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Into the fold

I vowed never to return to this place that had caused me so much angst and at the time I truly meant what I had said. We’d had our clashes as families often do, but that night was different. Nothing could’ve ever prepared me for those words.

Words can cut you to your core, creating deep and festering wounds that are hard to heal. With the passing of time we may be able to forgive. The scars do remain and it is these are not as easy to forget.

I approached the door of the house with trepidation, unsure as to whether I’d ever be welcomed back into the fold. Walking tentatively forward, my heart was racing, galloping in my chest like a thoroughbred tearing down the straight. I still had time to turn back, get into my car and drive away, back to my life where I felt happy, but I had crossed the threshold.

I stood motionless at the black door, quite hesitant of what would come next. The ornate brass door knocker looked the same as it always had, bronzed by the elements and far too grand for such a modest residence. As a matter of fact, not much had changed at the house at all. Well tended roses still lined the path leading to the porch, the lawn still expertly manicured and the car in the driveway. The illusion of the happy family was complete, but not everything is what it may seem.

The night I left was in the middle of winter, rain teeming down and tears pouring from my eyes.

Toe to toe in the living room, things had finally reached their crescendo.

“How could you say that? I’m your son, not a bloody stranger in the street.”

“You’re not my son. No son of mine lives like that.”

” Like what Dad? Like what? Go on, say it or are you too much of a coward to even say the words.”

“You’re dead to me. You hear me, Dead to me.”

I threw whatever I could into a backpack, desperate to escape. I never thought I’d come back after I’d left under such acrimonious circumstances. Years would pass before I’d ever even contemplate returning. My father was dying, a hand written letter informing me of his condition, smattered with Mum’s tears, pleading for me to return. Accompanying the letter was a photograph, when we were all happy. Mum loved this photo, so to part with it must have been nigh on impossible. If she’d parted with this, I knew he didn’t have much time left.

My mother and I kept in touch, often meeting in secret and away from the prying eyes of the neighbourhood. It broke her heart when I left, even though that’s never what I intended. She was always supportive and understood my life choices. I just wanted to be happy and tread my own path, not the one he’d expected of me.

This moment had played out many times in my head, with a different ending each time. Years had passed and been lost, but I could not hold onto this anger any longer. It is a toxic emotion that eats away at you if you let it, and I was determined to be the better person.

I knew I should be filled with rage, and hate was an emotion that seemed quite right in this situation. I spent years in the wilderness, lost and alone drifting aimlessly through life, down the bottom of any bottle and whatever I could find to dull the memories of that night.

My new partner, a beautiful and gentile soul who was everything I could ever ask for, helped me see the light. He filled my heart with love and told me to make peace, not for him, but for me. I was here to extend the olive branch and make peace, in the hope he would accept it.

I steeled myself, took a deep breath and knocked on the door.

© T. Zerafa 2023

This, like much of my prose is a piece of fiction.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my writing. If you haven’t read any of my other pieces, take a look through my blog. Please feel free to like, share, subscribe or comment below.


One response to “Into the fold”

  1. What a beautiful story, Tony. I love the pace and the flashbacks leading up to the moment at the door. Well done.


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