I have not visited this house, my childhood home, in manws. This
place is no longer my home; the events that occurred here prevent
that, but I cannot bring myself to leave without saying good-bye.
The scarred wooden door opens reluctantly, creaking, as if in pain.
I understand its reluctance to let anyone in; it, like me, may have just
I drift through the corridors, wandering past the remnants of my life
before: past the remnants of her.
I ascend the stairs slowly, trailing my fingers over the bannister
we used to spend hours sliding down, now dusty and rotting away.
The wind howls through broken windows, and the billowing drapes
look like lonely ghosts struggling to escape the confines of the house.
Lying abandoned on the ground is the one-eyed doll that we
fought over constantly, now staring vacantly at the ceiling. I look
away quickly, the glassy eye conjuring up memories of that night.
Swallowing the lump in my throat, I continue down the hallway,
and come to a sudden halt.
At the end of the corridor is an old photograph of a family which,
to all outward appearances, seems perfectly happy. I trace the brittle
grins with a fingernail. That seemingly untroubled family doesn’t
exist anymore, and I’m not sure it ever really did. My eyes linger on
the face of the little blonde girl with pigtails and stars in her eyes. I
watched the life fade from those eyes.
I am responsible. I have always known, deep down, that it was my
fault; I was weak, and it was my cowardice that killed her. I let that
monster murder my only sister, and for that I will never forgive
I sink to the floor with my head in my hands, the pain in my heart
unbearable. It feels like I’m being torn apart from the inside. A tear
slipping down my cheek surprises me; it has been a long time since I
allowed myself that vulnerability. I catch it on my finger, and watch
as it leaves a shimmering trail down my hand, before falling down to
land on a faded page of sheet music.
I stare at it; a manifestation of my sorrow sinking into a relic of
one of my only happy memories. Music was my only escape from the
monster that lived in our house, and he managed to destroy even
that. Dragging myself out of the memories, I follow the trail of sheet
music towards a room full of secrets and despair.