“Where are you off to now?” is my parent’s usual farewell when I’m back at home for a break. As I search for my keys, I’ll check the boxes of their list: Where, When, With Who, Love You. Two sets of haggard eyes watch the door shut behind me. Guilt builds up in back of my throat as I hop in my car and jet off to my destination.
Sometimes the guilt wins. I walk back inside my childhood home, sit down beside my mother, and spend some quality time with my parents. The three of us quietly watch a movie that none of us enjoy. When it’s over, my mother is snoring and my father has already crept off to bed. The silence is sickening as I walk down the narrow hall to my bedroom. My eyes scan the modest layout and come to rest on the focal point of the room: my bed.
I spent years of my life laying in that bed, obediently defeated. No one asked why I would spend hours, days, weeks, sleeping away my life. Confusion and melancholy filled my bones until they ached to be back in the safety of fleece and cotton. Not one hand reached out to dull the pain. Not one mouth spoke words of comfort. I was left to my own devices to escape. Where am I off to now? Anywhere but here.