When she was younger, she was told that home is wherever her family is. The welcoming arms of her mother, her father and her brother were where she found comfort and solace. Home was wherever the four of them were together and nothing could change that. As she grew older, she began to notice little cracks in that perfect facade and for the first time, she saw through the cracks. She saw her brother being isolated, her mother struggling alone and her father staying up long nights to provide for the family. But still, there was no place like home no matter how fractured it may be.
By thirteen, she began noticing how little her parents spoke to each other. She noticed that her brother’s absence affected her mother and her father began spending more days away on business than before. No longer could she see the loving smile on her mother’s face every afternoon when she came home from school. No longer did she hear her father call out for the morning paper. They began fighting, contemplating whether or not to stay together. She began shrinking into a little shell and now home was merely four walls, a roof and a few people that lived there.
By fourteen, she met him. He who had coal black hair, dark brown eyes and lips as crimson as blood. He who provided the comfort that she longed for and the understanding that was needed for her to move forward. As the days progressed, so did her affection for him. She fell in love, or at least a fourteen year old’s version of love. Maybe home wasn’t four walls and a roof, maybe home was two arms and a heartbeat. She thought it was silly, something foreign to her, but she fell in love with idea’s rather than reality. Of course, she grew, she changed and so did things. That’s all they ever do.
By the time sixteen came around, she realised that people couldn’t be relied on, she had to fend for herself. She had a support system, a one she truly treasured but she felt lost in herself, isolated from the world around. Home became the same, monotonous place she had seen for the past four years. A still, lifeless atmosphere took over the happy, warm one. Sometimes choking and the other times, just cold. No one could understand what happened, what made things change but she knew. She knew it was the dark figure in a cloak that with his cold touch, that made her home his, rather than her family’s. There he loomed in the shadows where no one could see but everyone could feel. Home was not supposed to be a place to harbour Death, home was meant to be where the heart is. Or so she thought.
The eighteenth year came around and she was about to leave for college. Her mother didn’t weep, the insignificant nature made leaving easier for her. Her father left her to the airport to catch a flight to where her brother waited for her. Now, the concept of ‘Home’ fragmented, it was no longer where the four of them were together, nor was it where the heart was, for the family was now separated by the seven oceans.
What was home? Where was home? Did home really exist? She didn’t know what to call home and often felt like something was missing. After experiencing estrangement in every aspect of her life, she wandered like a Nomad to find a place to call home but failed miserably. Home became a foreign word to her and even though she kept in touch with her family, even though she found solace in the man she loved and even though her own happiness made her feel at home, the concept of home slowly diminished.
Like a twinkling star at the end of its life, home caved in on itself and gave way. Instead of a finite set of things she could call home or associate with home, she saw it as an infinite expanse that carried on. That is until a familiar old friend came knocking on her door, ready to claim her with an icy touch. He knocked on the door and as lifeless as ever, she opened the door welcoming him into her home and into her heart.