Home Sweet Home
Waking up my heart starts to pound and fear shoots like electricity all through me. I’m forgetting something… Was I supposed to have cleaned something? Was I supposed to have cooked something? Was I supposed to have signed something?
I want to bolt upright in bed and hurry off to start my day but I am immobilized with fear. I wait for that institutional smell of disinfectant and bleach to invade my senses but it doesn’t come. In my sleepy haze I wander out into the living room and look for the white board to sign in on. But of course it isn’t there because I am no longer there.
Back in bed, I roll over and see his gentle, sleeping face and tell myself that I should go and find something to cook for him. He will be awake soon and hungry. I don’t think he ate anything last night when he got home from work. But I am so exhausted.
I stare at invisible and some not so invisible spots in the master room that need to be cleaned and I berate myself for things that I failed at in the past, before him. I wonder if he is disappointed with me, with this life. I know he will say he’s not but it still tugs at my mind.
I roll over in bed and inhale the scent of the both of us- my body spray, his shampoo and I imagine this is what Heaven smells like. I no longer have to sit at a depressing cornflower blue picnic table to smoke a cigarette first thing in the morning. I don’t smoke cigarettes anymore at all but if I did I could step outside my front door and onto the balcony and smoke my Marlboros while watching the bluejays and inhaling the scent of whatever greenery it is that grows in front of our home.
Deciding to drag myself out of bed, I go and peek in on the girls only to find that they are not where I had left them. In a panic I start rifling through their blankets, hoping they haven’t wandered outside. That’s a write up in that hell hole I used to live in. No one is here now to write me up and order me to work it off with hard labor, like a work camp prisoner, and I am not so much worried about their physical safety because they know their boundaries. Yet still I rush through the house.
I can hear Him calling to me from the bedroom, “It’s fine! Everything is fine, they’re only children.”
But everything is not fine as I pull on clothes to go search for them. I don’t make it very far when I find the girls cuddled together on the couch, sound asleep and I breathe a sigh of relief asI watch them for a moment. I start a pot of coffee and head back to the bedroom, stripping back down and climbing into bed with him.
“You’re not there anymore,” he chastises, “and they know the rules.”
The rules, I think to myself and feel the anxiety start to build again. I should be cleaning something.
“You’re not there,” he repeats. “You’re home now.”
Home. Such an odd word for someone who has never truly belonged anywhere or with anyone. But then I lay my head on his chest and feel the tears start to burn my eyes as he twirls a strand of my waves in his fingers and I listen to his heartbeat. Home.
Yes. I’m finally Home.