He stood in a starkly familiar room. The pale walls, the dark brown furniture, the wide glass windows to the balcony. Becoming conscious of another human presence, he turned. There by the door was a greying, middle-aged woman, fast asleep. This woman, he recognised as his Auntie Cyndie.
The room too, he recognised. It was home. He looked around the room. He saw broken cups, spilt coffee, magazines, that one lay meticulously arranged atop the coffee table, strewn haphazardly on the floor. Then, it struck him. All this disorder was the child of his agitation.
About ten years ago, his parents had lost their lives is a road accident. There were three people in the car. His parents and the driver. The driver happened to be his Aunt. She was the only survivor of the crash. What caused the accident was a piece of scrap metal which lay on the road. It got caught in one of the wheels and the car swerved off the road onto a lagre metal pole that held up a billboard. It was nobody’s fault.
On the eve of their death anniversary, Adam brought up his parents’ death at dinner. Overcome by hormones, he accused his Aunt of killing his parents. Despite his Aunt’s calm, Adam didn’t stop. In conclusion to the attack of words, he stormed out of his home with a bag filled with what he thought was enough for his survival and all of the money he had.
Three days on, he didn’t really regret his decision. He didn’t know what he felt. Did he want to go back? Was he content with living with his friend? Would he ever see her again?
As his thoughts came back to him standing in his living room, he became aware that it was a dream. He looked upon his Aunt. She had fallen asleep, waiting for him to return. He never thought about the other side. How his Aunt felt. How she dealt with it. She did, after all, love him. She was his mother in all respects, except, she wasn’t the one who bore him as a foetus.
He thought about what she would have done in the morning that followed. Would she have gone walking in the morning like she always did? Would she care for her flower bed as she returned? Would she knock on the door to his room saying “The sun is up, you should be too!”? Would she hum the same tune as she prepared for work? Would she have the heart to go to work?
Adam knew the answer to every one of those questions. All those questions could be answered with just one monosyllabic word. No. His heart sank as he realized the magnitude of pain he had caused Auntie Cyndie. Tears steadily filled his eyes. Purpose steadily filled his muscles. He knew what he wanted.
A whistling disturbance snapped him out of his slumber. He peered through his teary eyelids to see what caused him to awaken. He never loved open windows as much.
He got out of bed and dressed. He ceased to sob and smiled. He picked up his bag which he never unpacked. He bid his friend farewell. Then he left.