Hazel Klepper had been house hunting for what felt like months now.
Every single house she saw, something felt wrong to her, and this annoyed her boyfriend to no end. He just couldn’t fathom what it was she was searching for, or what tiny little detail would derail their next purchase. The bathroom doesn’t get enough natural light? There isn’t a big enough backyard for the dog? It was starting to drive him mad. Yet, Hazel kept her calm, and she kept looking; responding to listings and meeting with realtors, going to open houses and surveying the area. Only, time and time again, to come away with a sense of disappointment. She’d never find what she was looking for. So what did Hazel want? She wanted a kitchen.
As a little girl, she spent a lot of time with her grandmother, who enjoyed cooking. Hazel would sit on the counter while her grandmother baked and told her stories, and sometimes she’d even get to help make dinner or make her grandpa some lunch. These were the happiest memories Hazel had. As she got older, she would sit in the kitchen late into the evening, just to not be at home and listen to her parents scream at one another, and trying to finish her homework. Sometimes her grandpa would stay up with her, help her with history or geography, and together they’d have an absolute blast, eating snacks and talking about schoolwork. When Hazel decided she wanted to go to school to become a chef, she asked her grandmother for her recipes, but her grandmother did her one better…she showed her how to cook. She took Hazel into her kitchen, her small kitchen with the red brick floor and the old bread box, and she showed her how to make every single thing she’d ever made for her to eat, and more.
And then, during Hazels sophomore year at college, her grandparents died, mere weeks apart from one another. Her grandmother went first, as a result of an ongoing cold, and her grandfather died two weeks later, simply from heartbreak. Hazel was there when the house was being set up for sale, and she took photos of the kitchen and vowed that, one day, she would have a kitchen just like this one. But despite all the meetings, all the houses, all the months searching, Hazel still hadn’t found her kitchen.
The house she pulled up to that crisp, fall, Thursday afternoon was small, but she didn’t mind that. She preferred cozy to overly large. The realtor, a nice woman with a bob haircut named Susan, met her at the door and together they went inside. Susan showed her the living room, the bathrooms, the bedrooms, the backyard, but all Hazel could feel was that this was yet another waste of time. When Susan finally showed her the kitchen, Hazel felt her heart skip a beat. This was it. The layout was almost exactly the same, give or take the position of the cabinets, and the color scheme was damn near identical. Hazel wouldn’t believe her eyes. Suddenly she didn’t care about the rest of the house, she was transported back to a feeling she hadn’t felt since childhood, and all that mattered from this point on was this kitchen. This was where she’d make dinners for her family, holiday meals for her relatives, desserts for her children. This was the place she would have a life. Hazel signed a check that afternoon and went to tell her boyfriend the good news. Sure, some of the other parts of the house needed some fixing up, but that was alright.
Because the kitchen…oh, the kitchen was perfect.
And for Hazel, that meant life would be perfect too.
I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!