“You bought a house?”

“Well, technically, I only made a down payment on a house. We still have to figure out how we’re going to make the monthly payments.”

Andrea stared at Rudolf in disbelief for a moment and then chuckled. “I know you’re just teasing. You would never do something like that.”

“I would never buy a house?”

“Not without talking to me about it. Not without seeing it a hundred times and not without making one of those ‘pros and cons’ lists you like so much. You don’t even buy groceries without making a list – and having a second copy as a backup.”

“I’m not kidding, honey. Get your coat and let’s go see it. I told them I would get you and we would come right back. I can’t wait to see the inside.”

Andrea paused before responding, examining his face for any hint of a smile. She raised her eyebrows as she spoke. “So you haven’t even seen the inside of this house that you supposedly bought?”

“I’ll explain on the way. You’re going to love it.”

“How do you know I will love it if you haven’t even been in it?”

Rudolf looked like he was about to speak and then stopped. His hesitation confused Andrea even more but he still showed no sign of jest. “Just trust me. You’ll love it.”

“So you seriously want me to get my coat?”

“Yes.”

“I still don’t believe you. How did you find this house?”

“I’ll explain on the way. Let’s walk. It will only take about fifteen minutes.”

“So it’s close to here?”

“Yeah, it’s over on Central street. I thought you would be excited. We’ve been looking at real estate books forever.”

“Five years,” she interrupted, holding up her hand. “We’ve been looking for five years and we haven’t even toured a single one. All we do is crunch numbers and create charts and… ”

“I know. I’m sorry. But that’s over now. We have a house of our own.”

“We? I didn’t buy a house!”

“Oh, come on, just grab your coat and go see it. It’s perfect for us.”

“Ok. I’m going to get my coat. But I’m not sure what you’re trying to do.”

“I’ll be waiting outside by the door.”

Andrea grabbed her coat and purse and found Rudolf waiting on the front steps. “Lead the way and start explaining. How did you find this house? And what were you doing over on Central?”

“You won’t believe me, but that is the best part.” He turned and started walking as he spoke. “I got off the bus at Libbey Park because I needed to think.”

“You walked all the way from Libbey Park?”

“Yeah. I sat in the park for a while first, watching the fountain. It’s amazing how peaceful that place is.”

Andrea looked at her watch. “If you sat there for a while and still walked home, what time did you leave work?”

Rudolf stopped walking and turned to face Andrea. “I left at noon. They let us go.”

“That’s weird? Is it some kind of celebration or something?”

“No. I mean they let us go… from our jobs. I knew something was coming but I didn’t think it would affect us in Accounting. They’re shutting the whole office down, moving everything to corporate.”

Andrea suddenly felt her stomach tighten. “You don’t have a job? You’ve worked there for fifteen years. What are we going to do?”

“I don’t know. It’s not a good time to be looking for a job, but hopefully I’ll find something.” He turned and began walking again. Andrea followed along.

“If you’re joking, this isn’t funny.”

“I’m not joking.”

“So I’m supposed to believe that you lost your job and bought a house on the same day?”

“Oh yeah, I was telling you about that. So I was sitting in the park thinking. My plan was to think about how I should approach my job search and what we can do to the budget to make the severance pay go further, but all I could think about was the fact that I still had not bought you a house. I know how much you want your own place.”

“Well, the apartment is not so bad. It’s just that I think it would be nice to have our own home.”

“I know. And I always feel bad that I haven’t done anything yet. So, anyway, while I was thinking a man walked by handing out flyers.” He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. “All it says is ‘House for sale’ and the address. I thought it was strange that someone would pass out flyers about a house.”

“Yeah, I guess that does sound a bit weird.”

“That’s when I thought about that story you were talking about a few weeks ago. You said it was your favorite?”

“The Green Door? I don’t remember talking about that?”

“You did. It was when Sandy and Brad were over.”

“Oh yeah, we were talking about writers.”

“Exactly. And you said that in the story the guy follows a cryptic message on a card because he’s an adventurer. You had a special look in your eye when you talked about that story. I decided it was time for me to be an adventurer.”

“So you went to the address on this flyer and bought it?”

“Sort of, I went to the address not really sure what to do next. But as soon as I saw it I knew it was the perfect house for you.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, first of all, you know how you’ve always said you wanted a porch where you can write? This has a porch overlooking the side street. I saw it as I was approaching the address. They have it decorated with plants and flowers just like you would.”

“So  you bought it because it has a porch?”

“Not just that. There was another reason I knew this was the one.”

“And what was that?”

“You’ll see. We’re almost there. That’s the building on the corner.”

Andrea was surprised to see that the building was not a house so much as it was a brick building that had been converted into a dwelling. She noticed the porch, though, and had to agree that it was cute. The black iron railing contrasted well against the red brick. The porch looked cozy and inviting. Strands of ivy climbed the wall. Their pace slowed as Andrea looked at the building. Neither spoke as they approached the corner and turned to the front.

That’s when Andrea knew Rudolf was right. “Oh my.”

“See? Don’t you think it’s the one?”

Andrea nodded as Rudolf took her hand in his. They both stood facing the front door. “I do. I can’t believe it has a green door.”

“Are you sure we can afford it?” Andrea asked.

“I don’t know, but we have to try. Besides, I already wrote a check for the down payment. Let’s go inside and see what our new house looks like. We’ll figure the rest out as we go.”