Home Sick

cat sleeping

I felt way out of place .I was 13.It was nearing the close of day. Yet
unusually gloomy as though the sun was weeping for me , for I would
not be greeting him as cheerfully as I did everyday after I woke up at the farm.Not that I had anything against him.

“Don’t weep o ye lamp of the heavens
Though I know I might not greet thine garish face anymore
keep shedding thine light whatever happens
Be the light that bathes the Earth and kisses her forever more….”

I still remember my mother’s face ,teary and reddened to a shade of
scarlet that I had seen not before,desperately trying to avoid my eyes as though she had betrayed me. She did not have the courage to
bid me farewell. All she could do was keep wiping her nose which was now redder than the rest of her face. I asked myself whether I should laugh at her silliness, give her a kiss on the cheek and wipe her tears away, telling her that everything would be okay. But I could not bring myself to move for I was momentarily paralysed with the weight of my sunken bosom .
I was glued to my spot by the foot of the horse carriage
clutching on to a briefcase that seemed to increase in weight as the clock hands ticked away. Inside the Carriage was none but my own father who was
pretending to be deep in thought .He looked like he’d been crying. I
could always tell when my folks would try to pretend or even lie.

After all , they were the ones with whom I had spent all my time as a child, observing them, learning from them and imitating them. It’s all in the eyes. My father hesitantly turned his head towards me and beckoned me to enter the carriage as we
had to hurry to my destination from whence I would return in no less
than five years.

Grandpa and Grandma had got me a puppy the day
before, a boxer. We had spent hours rolling on the floor , playing and
laughing till we were out of breath and our tummies ached. Now the
little canine was tugging at the ends of my neat ,pressed trousers begging me
to play with him. Little did he know that he would forget my very
image all too soon . I would not dare look into the eyes of my little playmate for I knew I would never have the liberty to watch him grow , taking him out for walks, feeding him,
taking care of him or loving him….
The air around me grew cold. My bowels turned to water and a bead of sweat trickled down my back. A gust of wind made my bones shudder.

Sunset. It was time.

My father extended his hand for the luggage I was carrying. I handed it
to him and sauntered into the carriage. As I sat adjacent my father, he gave the driver a little pat on his back, who appeared to be nodding off in slumber.He woke up with a jolt and looked at my father, who responded with a subtle nod. That was the drivers cue to get his arse moving. He whipped the horses and the carriage jerked forward .I had just realised at that moment that I had been unusually observant that day, absorbing my environment like my life depended on it, which seemed more true as I thought about it. My years at the Children’s home would be very lonely . As the carriage kept advancing forwards , I was overwhelmed with nostalgia when I saw the various places where I had spent many a happy times. Every where I laid my eyes seemed entirely new and unfamiliar like I was there for the first time since my existence .The old creek,
the berry woods where we went picnicking every other sun-washed Sunday after
church, The little orphanage where we donated surplus harvest and
sometimes baked goods. A smile slid onto my face when I recalled the
grateful faces of the orphans. The trees that had seen me growing up,
swayed side by side as though they were wishing me goodbye , like living things. The marble eyed owls who were just waking up to feed on little critters and mice were indifferent to whatever was happening to me, and that saddened me even more so. The carriage rocked to and fro and the horses kept trying to bite each other . The one hour ride seemed to fly by in minutes. As the carriage came to a halt , I peeped out and saw the enormous ,shiny marble stone building in front of us, standing tall and mighty against the unfathomable twilit sky. That would be my home for the five painful
years to follow.

I was handed my luggage and without further
exchange of words ,out went the carriage leaving a cloud of dust , ‘Where did that new zeal of energy come from? ’. I coughed and sputtered and was left still confused why they left so early without saying goodbye. Was I a bad son? Or was I a bite of grandma’s apple
pie they took that was too big for their little mouths?
I dusted off the debris that was stuck to my clothes. Grass, weeds and what not. Stupid horses.

‘MARILYN’S HOME FOR DIFFERENTLY ABLED CHILDREN’ read the notice board. There were a set of instructions too, one which read ”Dear Guardians, please do not try to visit your ward for any reason whatsoever. We are good at what we do.Thank you”. A tear trickled down my cheek ’Where did that come from?’ I thought as I let down the case on the muddy ground and began to wipe my tears.My heart began to race and adrenaline pricked my body, telling me to flee from some imminent threat that I was presently unaware of.

I took a deep breath and raised my chin and I felt something off about me.Something void .It was my heart. It had room for one emotion. Rage .I had to survive somehow for the years to come, , without mum’s kisses and daddy’s smiles….till I return. Until then…

Good bye.

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