Looking out the window of her car, she pulled the keys out of the ignition, reaching for the handle of the door with her other hand. With her fingers wrapped around the door handle, she closed her eyes, breathed in deeply, and counted softly under her breath from 1 to 10. She shook her head from side to side, almost as if to shake the intrusive thoughts away.
Opening the car door she stood up and, shoving the car keys into her back pocket, she closed the door behind her and slowly walked up to the fence in the front of the house. Pulling the lever up on the fence she walked into the yard that she had once sworn she would never again walk into.
Walking through the front yard towards the house that (she supposed) was now hers, she spotted the little wooden swing she used to sit on, rocking back and forth thinking about the world around her, from when she was just a young child ‘till she was almost an adult.
She took a detour off the path that would lead her to the house and onto the one that led her to her swing. Walking up to her swing she ran her hands down the rope and across the seat as if greeting an old friend, which in a way she was. Finally she sat down on the wooden seat, grabbed onto the two pieces of rope on both sides, and slowly started moving back and forth.
The moment she sat down onto the swing she started thinking about the very memories she had spent years of her adult life trying to bury. She thought of the night her mother and father yelled so loud they woke her up from her sleep. She thought of the same night that she had sneaked into the living room to investigate the noise just in time to see her father pull his hand back and slap her mother straight across the face.
The more she swung, the more memories emerged. She started thinking of the night, years later, when he had turned around and started hitting her, only to get stopped by her mother. She thought of the nights he had snuck into her room, and having (even as a young child) known that it was wrong. She thought of the night she told her mother, only to have her mother not believe her.
She kept on thinking, knowing that until she got everything out of her system, in the very same way she had been forced to as a child, she wouldn’t be able to go into that house, not with the memories that lay hidden there. So she kept on swinging.
She kept on swinging and thinking of days and nights long past, until she felt that she was ready. By then she felt as if a good while had gone by in what was really only about 20 or 30 minutes. Standing up from the swing she had been swaying slowly on, she got back onto the path to the house, and walked up to the house with her head high.
I guess that things from our childhood, the things that comforted us and the things that tormented us, never truly leave us.