door. The door opened, and I pressed the light switch, but it remained dark.
“Did you forget to pay the bills?”
I shook my head. “I always paid what I had to pay, and I never heard of any problems.”
“Maybe there is some issue with the electricity. I will grab a flashlight from my car,” he said and left with quick steps.
I stepped into the house, a crunching sound under my shoes making me cringe. The glass from the broken windows covered the wooden floor, and dust whirled up from the disturbance.
A flash of light startled me, and I turned around to glare at Gunnar. He jogged back to the house, a smirk on his face.
“Right now, I assume it’s only a fuse that blew out at some point. Do you know where the fuse box is?”
“Probably in the basement,” I said and walked across the room, trying to avoid stepping on more glass. The wood squeaked with every step, and I worried if the moisture that could enter through the broken windows damaged the wooden floors.
I opened the door to the basement and stepped aside to let Gunnar lead the way with the flashlight. He waved his hands around to get rid of spider webs that were all over the place, cursing under his breath.
The webs only got worse, and it made me want to turn around and leave, but that wouldn’t be fair for Gunnar. It was my house, after all.
I pointed to our left, squinting into the darkness. “It should be around there.”
Gunnar growled when he enlightened the part of the room I was pointing. Spider webs covered almost every corner of the room, and he picked up a broom from the floor, whirling it around to get rid of them.
I might have to hire someone to clean this for me because I wasn’t sure if I was up to the task.
“I can see it,” Gunnar said and picked up his pace. I followed closely behind him, using him as a shield. Besides, I didn’t want to get separated from the only light source. We might see better in the dark compared to humans, but it’s not that great. That’s reserved for our wolf form, and she seemed equally unamused to have transformed and have all these webs in her fur.
We stopped in front of a white box, and he handed me the flashlight.
He opened the door and nodded. “Yeah, that’s the problem.”
After turning back all the fuses, I could hear the central heating coming back to life.
Gunnar turned around to me. “Let’s see if that solved the light problem.”
We quickly left the basement, and to my relief, the lights were back on, which also meant the damage was glaring obvious now.
Gunnar was right. It doesn’t seem as if someone entered, as it still looked the same as all these years ago. There were a couple of bricks on the floor, probably those that got thrown through the windows, and dirt everywhere. Thick dust covered the furniture, and the wallpaper peeled off the walls. I also assume to see evidence of mice or rats living here, and I should probably call pest control to let them check that.
“See, it doesn’t look too bad,” Gunnar said next to me.
I sighed. “But still a lot of work.”
He smiled at me. “You can still come back with me.”
“No, I want this place to look decent again. My family deserves that. This is more reason for me to stay.”
“It was worth a try. But if you want, I can call a few people to help.”
“I would rather check the damage first. But thank you.”
This might be way too much to handle for only one person, but I was reluctant to receive more help from his pack. Especially because most of them were relieved, I was gone. This was something I wanted to solve alone, at least for the most part.
I turned to him. “I do have one request, though.”
He beamed at me. “Sure! What is it?”
“Can you drive me around for a bit? I would like to purchase a few things.”
He nodded. “Yeah, I can do that.”
I smiled and looked around once more before heading out and locking the door behind us.
I got back into the car and looked back to the house. Excitement bubbled up in me. I was back home. Who would have thought that would ever happen again?