“Why do we have to leave?” the young girl asked curiously. She was young, she did not yet know of the ghosts that can follow and stay with you. Some ghosts minor, others major and some stay long enough that it feels like forever.
She crouched down to her daughter’s height and met her gaze. “You’ll understand as you get older baby, because as much as you try to stay to toughen out through your problems, sometimes you just can’t. Sometimes, in special circumstances, running away is the only option.”
The young girl met her mother’s response with an embrace. Her head nestled next to her daughter’s as a single tear flowed down her cheek. She withdrew and wiped the tear from her face as she proceeded to take the remaining belongings and stuff them into the back of the car.
Once she was finished, she helped her daughter into the car before the little girl stated, “I wish we didn’t have to leave. This is our home Mummy.”
“I know baby, I know. But, sometimes baby, home isn’t in the form of a place. It can be in the form of a person. I’ll tell you what, I’ll be your home if you would be mine? Okay?”
“Okay Mummy.” The little girl agreed, before she was promptly met with a tickle.
It was then that they noticed him, a tall, tanned, rugged man. Although he looked innocent, the woman knew better. And knew that sometimes a person’s looks can ultimately betray their personality. He met their gazes with a brief smile before he proceeded to sit on the neighbour’s fence. His gaze fixated as he did.
The woman hurriedly got in the car and locked the doors before turning the ignition and backing out of the driveway. ‘What a shame a good moment had to be ruined’ she pondered.
A short silence had now filled the empty car space. They had now been travelling for half an hour, with the Mother’s fear failing to diminish during that time.
“Mummy, who was that guy staring at you?” The young girl asked, breaking the silence with which the woman was desperate to sustain.
She wanted to reply with, ‘Your Father’. But, she knew that those two words would stick with her for the rest of her life, and with the knowledge that her daughter’s curiousity would only heighten on the matter as she got older, she decided to tell her of a half truth instead. As telling her the truth were a task too impossible.
“Someone that I used to know… One the ghosts I had mentioned earlier.”
And as they continued along the busy road, it suddenly dawned on the woman that not only had they left the place that ever felt like home. But, they’d also left the man that had made that possible.