It was the heart of the room. The one place where everyone gathered for an hour each evening; the most peaceful hour in his day. The only sounds that could be heard were laughter, excited chatter, the clinking of glasses, the clanging of forks and knives against the plates and of course, the satisfied sighs of full bellies. The sight and aromas of the food on the kitchen table and the accompanying sounds turned the place into some kind of magical land.
He never looked forward to the end of that hour.
Because it would mean heading back to reality. To a place where voices were raised. Fists were drawn. Punches were thrown. A place where he was treated worse than a sewer rat. His own house. Not a home you see because a home is filled with love and warmth. But his house was like his parents. Cold. Bare. Filled with hatred. Towards him and the world.
As he unlocked the door and entered the bleak house with trepidation, his mother’s voice screeched at him.
“Been wandering the streets again, have you?”
He muttered something inaudible. Usually the safest response.
“You better start packing your stuff” she droned on. “We’re heading off tomorrow. Dad’s finishing the job tonight and not much else left in this shitty town.”
He sighed and walked to his room to commence the familiar routine of moving. His stomach growled loudly and he shoved some stale bread down his throat.
Tomorrow, in the new town, he’d have to find a new kitchen table to view through a new window in order to feel at home.
Until next time,