Start a piece with: “I am standing at my kitchen window…” (Be creative! Make the piece fit a specific genre such as mystery, horror, romance, etc.)
“I am standing at the kitchen window. I know that you can see me.” I was unsure of who I was talking to but someone was definitely there. Hiding in my garden. Squatting behind the trees. “Come out, otherwise I won’t hesitate to call the police.”
I hated the police. In bad areas, it’s usually down to the police. Where I live is a bad area. They don’t care when your house is robbed or if a neighbourhood boy is brutally beaten. They look the other and take bribes. They didn’t care when my wedding ring was stolen or when strangers are sitting in your garden.
I was lost in my hatred that I almost forgot the situation until I heard him. “No, you’re not”, said a voice from behind a plant.
“What makes you so sure I’ve got nothing to lose. Steal what you want I’ve got nothing of value here, anyway. Just leave my property. Leave me alone.”
“No,” the voice was louder, more confident and had more conviction. “I’m not here to steal.”
“Then, what do you wanna kill me for kicks? The angry lady who lives down the street by herself seems like an easy target. No one will miss her.”
“No, I’d never hurt you. Never.”
“That’s hard to believe from someone I don’t even know who I am talking to.”
“You know me.” A shadowy figure stepped out from the leaves.
I was still looking through the window. It was him. I’ve missed him for so many years and he stood in the garden. I still lived in the same house waiting for him to come back. Being depressed and staying in the house. I had lost my friends and my life because of that incident but, now, a part of that lost life has returned to me, right within my grasp.
I ran to the back door. Fumbling to unlock the door. I rushed to the garden as fast as I could, before I could wake up and realise it wasn’t real. Tears were streaming down my face and my vision was blurred but that didn’t stop me.
I crashed into my son’s arms just like when he was little and I used to comfort him. This time he rocked me in his arms, holding me tight. “Please dont”, he begged. That’s when I looked up and saw that his eyes were also glassy. “I’ll cry too but I’m so happy “. This only made the tears come out faster. There was a cold breeze that swept the surface. “It’s a cold night, let’s go in”, I said while wiping the last few tears with my sleeve.
He followed me into the house where I then locked the back doors immediately. I walked to the kettle and asked, :do you want tea?” He chuckled. “What’s so funny?” I asked
“It’s just in this situation, only you would worry about tea. You haven’t changed at all.”
“An old dog never learns new tricks. Besides, tea relaxes me.”
“I haven’t had a good cup of tea in a while.”
“Well, then you will get one now.”
He looked around the house. I could hear his footsteps walking on the floor whilst I was putting together some food. “Feel free to look upstairs, it hasn’t changed much or at all, for that matter.”
“It’s fine. I’m fine here. This is enough for now.”
I walked into the room with a tray of food and saw him flicking through our old picture album. He was much taller than before I only went up to his shoulder. Even his voice has changed to be unrecognisable.
I set the tray down in front of him. His eyes widened like when he was child. That’s one thing that will never change; his eyes.
He ate fast cramming the food down his throat. “No dear, savour the food because it’s not going anywhere”. He did what was instructed and just like that I felt like a mum again. The last four years disintegrated. We were as we always were.
I stared at him while he ate. “Why are you looking at me that?”
“You look just like your father,” I said with my eyes starting to fill with water again. “I just really missed you two. It’s lonely here. Even, your sister has a life of her own and she’s moved on from here. I miss seeing her everyday, as well.”
“You can live with her, she’s the type that always offers.”
“But if I go, how do you know where to visit me?”
“Well, I could go there instead”.
“But you don’t like seeing other people.
Why don’t you come back home. Live her for a while and settle down.”
“Why not? Where have you been. After your father died. You were 17 and your sister was 19, you were our rock. She was never good with feelings but you could always make us feel better, we needed you. I thought everything was eventually fine after two years but you left a note in your room. Saying ‘I’m going to find the truth. Just forget about me. I might not come back but ill try my hardest to see everyone again. That’s a promise.'”
I walked over to the fridge and grabbed the only piece of paper on it, held by a magnet which read ‘best mum’.
I chucked the piece of paper at him, but he just hung his head in shame. “How sad is that I don’t have any pictures that my kids drew on the fridge but I kept that note. I thought it was a suicide note or that you were dead but I kept it because I wanted to know the truth. So, what is the truth?”
He was still looking down at his toes with his knees trembling. His eyes were locked at his toes even when he stuttered out, “I don’t know. I’ve been gone for four years and I don’t fucking know. I’m not any closer than I was on the day I left.”
My maternal instincts couldn’t help but give him a big hug. I was still his mum after all. He wept. “I missed a lot. College. My sisters wedding and her graduation. My chance of being a good uncle. I left you guys alone for dad’s anniversaries.”
“But you are young you can still have that life. I’ll call your sister now.”
