So…I’m a little late getting this week’s #writeme30 post together…
Saturday just past (the 19th April), I brought a new human into the world. Our daughter Amaya was born beautiful and healthy a week before her due date. We are both fine, but very tired so taking it easy over the next little while.
Hence, the lateness with this post…. 🙂
This week’s #writeme30 post is inspired by a photo supplied by Mr Matt Shilling, a friend from Youth Parliament*. Matt and I met in 2010 when we were placed in the same team as participants. Matt and I have very different political and religious views and this difference (underpinned by respect) is something I really value. If I wanted to just hear people agree with me all the time, I could just talk to the mirror!
Matt didn’t give any particular insight into this photo, just that he thought of me and my request for a photo when he was taking it.
Photo supplied by Matt Shilling.
The Response – Homecoming**:
Just until this song ends. We’ll sit right here. You and I. With our hands and eyes entwined. All you have to do is lean in.
His eyes flick to the side. Around the corner of her head. Listing. Reaching for the next question. The moment beyond this discomfort. He deliberately doesn’t respond to what she’s actually asking. Instead responding only to the literal. The actual. The direct. The intention behind her eyes is discarded in favour of his safety.
This has been their pattern. Their dance. Together. Apart. Together. Apart.
Lean into me. Into this. Into love. Into home.
It hit him coming round the curve in the old mail road, his hands soft on the wheel. Sharp and deep. Unexpected. The forgotten ache of home. Too long. Too long between drinks. Lucan pulled the car into the gravel shoulder. Left the ignition running and stepped out into the gentling darkness. Sucking in the smell of it. The smell of home. Of long lost things. Buried things. Growing things. Past things. Half remembered things. It hurt to be home. It was good to be home.
The house was dark. The key under the mat where it had always been and he let himself into the back door. The familiar kitchen opening under his feet. Nothing had changed. Except that everything had. The floor was cold. The air still and empty. The walls waiting. Every surface pregnant with loss.
Every surface trailed beneath his fingers felt too close, too real, too cold. Too close to knowing. And finally, that last empty room, with its large empty bed.
Sunlight smacked him into life the following morning. The edges of the old couch digging into his ribs and hips. His eyes stiff with the night before. The night’s darkness left behind for the day’s. Lucan didn’t bother with a suit. This wasn’t a town that needed suits. He pulled on jeans and a button shirt. Didn’t notice the soft wrinkles left behind by lack of care. He pulled a comb through his hair. Made himself ready in every other way he could.
The office was cool and smelt of cleaning products. Too similar to a hospital for Lucan’s liking. The woman behind the desk smiled at him with that soft I’m sorry kind of smile. He didn’t smile back. The smile held too long. Became awkward.
“Is there anything else?”
She blinked, startled.
“No. Just. You just need to sign here,” she said, sliding a sheaf of papers across the cheap wooden desk. He flicked through them all, slowly. Knowing it made her nervous. Not caring. Finally, pulling a pen from the cup on the desk and signing beside each marked x.
“Done.” She agreed, “I’m sorry for your loss.” The awkwardly held smile again.
“I know.” And he left the way he’d come. Back out into the fresh clean air.
*Youth Parliament is a fantastic youth leadership/development program for under 25’s building public speaking and debating skills alongside an understanding of the parliamentary process. Youth Parliament programs run in most states. I spent three years with the SA program, the first year as a participant and then two years as part of the organizing taskforce. It wasn’t something I thought would really be my thing and I only really went the first year because I had the opportunity to go for free, but discovered that I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it, More info about the SA program here.
**I’m keen to spend more time experimenting with prose fiction. This post is obviously the beginning of an idea rather than a fully realised narrative.
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