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Creative writing about leaving home

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Leaving Home

You’re tired. You’ve been tired for a long time, you know, but before you had always thought that if you were strong enough, believed enough, was good enough, maybe the tiredness in your bones will pass and you’ll learn to live the way your friends does. But it didn’t work out like that. The cycle of self-hatred and not being good enough still continued, your words stuck in your throat and your tears hidden beneath your blanket. You know it will continue unless you let them go. It will continue unless you leave.

The thought sends a shudder through your body, your heart aching the same way it did when you first realized it. The sting in your eyes is familiar too, but this time no tears fell from your eyes. You’ve run out of tears to cry, you think, and the only thing left in you is the pain in your heart and the anger thrumming in your veins. The hatred, bitter tasting and terribly strange at first, hums pleasantly beneath your skin the way love used to do.

You take a deep breath, and lets it go, your eyes fixed on the door in front of you. It loomed above you, once upon a time, a witness to everything that happened in this household, a secret keeper that will remain silent forever. When you were younger, you thought of it as a protector, a guardian that separated you from them. As a teen, it was your jailer, something that keeps you away from the freedom you’ve been longing for. And now, as an adult, you see it for what it is – a piece of wood, nothing but a tool in the grand scheme of things but is still so incredibly familiar that it almost makes you laugh.

You reach out, pushing it open, with your back straight and your head held high. Your grandfather looks up and smiles, soft and warm and familiar, and you purse your lips into a smile that is more of a grimace. He looks at you with a knowing glint in his eyes, and suddenly you feel bare, your anger and hatred and fears exposed in the brightness of the living room. It had always been like this, you think, him looking at you and knowing things he shouldn’t, and you keeping quiet with the knowledge that he sees things no one else does.

Your grandmother shuffles towards the both of you, carrying a tray of warm drinks that always tasted like heaven but never the same, and your smile turns a little more genuine, a little more warm. She had always been like this, too, warmth and home and the feeling of being cared for. Love rises in your heart, and it was almost enough to make you hesitate, make you doubt, make you wish that things didn’t end up like this. Almost, but not quite enough.

It will never be enough, because if there’s one thing everyone in this house taught you it’s that love isn’t always enough. It wasn’t enough to make your mother stay, it wasn’t enough to stop your father’s anger, and it certainly wasn’t enough for your grandparents to not leave you behind. It wasn’t enough for your aunts and uncles to be happy for you, either, but you’ve always known you’ll never be enough for them no matter how high you reached and how much you’ve achieved. You accepted this already, and its easier to ignore now.

You’re grandmother takes a seat, pushing a cup of black coffee towards you, and you pick it up. You take a sip, and the warmth blooming in your chest is a familiar feeling, and you whisper your thanks. She nods, a warm smile on her lips. Your grandfather watches silently, and you try to find the words you had practiced since the moment you realize you can’t go on like this.

Just say it‘, you quietly reminded yourself, knowing that if you didn’t you will never do it. You also know you’ll regret it, the same way you regretted keeping quiet about a lot of things, ‘just say it.’

But how do you begin? Where do you begin? Do you tell them your thought process, list every reason you’ve hoarded through the years you’ve been alive? Do you tell them how inadequate they made you feel, how worthless? Do you tell them how much you love them, and how it weighs heavily in your mind because you realized that you’ve never loved anyone without hating them at the same time?

“I’m leaving,” you hear someone say, and it takes two beats of your heart to realize that it was you. Your grandparent’s smile falters, and something inside you stills. Confusion clouds their faces, and suddenly you realize that for all that they had always seemed bigger than life they are still human, and cannot know everything. You feel your lips curl into a smile, and while a part of you still feels guilty, a bigger, louder part feels pleased. It dies as soon as your grandmother opens her mouth to speak, and terror replaces it.

“Are you sure?” she says kindly, and wariness replaces the terror you were feeling, “You have never lived alone before.”

You blink slowly, and you feel a slightly hysterical laughter rise up within you. Never lived alone? Did she forget that time everyone left you behind, with a decaying house as a shelter? Have she forgotten that time when they left you, no water and no electricity, with only your father as a support? Have she forgotten that for all your father loved you, he had never lived with you – not since you were a child?

You swallow the laughter, and breathes. You give a smile, teeth behind your lips, and eyes meeting hers as you look up. She looks concerned, wary and confused, and a part of you understands that perhaps she had forgotten. Perhaps, to them, those days are not worth remembering, unimportant the same way everything you’ve ever said is. You understand, just like you understood that your mother put herself first and your father placed his beliefs before you. And you accepted it, the same way you accept everything they threw at you, because for all that you are angry you still love them, and that still means something.

But just because you understand doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, and just because you accept it doesn’t mean you’re not angry and bitter about it.

“I’m sure, Gran,” you answer, voice soft and quiet – the same voice you’ve always used with them, “I think it’s time for me to learn.”

