The Closure I Should Have Gotten After I Left My Childhood Behind
My mother just sold our house several days ago, and this has been a really emotional turning point in my life. I was barely five years old when I first moved in; I remember the smell of its newness while learning how to read and write. This is the place where I learned to love and hurt and laugh and cry. This brick-walled, pocket-sized house that you see above has witnessed the twists and turns of the past sixteen years of my life.
At this very moment, I imagine the new owners of the house have unloaded the rest of their belongings, arranging every item in a way that will make them feel at home. And I hope they do. But I regret not getting a chance to stick around as much when I could still call it my home. So instead, I decided to write a different version of this chapter — the version where I got the closure I needed to say goodbye.
I stood there, in the middle of it all, biting the skin around my fingernails and shifting my focus from one bare wall to the next.
I tried my best to ignore the sounds of feet shuffling through the front and back ends of the house. I just wanted to close my eyes and pretend that everything was back to the way it was.
Because I wasn’t ready to move on.
I opened up the foggy window and could tell that it was going to rain soon. The sky felt like a personal mirror, reflecting every shade of gray I was feeling at that moment.
I was never really good at saying goodbye.
“C’mon kid. It’s time,” my mother reminded me. Her small frame stood at the doorway of what used to be my little safe place; my vessel of memories; my bedroom.
“Just one more minute,” I croaked.
She nodded and told me she’d be in the car whenever I’m ready.
Once the sound of her footsteps disappeared, my knees hit the ground and I let out a series of choked up sobs echoing through every inch of the very walls that first embraced me nearly sixteen years ago.
Now, sixteen years later, my body lies heavy on the empty, chipped hardwood floor as if the house was anchoring me down by its old roots and fissures of our memories, asking me to hold it close one last time.