The house.

I can’t believe the tree is still there. I have not been back to my childhood house for almost twenty years yet here I am and I’m petrified, exhilerated, anxious and excited all at once. I didn’t want to come but a fight has led us here.

David has said I need to let go of old pathways. That room, behind the tree: It was mine, well, I shared it with my sister.

It has pink curtains now, otherwise it looks exactly the same from here. So many memories good and bad swirl around me as I talk hurriedly to the kids, who are asking questions faster than I can think and so the words tumble from my mouth in thoughtless abandon.

My breath catches in my throat and for all the world I want to cry. It looks like such an ordinary house but it’s history is anything but.

Secrets and terror and sadness but it’s intermingled with happiness and laughter and hazy images of childhood: Sitting on the mission brown tiled verandah on a hot, sticky day, the underside of my legs burning. I kind of liked the feeling. It made me feel alive – Mum, her emerald green dress with white polkadot pockets hiked up to her hipline, her head tipped back, resting against the blonde brick.

I was never quite sure whether the heat was radiating from the house or from the woman who had given me life. A tear away brother and sister playing under the sprinkler, mud splashing in long arcs onto their bronzed, cozzied bodies, slick, wet, stringy hair stuck to faces with huge toothless grins, laughter echoing in the confines of the yard.

The endless days of Summer. I wind down the window so that I can take a photo of the house that I felt I had no ties and suddenly, I am sure I can smell the heady scent of rain on concrete and the memories stir once more.

As we drive away, my mind is filled with stories. That house! That house that I left behind with all of the pain and the tears the loathing and the suffering. That house suddenly seems like a home and for the first time in my adulthood I like the memories flooding in and I remember that some of my childhood was wonderful.