It’s been a long journey, one lasting almost five years. What have I accomplished in those years? A three-year degree, a year working experience, and a year of wandering the ‘world’ in search of myself.
It felt strange to step into the doors of this house again. Even stranger to sit on this bed, and to know that momentarily I will fall asleep in this house as if those five years meant nothing. A clear, starry night outside my window. I remember I looked out those windows and found company in the moon whenever it appeared. Two years I lived completely alone, at the height of my teenage years. Brother had gone to university already, and my parents were already working back in Taiwan. So I spent those years and many more days alone in this big house. The freedom, the loneliness, the silence, the possibilities.
Everything is still a bit haywire at the moment. My boxes of belongings are still in boxes, and need to be unpacked. My room is now basically an empty room with empty cupboards and wardrobes, with only a bed that has been recently made in anticipation of my return. Other parts of the house are also a mess, since brother and his girlfriend have had little time to arrange things properly. Boxes, letters, advertising, manuals lie strewn everywhere. In a darkened corner in the dinning room stand all the things that the previous tenants have broken and shoddily tried to mend with cellotape and glue. Many more places in and around the house are dirty and run-down. A number of windows have shattered, some with small holes the size of bullets through them. It seemed like throughout the four years the tenants never bothered to clean the place, and instead treated it like it’s not their own. But that’s all in the past now.
My “Little Cat” is not so little any more, but has grown bigger, especially around her waist area. She hid herself when I came back, but then dragged her behind down the stairs to greet me, and purred as soon as she smelt my hands and heard me calling her. Crazy cat, I wonder what was going through her little her when she saw me after such a long time. She definitely recognizes me, but then she’s still a bit ‘shy’ and runs away from me whenever I approach too fast. In contrast, my brother, to whom she rarely went before I left, now gets the give-me-attention treatment as she straddles around his feet, brushing her little head and tail against his legs. In time she’ll come to accept my presence again, as I accept my presence in this house I’ve not lived in for five long years.
Time to start afresh. The next few days I should be busy arranging my room, and other places that need to be cleaned and organised. Then there’s lots of paperwork to sift through…bills, letters, announcements and junk mail. And dad asked me the daunting task to go ‘negotiate’ with the bank about the mortgage. This I was reminded of again when I called today to say that I arrived safely.
Home again. At least I’m safely home again. And brought back all the things I’ve learnt all along the way.