As he pulled up at the end of the narrow lane, Xavier knew it wasn't going to be easy.
He swung open the rusty gate and looked at the tall grass that had grown all over the front yard. Just beyond stood the dilapidated pile of stones that he called home once. As he opened the heavy door after a moment's struggle, a blend of musty smell and nostalgia overwhelmed him.
He wasn't sure he wanted to enter.
Xavier spent the rest of the day wiping off the dust that had settled all over the old furniture and photos hanging on the wall. When it got chilly after the sunset, he decided to get under a heavy blanket that smelled of his mother when she was alive.
Staring at the cobwebs hanging from the ceiling, he thought of his beach house overlooking the Mediterranean sea.
A cool breeze and a salty smell would greet him anytime he opened the enormous glass windows - the beach house had 18 of them. He remembered those evening parties Marta used to throw and all those "friends" that visited with expensive champaigns. They would hang around their swimming pool till 3 AM or later. And he would wake up the next day at 11, hearing nothing but sea waves.
No wonder Marta preferred to spend a few days at her parents' before moving to this mouldy shithole. A part of him believed that she would never show up.
The next day, the neighbourhood rooster woke him up at 6 o'clock. And he saw a ray of sunlight hitting the table in the corner.
There on that table, it all started.
He remembered his 20-something version who would sit there cranking out pages and pages of stories. Most of them landed in the dustbin. But a few gems emerged that later made him a famous author whose books got adapted to blockbuster movies.
It dawned on him that this humble house took him to the stars until he bought the beach house that took him to bankruptcy.
And then he rushed to the dusty table and wiped it with his sleeve.
He knew, once again, he'd reach the stars, but this time, with his feet still on the spartan ground of this house.