Flicking the light switch, up, then down, then repeating a few times in a vain effort to change the known, a smile appears on my face and I look down the long corridor. Serene, at peace, a long solemn but never forgotten building. I’d lived here, as a child, until I thought that I was ready to face the world, the great supposed known. I knew little back then, probably still don’t know enough, but if I could I’d have probably stayed a little bit longer.
I was eager, alive, full of energy, just like the walls in front of me and probably as tough. They most certainly no longer make houses like this. Running my fingers across the wall, as I slowly walk forward, I close my eyes a little, remembering the daily buzz. Playing with toys, from one end to the other, trying not to trip anyone as they went. My Father, as with many Fathers, wasn't here that much or, if he were, silence was the spoken tongue until he left again. Mother, as usual, stayed to turn us into the adults we were destined to be. She tried her best, being as magical as she was, always remaining someone to cherish, to look up to, but like many things in this world… there is a time.
A momentary second of sadness floods my mind. I know that I'm never alone but, no matter who I'm with, there will always be that space. This building, with its mood filled light emanating through the window at the end of this hallway, would always stay within a small little secret place within my mind. Memories, mostly good, always a smiling event, bring with them a longing to return to such easier days. I know that it won’t happen, it’s far too late for that, but I can at least revisit one, last, little, time.
It’s odd to think, to realise, that no matter how many oceans you travel, no matter the names you write across your lips, you still return to those special places and moments. As children we might eventually let go of the comfort blankets, the teddies of safety, but there will always be moments that hold and comfort. I know that I don’t need such things, as I'm supposed to be strong, a statue, never failing to protect the ones I love, but there will always, always, be cracks just below that surface of valour. I do, after all, harbour broken souvenirs that no-one will ever take from me.
I remember stamping my foot, in defiance, in this very doorway all those years previous. My Mother, being the way she was, didn't shout and simply waited for me to calm myself. Shouting didn't work, as we were kids, my Sister and I, but what did work was common sense. Mother would eventually sit me, while I was still in a mood, then calmly explain the circumstances. On this occasion, she said something that has stayed with me right until this very day and that little slice of advice was the following, “The longer you spend in a mood, the longer you waste time that could be used playing. There’s a reason why Mother says no and, if you’d just accept that, your life would be a lot easier”. I reflected for a long time, sat there, using this silly brain of mine, to reach a conclusion that was obviously obvious. Mother knew best. Always had. Always did. Always will.
This house, right now, was reaching the end of its life, with a new dawn arriving, looking for a friend that was no longer there. Time moves on, always, which means the old is eventually, in many cases, replaced with the new. It’s a progression, it’s life, it’s the cycle we’re stuck within and, even when this house and home is torn down I’ll still drive past and remember. This place, right here, held my heart within my Mother’s hands. It’s part of me. We all have places that are part of us.
As I reach the end of the corridor, I glance back down the hallway, for the very last time. Nodding ever so slightly I remind myself to never forget, to never let time fade my memories and moments. This place has felt my tears, had my blood touch its surface in one of those grandiose childish falls, heard me shout and held me so close. “Goodbye”, I said under my breath.
For everything, there is a time.