Upon Reflection

I turn the keys in the ignition and start driving. Originally, I had no direction, no clear intent. No particular place I was heading. But as I turn off into that all-too-familiar road, I become aware of my surroundings.

As I drive down the road of my childhood, on my left is the giant electrical tower. It was intentionally built for mobile reception, though nowadays it just stands there with no purpose. Abandoned. The menacing tower stares down at me. I turn my head back to the road and keep driving.

I pass Jeffery’s old house. It looks different now, unrecognisable. I pull over and step onto the pavement to observe the house. The windows have been smashed through, though there is no trace of glass fragments around. The wooden slates are old and frayed. The once beautiful garden of different shades of colours of the spectrum now bears no life. What once was a beautiful garden, admired by neighbours, is now a gravesite for what was. This house could no longer be liveable.

Images start flashing in my head. It’s of us. We’re playing the game we created one long, hot summer. We called it Survivor.

I start to feel a burn in my chest. My happy memories of this place are now more painful than the sombre ones.

As I move more towards my old home, I begin to think of the game Jeffrey and I played when we were younger. He used to hide my dolls, and when I got closer to finding them he would shout “colder…warmer…hotter!”
That’s what I feel like as I move towards this place. The hotter I get, the more it burns.

I stand out the front of the house that holds all of my memories. The birthdays, the Christmases… The day my dad left. I feel an overwhelming attachment to the place of my upbringing. It feels to me like a personality trait, it is a part of who I am.

I look to the tree that once held the tire swing my dad had made for Jeffery and I one summer. We played from morning until sunset, when we were called in for dinner. Now it’s bare and dead, like a...