Where is Home?: Empty Spot in the Driveway

The street lights pass over me. The glow of the lights expose me every second. My music thumps in my ears. The rhythm distracts me, but keeps me focused on the road. I tap my thumb on the wheel; not quite on beat, but it keeps me doing something.

I stop at the stop sign. My house is on a corner. There are two cars at the house. My sister and Dad’s car. The spot next to my Dad’s car is empty; it awaits the arrival of Mom’s car. I pull onto the grass.

I turn the key in the door and open it. My dogs greet me. I scruff their fur up.

“Who’s that?” Dad says from the other room.

“It’s me,” I reply.

I walk into Dad’s office. He glances over at me from his computer. “Have you heard from your mom?”

“No. Have the dogs been fed?”

“I’ve not fed them.”

“Olivia, did you feed the dogs?” I call into the house.

“No,” she replies.

I turn from the office door. “Diana,” Dad says. I face him and rest my head on the door frame. “Do you think she’ll come back?”

“I don’t know. I have to feed the dogs.” I look at my boot. Derek, my dog, looks up at me. He wags his tail.

I turn to leave again, when Dad stops me again. “I’m cleaning up the house. I’m changing. Things are going to change here.”

“Tell her that then.”

“She won’t listen.”

I sigh. “Then show her.”

“She won’t come home.” He pauses. “Do you think she still loves me?”

“I don’t know.” Tears prick my eyes. If loving someone is waiting for their car to fill in the empty spot in the driveway, then I don’t ever want to love someone. “I have to feed the dogs.”

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