for Ragtag Daily Prompt which today is hosted by gizzylaw and the given word is Homecoming.
It was a sentimental journey. A journey back in time. She searched for the street. Was it here? No, perhaps it was around that corner over there. Yes, back home at last, back to the street in which she grew up. Back to the street filled with memories, happy memories because she was happy then.
But it wasn’t the street she remembered. Those apartments weren’t there back then, Auntie Julie was. And over there, what happened to Jamey’s house? It didn’t look like the one that stood there now. Jamey’s house was a friendly house that smiled. This was a cube which frowned. What happened to Jamey?
She’d played in this street. Marbles, hopscotch, chase … ‘you’re it’! She remembered the time they played ball and she kicked it through Mrs Mason’s window. The sound of breaking glass rang in her ears as the memories flooded back. But Mrs Mason’s house was no longer there. They’d run away and hid behind the massive oak tree on the corner, that corner over there. What happened to the oak tree, why was it gone?
As she turned the bend in the road a terrace came into view. Her heart leapt. It was the row of houses where she’d lived. Her little house was still there, right in the middle. She walked a little faster and then began to run. Her mind filled with images and her ears filled with sounds. Sounds of laughter, for she was happy there. Oh, how she longed to feel Tibbles the fat black cat brush against her legs. She so wanted to hear the chiming bells of the ice cream van as it sat across the street.
But why were there boards over the windows? Why wasn’t grumpy Mrs Brown next door peeping out from behind her net curtains? Why couldn’t she see the bright yellow door on the house she grew up in? Why did it say ‘Keep out, condemned’ where her door used to be?
Condemned. She’d returned to her street to relive her memories. It had been the only place she’d ever been happy. Since she left, her life was condemned. Tragedy, sadness and despair waited around every corner. Now it was as if her happy memories were condemned too.