Prompt: Nothing changes or nothing had changed (open-ended).
As I turn onto the street holding my childhood home, my heart speeds up. I drive slowly, telling myself it’s in case there are children playing near the road even though I know I’m procrastinating the inevitable. A lot has changed since I was last here; I’m a different person now.
I park in front of the house, not sure if anyone is home, secretly hoping no one is so I can leave and tell myself I tried. The yard seems to stretch on endlessly as I walk to the front door, each step a mile. Why am I so nervous?
Deep down, I know exactly what’s causing my avoidance: fear. It’s an emotion everyone understands. I’m afraid that they’ll be disappointed in me, that they will think I’m as stupid as I do, validating all the self-hatred I’ve been storing away since the engagement fell apart. I’m afraid they’ll think less of me for being naive.
They’re definitely home, glass door a window into the home. I see my mom cross through the kitchen as I raise my hand ring the doorbell. The motion catches her eye, and she turns, her face breaking into a wide smile as she rushes toward the door.
“Yeah there wasn’t much traffic,” I reply as I’m swept into a hug.
“Come in, come in,” she says, releasing me and stepping aside.
I step into the warmth of home, my dad walking into the kitchen and smiling. Maybe things haven’t changed after all.