Where is Home?
“Papa,” the boy called, “I can’t fit everything in this.”
The boy stood next to his bed. A cardboard box sat on the bed. His father gave specific instructions that he could take anything with him that fit in the box.
“If it doesn’t fit, you must leave it behind.” His father said with pain in his throat.
The tenement building was being vacated one apartment at a time. Many of the residents had left and the while the upkeep wasn’t an issue, there just wasn’t the desire to live in this community any longer.
“Then we can come back for them next week?” The boy asked.
“No. We are not coming back.”
The boy, overwhelmed with confusion, began to take short breathes. His eyes welled with water and he began to wail.
The owners of the building did their best to keep it together, but with less renters, the cost was also spread over less. It wasn’t enough to keep it a viable option.
“We will get you new toys when we get there.”
Rubbing his eyes and taking a gasping breath the boy replied, “get where?”
“When we get home.”
“I thought this was home? Papa, this is home.”
The only bedroom the boy knew was the one he was now tasked with deserting. It was the room where he first saw his father slay the boogeyman; the room where he stored action figures just under the bed to guard any monsters from entering. This was the room where the Superman night-light flickered in an uneven but soothing pattern letting the boy fall fast asleep.
“This was our home, but not anymore.”
“Where is home?”
The father grabbed the son and pulled him towards his chest. Lifting his son off the ground, the father wrapped his arms around him.
The father let the boy down and watched as he ran to the box and closed it.
“Done.” He said.
The two packed the car with all of their belongings and left to start a new chapter.
There was no perfect ending, nor a demented twist.
It was a new beginning.