Home Away from Home

Jake Hughes
The Paw Print
That familiar sound of the kettle boiling whistled in the back ground as I scanned my bleak room for any more belongings, the time had finally come for me to move on to new pastures. The opportunity that I had long been dreaming about had come around and I was grasping it with both hands. I tugged vigorously at the zip of the vulgar suitcase and dragged it unwillingly to the front door to add to the rest my bags. I looked at the mountain of bags at the front door that I would be lugging around for the next thirty plus hours and let out an immense sigh. This would be the first time that I would be traveling alone and I was a cocktail of emotions. I was buzzing to start off a new journey, yet, I kept getting a steady flow of anxiousness and the feeling of regret. It’s a hard to explain an emotion when you aren’t quite sure what you’re feeling. I fretfully walked into the kitchen to start my goodbyes. The whole family was there to say bye. Mum and dad sat patiently at the table, my brothers and sisters of course were bickering, and of course my Nan sat at the table with my parents drinking a cup of tea. They were all there to say goodbye. Mother was a timid person, she kept a lot of her emotions inside, but, everyone could see that she was having troubles keeping her emotions to herself this time. Seeing her so emotional really hammered the realization home, I was leaving home that day.
“Well.” I said, “I think I have everything, and if I don’t it’s too late now.”
“Are you sure?” Mum said, “You don’t want to forget anything important.”
I laughed; I knew she was going to say something like that, she always does. That’s what mums are for right, to make sure your head is screwed on the right way. “Yes Mum, I’m sure, thank you.” I began making my way around the kitchen handing out hugs and kisses like they were going out of fashion. My brother’s didn’t seem too bothered; I don’t think they realized that I was going to be gone for such a long time. Maybe they were rejoicing my leaving because their older brother is going to be gone, so they could get up to as much trouble as they wanted, which I was positive they would. On the other hand though, my sisters were clinging onto me like an infant to their mother. I tried to shake them off but they had super glued themselves to both of my legs. After battling with them to let go and let some blood rush back to my feet, I said my goodbyes to them. Trying to explain to them that I was leaving for a long time was the hardest; both my sisters were very young and didn’t fully understand. Maybe that’s the difference between my sibling’s reactions to me leaving, their age. Who knows? Then finally it came down to one last person, my Nan. She was a wonderful woman who cared so much about everyone and always had a moment to spare for anyone who needed it.
“Alright Nan,” I said, “I’m off. I’ll send you a letter when I get set up over there.”
“Ok then,” she said as she started to tear up, “Have a safe journey, I hope you settle down well, and make sure you make the most of it.”
“I will Nan,” I said after I chuckled to myself, “You know me.”
I turned and started walking to the front door to begin the overwhelming task of moving all my bags into the car, which ended up being very entertaining for everyone watching, although it was a pain in the ass for me. Once we had squished every bag in the trunk and managed to slam the door tight, Mum, Dad and I jumped in the car and began the long voyage to the airport. Yet again I had another reality check. As I turned to look out of the car window, I saw my family waving me on, and it was at this point that I couldn’t hold it back anymore, the tears starting pouring out like a typical English winter day. I waved my last goodbyes to my family before they disappeared out of sight. The car ride felt like it took an eternity, but eventually we made it to the airport on time. I hate being late, my mother taught me to always be on time.
My parents and I managed to maneuver the obnoxious bags onto a couple of trolleys so we could go check in and say our final goodbyes. After suffering the outrageous lines and language barriers of Heathrow Airport I was finally checked in with a ticket in my hand going to Seattle, Washington, one way. What a buzz.
“Right mum.” I said, “Thanks for everything, I’m gonna miss you.”
“No worries,” she said, as she whipped her eyes “You look after yourself and be good”
I laughed; I knew she was going to say that, it was comforting to hear her say it though. I leaned over and gave her a loving hug and a kiss on the cheek. After I turned to dad and gave him a hug and shook his hand
“See you later dad.” I said, “Take care of everyone.”
“Yes, yes,” he said, and smiled “Look after yourself, and don’t fuck up,”
He winked at me and I gave him a little nod. I picked up one of the slightly smaller bags that was elected to be my so called hand luggage, turned and walked through to the other side. Just before I was out of sight of my parents, I turned, waved my last goodbyes and set off to the States.

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