“No. I can’t do that. I may have not found the thing I was looking for but I found other things. Things which aren’t meant to be known.”
“What truth were you looking for? What was worth it?”
“It was dad.” Those words hurt me, however, I tried to brush it off. “Your father was a great man. But he died. He’s dead now.”
“That’s just the thing, mum, he didn’t just die. He was murdered. And to this day, six years later, we don’t know by who by or their motive.”
“It was probably just a mugger.”
“You know that isn’t true. Dad was a simple man. And it showed. He couldn’t even use a phone, let alone own one. He had the same jacket for eight years, so he clearly didn’t have enough money to be killed for. It wasn’t just a random person and occurrence, it was planned”.
It hurt the more he spoke about his father. I tried not to remember how they found his body in a puddle of blood mixed with water from the rain. In the cold and by himself.
“He took the same route for years so they knew where he would be and took that opportunity.”
“Who are they?”
“Exactly. And they know that I know. That’s why I can’t stop now.”
“You are starting to sound crazy.”
“You’re the one being crazy. You are allowing dad’s murderer to walk the streets. You aren’t even acknowledging the fact that it was planned.”
“No one would want to harm him. He was harmless and didn’t get involved in things of this nature, like you said he was a simple man.”
“Look at the evidence. Remember dad’s last few days, he seemed a little bit off. He worked in a company with this area’s dodgiest man. My thought is that he heard something he wasn’t meant to. Something a man of his calibre should have ever known, so they eliminated him because they saw him as a threat.”
“Please stop, I don’t want to lose you too. I’ve already lost your father. I don’t want you to suffer from the same fate. Why look for this so called truth, if this is the reason your father died? They would kill you and that will kill me.”
“I’ve got to know. And you are the reason I’m doing this. All of this. Everyone deserves the truth and I will find it. Dad needs to rest in peace, now.” There was a long silence. “I missed out important parts in your sister’s life from being depressed and locking myself in the house. You know, she married her childhood sweetheart and gave birth to twins.” This was the first time since I was diagnosed, that I acknowledged the fact I was depressed.
“I would have guessed she married him. Is she happy?”
“Yeah. She really is. Huh. I’ve been really sad that I didn’t even notice how happy your sister truly is.” I immediately had a huge grin on my face. “She tried desperately to get me to talk but no matter how hard she tried, I still couldn’t talk about your father or you.”
“Mum, please talk about dad. He would be upset if you can’t remember the happy memories. He never wanted you to be sad. Talk about him, cry a little or a lot. But then go out with your daughter and grandkids because I promise I’m coming back and I want to see everyone together.”
There was a silence because I knew he was right. I sat there still digging up those memories I’ve kept hidden. I didn’t cry because I remembered him, the man I fell in love with and no matter how much i missed him, I regret nothing. “I think this is a great place to end it at.”
“No, don’t go”, I grabbed his arm. “Come on, mum, I can’t stay here.” There was something in my heart that I knew I had to let him go.
“Fine but I got to know, are you taking care of yourself? Getting enough sleep, eating healthy, living.
“Yes, mum”, he scoffed just like a normal teenager.
However, I persisted, “but you were never much of a cook. You and your sister were both hopeless when it came to cooking or looking after yourself in general.”
“Hey, I’ve become a rather good cook. Not as good as you. I missed eating your food.”
“How about your life? Have you got plenty of friends?”
“I can’t believe I was going to leave without telling you”, he laughed.
“I met a girl. She’s lovely, she taught me a bit about cooking. Mum, you would love her. She’s so supportive and she always has something to say and she’s so smart. She is really annoying but really wonderful. But really I love her. Look at me rambling.”
“It’s sweet. You found her. Now never let her go.”
“I won’t, mum. We’re getting married when I figure it all out. When I know the truth. We’ve got a ring and everything.”
“I’m so happy for you.”
“When that happens, I can invite you and sis and her kids.” He looked at me, believing in his heart that will happen. He still had his child like mind. “I’m gonna go.”
“Don’t take ad long to visit me next time.”
“I won’t. I’ll come back in a few weeks no matter if I find out or not. I’ll be back. Promise.”
“Bye son. I love you. Stay safe.”
“You too, mum.”
I watched through the kitchen window as he walked back into the shadows. Out of the house but not out of my life. He will come back and soon, a mother knows.
I got on the phone and called my daughter. “Hey, hon, do you wanna come over for dinner tonight?”
“Yeah, sure, I’ll get my lazy husband to baby sit.”
“No. I want everyone to come you, the lazy husband, the kids. The more the merrier.”
“Sure, mum. That will be really nice. I could sense the confusion in her voice but she didn’t question me because she seemed genuinely happy. I’d never wanted to do the big family meals. I wanted to be alone because I thought I had no family, I did and they were always there.