I was going home. After six months. I looked at the bus in front of me. I could still turn back and pretend as though nothing had happened, but it was getting harder to ignore that little voice in my head. I knew, that if I had to find some inner peace, I had to go.
I boarded the last bus out. I had packed light, I didn’t intend to stay for too long. I couldn’t. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to provide the kind of support my family wanted from me. I just wasn’t strong enough. I leaned back into my seat and tried not to think about the past. Luckily for me, the bus had a television set and within minutes of the bus’s departure, the conductor put on a garish movie. I tried to concentrate on the movie but the demons of the past started haunting me the instant it was over.
I leaned back and breathed deeply. I forced myself not to think of her. I had blocked her out for the past six months. But now, knowing what was about to come, knowing that I was going to be in places where she had been, the memories came flooding back.
I closed my eyes and felt the cool breeze around my face. I could feel the tears at the back of my eyes. I bit my lips, this was a very bad idea. I couldn’t even manage the bus ride back home, how was I going to face everybody?
And then I let go. I let go of the wall I had built around me and memories after memories came rushing inside my head. Some happy, some sad. But all left me hollow and silent tears flowed down my cheeks. Better to let it all out now, I thought, than to withhold it and have a break down in front of the family.
After I had exhausted myself, I stared out of the window and watched the world rush by. And slowly, I drifted off to sleep.
It was exactly as I remembered it. Nothing had changed. Well, almost nothing.
There was nobody to pick me up, that was new. My sister used to come every time, even though we stayed very close to the bus stop. I picked up my stuff and started walking back home.
I reached the house and somehow, it looked forbidding and cold. It wasn’t always like this. There was a time when there was constant hustle bustle around it, with laughter and happiness emitting out of it.
Everything had changed now. Everything had changed since my sister had died.