Siena walked on the cold white floor tiles in the place she never wanted to come back. Outside that room, the sky was grey, but her heart was even more somber. Even on the brightest day in this place, she felt blue. She tried to remember the last time she felt free, enthusiastic and delighted. Not here, definitely not here.
A memory came flashing back in the back of her mind when she walked through the garage. The noises she used to hear from this room every morning. Her mom’s old red Honda 70 that was always parked there. The smell of the new painted walls and a smoky odor of her dad’s cigarette. She was only 5 living in her good old days. Running towards her mother’s lap with a big gracious smile on her face. Excited by everything she might find in the plastic bag her mom brought from the market.
It was a long time ago, long before she knew the pain. The pain of trying to be an adult for her parents. The pain of trying to keep herself sane, when nothing was normal. The miserable pain and fears she sensed every single step she took in this place. “Hey, when did you come back?” a nice lady from the house on the corner noticed her presence. The neighbour who knows all of her family’s dirty secrets. Who listened to all the yells and screams a couple times a week. And so did other people in that not so big and quiet neighbourhood.
“Yesterday” she answered. “But I’m not staying long,” she added before the neighbour offers her a cup of tea in her house and demand a full report about her life now after the ‘tragedy’ in return. She knew she would not even be interested in answering even one single question from Mrs. Wants-to-Know.
Her life was rough but she made it through, is the only fact that everyone needs to know. “I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t. I only want to write about it”. Or maybe she was just tired of being asked about her dating life. Has she found somebody? Or she was still too scared to date anyone because she was afraid that any guy she dated would turn into her dad. Unable to love, just breaking hearts. She was just too tired of people’s assumptions about the choices she made and also her own merciless thoughts about her past.
She spoke in her heart “Ah stop it. Why you keep talking to me, and why you keep complaining about your rough childhood?” She asked herself impatiently.
Should it be done now, should she be healed now? She’s 30 now for God sake. “Anyway, who even have a healthy childhood these days? I’m sure everyone has their own trauma back in their childhood. Their own scars. Tell me who’s dad has been loyal to their mom throughout their marriage? Tell me who’s mom has not been running away from their house every now and then?
“Stop. Stop. Stop it. I don’t want to hear it. Stop bringing me back to the past”. She slapped her own face, hoping this would stop the noises inside her head. So, so tired and angry of every emotion emerged from this place.
People called her fearless. She’s been to anywhere in this world now. Packed her bag and moved from one place to another. Unafraid of what might come her way. She climbed countless mountains, drove on the most frightening and terrifying roads in Southern Europe, and spent the coldest night in the wilderness of Northern America with only her notes and her backpack. None of those things were scaring her. Not the barren cold ocean she got lost once in the middle of the night in a tiny fisherman boat. Not a poisonous snake under the car she drove in Queensland waiting for her to jump off. Not even when she drove her motor bike to Batur Mountain and it broke down at 2 am in the middle of nowhere. Nothing like this. Not like when she’s here. Not like when she stood so close to the cold white floor tiles in a place she was supposed to call home. In a place she was supposed to feel safe.
The cold white floor tiles smirking at her. As it knows something about her that nobody else knows. About that icy-cold night she spent alone laying on that exact same white tiles, dying on the inside. All alone in this too lonely world wanting nothing but to just disappear from it. Her feet were trembling and she fell to the ground beneath her feet.
Her phone suddenly rang. It was her brother.
“You’ve been home for too long, go back on the road”