The words – lies, you think, and it makes you furious that you’re still using embellishments despite saying you’ll be honest this time – falls off your tongue as easily as breathing. Your grandfather stays quiet, eyes glazing as he looks at something beyond you – he’s always been like this too. He looks and sees and watches – but not you. Not you, his eyes always looking through you but never anyone else. It iswas maddening, especially when you finally realized that this is because he still sees your mother instead of you.

(How many times did he call her name instead of yours, how many times did he apologize for it? Too many times, you think, and never.)

The three of you falls into contemplation, and you think about the different things that happened through the years, and the fact that you loved them for every second of it – and the fact that hated them, too. It feels unfair, sometimes, and it always, always hurts. But this is just another fact of life that you understand, another reason among hundreds, and you know that whatever they tell you today it will not change your mind.

“Ah,” your Gran nods, “do you have everything ready?”

She doesn’t smile, but you do, small but more genuine than your wide smiles had ever been. You don’t know if they see it, doesn’t know if they realize it, but those words feels like freedom and relief floods you so suddenly that it almost feels surreal. You acknowledge that you like this feeling better than everything else.

“Yeah,” you nod back, shoulders relaxing, “I do. I’ve found this really nice place near the museum I’m working in. I’ve already payed the first month’s rent. It comes with a kitchen and a bathroom.”

“So you’ve already planned this,” a familiar voice from behind you says, and you turn to look at your mom. Her eyes are sharp, lips pulled in a small frown. You forgot that she was visiting. You had hoped that you wouldn’t encounter her at all.

(You love her too, but you hate her more than you hate your grandparents and your father, and as unfair as it is the feeling of her betrayal never managed to leave you.)

“Yes,” you answer, and oh. Oh.

You keep your voice calm, and gives her a wide, bland smile. A part of you wants to tell them just how long you’ve planned this – a good portion of your life, you think – but managed to keep quiet about it. One of the things you learned is that you do not owe people an explanation. You don’t owe them anything, and even now its still one of the hardest and most freeing thought you learned to accept.

“When are you leaving?” your grandfather asks, and you smile at him.

“Tomorrow, as soon as the sun rises.”

Silence descends on the four of you once more, less contemplative and more judging. You let them be, but wasn’t quite able to crush the sudden guilt that rises up within you. But the hardest part is done, and you’ve said what you need to say. That’s enough, you think, and so you start to stand. You should have known it wouldn’t be that easy, though, and her words freezes you on your spot.

“That’s it?” Your mother says, soft but dangerous, “You’re gonna leave just like that? You didn’t even tell us before you got yourself an apartment, and informed us the night before you leave?”

A million replies raise in your head – ‘Don’t you remember? I’ve told you this before.’ is one of the most obvious ones, and you almost blurt it out. But when you open you’re mouth –

“I need to grow up, and find myself. I can’t do that if I rely on you too much. You understand that, don’t you, mom?”

And the familiar phrase tastes bitter on your tongue, fueled by your rage and the hundreds of times when she had asked you the same question again and again and again, ever since she returned in your life when you were 12. The way she stiffens almost makes you feel guilty, but not quite. So you give them a smile and rises unhindered, your feet taking you inside your room once more. The soft click of your lock fills you with relief and you knees felt weak. You do not collapse, though, even if it seems like you would.

On your bed lies your suitcase, your clothes already folded neatly inside. Multiple backpacks filled with papers and books and notebooks and empty pens lay around it, and you let out a trembling sigh. You would say that the room feels empty without it, but the truth is that only your clothes needed packing. You rarely take out your belongings from their bags, and most of the decorations in here are your sister’s.

You’re leaving tomorrow. 12 years of waiting, give or take a few months, and finally you’re free. Both of your siblings had graduated, one of them already have a stable job and the other already starting hers, and the weight on your chest eases once more. You approach your bed, carefully placing them beside your bed, before lying down. You fix your headphones and turns the volume as loud as you can, and in the tune of your favorite song you fall asleep.

leaving home – quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing

Though I leave home, our bond remains, travelling different pathways yet eternally connected.

Leaving home is so very bitter sweet. It is part of growing, of moving onward into new challenges. It is important, I feel, to give thanks to what has been, for in doing so the future walks upon a clean pathway.

These brick walls have been my cocoon for the years I needed their sanctuary, and I thank them. My eyes wander their rugged clay surface, their rosy colour bright yet earthen. My hands feel the warmth of sun, imparted to them yet given back with a steady determination. Leaving home was never going to be easy, yet I take these emotions with me, these memories of comfort and joy.

Leaving home has been coming for so long, as the headlamps of some faraway train. As it pulls into the station there is a sense of shock, yet of course I knew it would come. Still, living in that moment I realise that it is a transition that will live with me all my days.