Home. This word had familiarity attached to it. Inside a traditionally home, one could find comfort and peace by just being there. Home is a hiding place from the entire world and the only way to gain entry is through a personal invitation. To put it simply, home is a special place. And they say home is where the heart is. But as he sat in his parked car in front of his home, he felt none of this. He looked towards the dark, closed windows and felt that his heart was no longer there. The place that was right in front of him was no longer his home.
When he was little, he loved his home. He would run around with his toys, playing with the stray cats that roamed around, giving them names if they stayed for more than a week. He could go outside to his friend’s house just around the corner and come home to the smell of dinner being prepared in the kitchen. While he waited for the food to finish, he would coax his grandfather into letting him have one more sip of soda. Then he would smile from ear to ear as his grandmother nagged at him to stop. While he was growing up, there was life in the house. It was a place he could call home.
However, the wear and tear of time took it’s course and things drastically changed. For most of the week, the house remained empty, only occupied during the night until the early mornings. He spent most moments in the house either sleeping or on the computer, slaving away on one graphic design project after the other. His grandfather had become a former shell of what he once was and his grandmother now living elsewhere. He hadn’t realized that his home had started to break from an early age. The constant fights, the absence of a parent’s warmth, the lack of meaningful consistency. All of this and more had built up over the years, but his innocence had kept him safe. Until one day, he finally saw the reality of it all. Then without another word, he left.
He decided it wouldn’t be forever. He promised himself that he would come back. But when he did, everything was different. He was different. He left part of his heart on an airplane suspended in the middle of the sky, another piece at the bottom of a beer glass in an alleyway bar, and a few others on a sidewalk leading up to a guesthouse somewhere in Asia. Slowly, his home started to feel far from it. He began to feel uncomfortable just by sitting on the couch for longer than a minute, distance whenever he greeted his grandparents, a sense that everything in that house was wrong. There was an unhappiness that swelled up inside of him, that prevented him from calling the house he grew up in, ‘home’. It took him hours to gather up the strength to get out of his car and finally go inside. He had become another lost soul searching for a permanent home.