I’m too late, and only an old Clock on a small table greets me.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
The sound is deafening in empty walls of my ol’ home
Wondering aimlessly from room to room, I’m trying to find the signs of a mistake: there is an opened book on a bed… Page 156…Waiting to tell the story till the end.
A recipe on a kitchen table, longing to impress the guests coming later …
Calendar is full with notices, names, appointment dates….
An empty shampoo bottle and a dressing gown in the bathroom …
I wait in a corridor for the sound of a key turning in the lock. Tick Tock. Any second now …. Anytime… I count to three and then again. And again… One… Two… Three… Tick. Tock.
Seconds turn into minutes, minutes into eternity…
I slip down the wall and sit on the floor. Waiting. Counting.
I don’t know how many hours have passed by — I’ve must have been asleep. The air is rich with the smell of freshly cooked food, and for a moment I’m feeling hunger. I wonder, why nobody woke me up, but it doesn’t matter really: after so many years I’m home and that’s all what counts. I’m back.
I smile, thinking about all the stories I’m going to tell tonight. The stories about the places I’ve seen, the adventures I’ve had… I’ll keep the dark secrets of being away from home to myself: don’t want my family to worry about me. They will see, that I’m finally a grown up. I’ve turned out ok…. I’ll tell them, how much I’ve missed them all….
“Hay! I’m home!” – I walk into the big room,with the smile warming up my lips.
“You. Late. You. Late” -greats me the old clock.There is no mistake, I’m all alone.
The book is still opened on the page 156. I apologize to the heroes living on its pages and close it. This is not my story to finish.
Notices in the calendar ended up long before I came back home, and no new appointments were made for the rest of this year.
There still that food smell in the air, but it should’ve came from one of the neighbourly flats. I hear muted excitement of the cheering audience-somebody gets a bit of an evening TV after long day at work…
I freeze, unable to grasp the scale of devastation in me,and just now notice, that it’s evening already, and I need to switch the light on. But I lit a candle instead and sit down in a chair by the table with the old clock…
Tick. Tock. You. Late. The seconds turning into minutes,minutes disappearing in the eternity…You.Late.Tick.Tock.
“Do you want me to come and stay with you?”- asks my cousin on the telephone.
“No. It’s ok. I need some time”- I hear myself saying.
“Are you ok? “
“No. But I will be. Need time. Sorry.”
It’s good, that somebody understands. I will need that understanding , when the reality hits me with a bang the next day.
For now, I just stay here and listen to the old Clock counting seconds.
Tick. Tock. You. Late.