BACK HOME WITHIN THE LIGHT
Morning walks are always the best especially during winter. Well not in a blizzard but everything looking white and angelic is just the perfect theme for a day like this, a day like mine.
The bakery is just up ahead where I get my favorite donuts– with a lot of creamy glaze. Not healthy for breakfast, I know but what can I say, I love junk.
The bell rings as I push open the door and Mrs. Doris, the owner of this beautiful haven finds me with her sea blue eyes. She gives me a brilliant smile that highlights the wrinkle lines on her face but even at her age, you could very well tell she was a diva.
"Morning Doris. You look a little chirpy." I take the high stool at the counter table. She looks a little busy behind the counter but she quickly discards whatever she was doing.
"Morning my dear. You're the one who is cheerful today. How was it?"
Mrs. Doris is referring to a date I had last night. A date she set up because she's gotten tired of seeing me spend Christmas alone. I moved to this little town with the sole purpose of a new beginning. Loosing both my parents in a car crash was...awful. What I couldn't handle is staying in that house, with so many memories and the nightmares...
"Samantha? Dear?" Mrs. Doris calls
I zoned out again. "Yes. It wasn't that bad. A little awkward at the beginning but we got to talk more and would probably do it again."
She gives me a brittle smile and shakes her head.
"Anymore of those nightmares?" Her voice is soft and comforting. Just Doris knows what I really went through, what I still go through. I'm a little uncomfortable to admit that it's been two years and I still can't sleep without jerking up to disturbing scenes.
"You should really look up that therapist I told you about. He's good and it'll help you." She continues with her hand on my shoulder.
I know she's right but I don't think I'm ready to go through all that. I just can't. Not now and I don't know if soon...
"I'll try." After a few more exchange of words, I leave with a bag of donuts.
My little house or should I say cabin situated in the woods is one of the major sources of joy I have. It's just for me. Isolated and yet very much at home.
The words of Doris keeps me in a fixed state. Should I? Am I ready to bare myself to someone? A stranger?
My eyes fall on the card sitting on my bedside table. Without letting myself think much of it, I pick it up and set an appointment. Okay, I can do this!
Mr. Reyes, a middle aged man with slightly bald hair and a round tummy, is my therapist. It's been two weeks of endless and painful recalling of unwanted memories but I can't stop. If anything, I feel a little lighter these days. A little better.
"How are you feeling?" He asks in his professional voice
"Good. I sleep a little better now." I answer
"Is that all?" His eyebrow arc over the rim of his glasses. I tilt my head in confusion.
"Samantha, it's okay to let me know you didn't sleep at all. The point of all this is getting it all out. So I'll ask again, How are you feeling?"
Silence. I'm silent because he's right. As much as I feel better, I also feel worse these past days. I feel like I'm missing something really important. So I tell him. I tell him how scared I still feel and how often I get the inclination that I've lost a lot. He listens patiently and doesn't speak until I'm done.
"Maybe you feel that way because you haven't come to terms with all that's happened to you. What you need is closure."
"Yes Samantha. From all you've told me, you haven't really laid it in your subconscious that this is now your life. Find a way to do that."
It's 11:33pm December 24th and I'm standing right on the porch of my old house. I don't know why, but I felt this is what I should do even when my whole being resisted.
The door opens with a low creak and I take my time to get a good look at what was once my home. It's dark and I flip the switch but it doesn't respond. I do remember the housekeeper I pay to care for this place tell me I risked being cut off from power if I didn't pay the bills. I didn't care then because I just couldn't.
The torch from my phone serves its purpose and lights my way through the dark. Memories come flooding like heavens gate just opened. My chest tightens and my eyes heat up but I take a deep breath. Leaving my luggage by the arm of what was once my father's favorite couch, I sit on the fur rug. Dad used to wrestle with me here, we'd make a lot of noises and end up attracting my mom who'd lovingly rebuke us.
The tears come pouring, right there in the dark with just a phone torch, the dam of my heart breaks wide open and I let it flow. A box is on top of the television-stand right under the big screen and I recognize it as the one that holds a lot of my moments. With shaky fingers, I reach for it and unveil the lid. Pictures, Birthday cards, Season cards and trinkets given to me by both parents. I cry harder.
The grandfather clock on the wall sings just as the power comes on making my jaw drop at the sight before me. A Christmas tree, well decorated and the house too is embellished with Christmas lights. A small envelope sits noticeably on the top of the tree. I quickly leave my position on the ground to reach for it.
You still might not come back this year but if you do and you find this card, I'm glad. Merry Christmas Samantha.
A smile breaks before I can stop it. Yes. It's the best Christmas ever. I look around the house again. The glow in the room reminds me of when I would sit curled up with my parents on that rug opening presents.
I sit down again and take out an album in one of the drawers. Going through the big book of pictures, I am certain deep within me that I have found the closure I needed sitted within my lighted house, I am convinced that things have changed. I have changed.