The first time you returned home, you felt relief. Happiness. Protected. You wanted to make the best use of those seven days that you were home for. When things got rough away from home, you wanted to run home to your comfort zone. Once you were there, everything seemed right, in place, and you didn’t want anything to ever change again.
The first thing you did on reaching home was, call your friends, relatives and ask them to meet you during the week. Those seven days were dedicated to only your loved ones. You didn’t want to talk to anyone from the other city, because who needed them when you had family? Family first, right?
Then it was time to leave home and go back. You made the most of those seven days, but it still felt insufficient. Yet you found comfort in knowing that if something went wrong, you had a place, you could return to where everything would be alright.
Months passed and you longed for this vacation again. This time the feeling was weaker. But you still wanted to go home, rejuvenate, get pumped and then return. So you went home again, for a vacation. You take a longer break this time because you felt seven days weren’t enough the last time.
You reach home and the first thing you do is call your friend from the other city to let them know, you’ve reached. The call goes on for longer than expected pissing off your family. You carry on with your family rendezvous et al. Making sure to call that friend every day to exchange updates. You have your first family argument in a very long time. Because in your previous visit, seven days were too less to have one. You’re frustrated and you’ve had enough of the ‘comfort’ the ‘protection’ the ‘relief’. When the day to return arrives, you are the happiest. A little sad to leave behind some good friends and to know you won’t be seeing your old man and lady in a long time. But still, happy to go back.
This time when you’re back, you seem to have finally accepted and love this city for what it is. Knowing you’ll be there for only a couple of months before you leave for good, you start making the most of it.
‘A bad day day? who cares? I’m leaving anyway. Let’s drink it off.’
There are fewer stressful days because you chose what to stress over this time. All this while, afraid of getting too attached to temporary people. Now, all of a sudden, you don’t care. You let yourself find your circle. You let yourself fall in love. You let yourself indulge. You see the city from a whole new perspective and you LOVE it! Time flies the fastest when you’re this happy and comfortable.
It’s time to leave again, this time for good. While everyone around you is bummed about that, you are on top of the world, soaking in as much possible in the final days. Something like ‘The surge,’ which is the last surge of energy before a terminally-ill patient dies. It’s your last day there and you decide to go tell the people you love, that you love them hoping to part ways with a fist bump or something. What were you thinking? There were waterworks. Lots of it whilst promises were made. Promises to stay in touch. Promises to not.
Then you leave. Not knowing what happens next, if you’ll ever return. If you’ll ever see those faces again. If you’ll ever see your flat again. That road. That Cafe. That riverfront. That language. What if you return? What happens, then?
You wake up the next day in your room at ‘Home’. It’s your first day back and everyone’s celebrating. There’s happiness everywhere. You find yourself moving around in slow-motion letting out polite smiles amongst a fast-forwarded crowd. Something feels different this time. There’s no ‘relief’. There’s no ‘comfort’. You’re happy to see family, of course but why does it not feel like Home? Why does it not feel like the past two trips you made here. All of a sudden, this city, your ‘home’ feels like a whole new place. Like you’re on your own again, starting from scratch. There’s a saying, ‘Home is where the heart is’, you’ve experienced it to be true.