Home Sweet Home.
This trip has been way too long. I glance up from my window seat in the middle of the dark bus and see the monster standing up, ready to give us a farewell speech.
Here we go. God, have mercy!
My hood covers my face in shadow and I am thankful that no one can see the strain and exhaustion radiating from the taut, pale skin.
30 minutes and you’ll be home. In the privacy of your own room. And you can let go. Hang in there.
Speech over. He stands back. The door opens with a hiss. They trickle outside… one by one. Some of them still finding the energy to throw a cutting remark.
Too late to back out now. Ignore them.
I step out of the bus carrying my backpack, looking for my ride. That’s when I see them.
Of course. Of course they would come drive me home.
If my brain didn’t feel like a sponge, it would definitely go into panic mode. But exhaustion is a very effective drug. I walk over to the car, all the while feeling pairs of eyes burning holes into the back of my skull. You can almost hear their thoughts.
Relax. I answer them mentally. It’s too late.
‘Hi!’ she says with a pretty smile.
‘Hey. Thanks for the ride.’ I smile back. ‘A taxi was supposed to pick me up. How come you guys are here?’ I ask them, willing my heart to CALM THE *** DOWN.
‘I offered. We were at the movies anyway.’ He says as he throws my backpack into the trunk. ‘come on, get in the car. Let’s go.’
‘This movie is just awesome. You have GOT to watch it.’ She says as she climbs into the passenger seat.
She’s such a nice girl. Makes sense.
‘Yeah? maybe next week.’
I climb into the backseat and try to keep up with the conversation, but it’s hard. Very hard. Too late.
Finally home, he parks the car and brings me the backpack. But he refuses to let me take the frigging thing and disappear.
Frustrated I look up. Miles up.
Shouldn’t have done that, should I?
Locked in place.
‘What happened? What did they do?’ he demands, looking angry.
‘What do you mean? give my backpack, I really need to go home.’ I play stupid but cannot move an inch. Soldered to the ground by the sheer power of his furious gaze.
Hurt fills eyes.
‘I can read you like an open book, you know.’ How can you be hurt? You had all the power, all the knowledge, and you made a decision. Not me.
But we vowed that he must never be in pain because of me, haven’t we?
I force a smile. ‘I’m just tired.’
He doesn’t buy it. Staring at me, unbelieving, he says ‘you’re not going to tell me?’
‘Nothing happened.’ I let out, almost breaking.
Shaking his head, he says ‘So now I am a stranger. You shut me out. Just like that. I’ve become nothing to you.’ you left me.
‘You will never be nothing.’ barely audible.
A strange, tortured expression takes over the grey pieces of heaven, and he takes a long, deep breath. Averting his gaze, he says ‘I promised to bring you home safe.’ and gives me the backpack.
I take it. ‘You did.’ You always do. ‘Thank you. And good night.’
Before I leave, he finally says with a determined, but contained tone ‘I will fix it. I promise.’
I smile. ‘Fix what?’
Then I run up the stairs to my house, leaving him standing in the shadow of our ancient tree.
Writing is not my thing, but I’ve been thinking a lot about timing, and loyalty and choices. This is how I see it.
Have a nice day 🙂