The scents of rose and lavender float on the breeze. I frown. Where… who am I?
I look towards a grey stone house, sadness oozing from every stone. It’s inviting me towards it. Bathed in the rich orange glow of the late evening sunset, its warmth beckons me forward. Is this my home? My footsteps on the gravel pathway are silent, until I purposely push my toes into the gravel and hear a satisfying crunch.
Three steps lead to a red front door, an iron railing on each side. I place my foot tentatively on the first step. I’m afraid that I shouldn’t be here, but at the same time feel needed, my soul drawn towards… something.
I climb until I’m face to face with the door; my hand falters as I reach for the doorbell. “The doorbell doesn’t work anymore,” I whisper. But how can I know that? I stab at it, just to prove myself wrong, and hear only silence from within.
After a moment I knock, but it’s barely audible, even to my own ears. I concentrate and try again.
This time I’m rewarded by the clicks of heels on a tiled floor. The door eases open and my eyes meet those of a woman that I’m sure I should know. Her face is so familiar, but I’ve never seen it like this, surrounded by a veil of sorrow, eyes shadowed and red-rimmed. Surely my memory of this face is full of happiness and laughter. Her eyes don’t meet mine, they gaze through me and down towards the gate. She steps back, closing the door. Why didn’t she see me?
I knock again. This time the footsteps are quicker. She flings open the door, looking around wildly before sinking to her knees. “Haven’t we been through enough,” she sobs.
There’s a quiet sound behind her, a young girl whose soul shines bright and pure. It’s her that’s keeping me here, a fine silver thread links my soul to hers.
Tears brim in the girl’s eyes. “It’s okay, Mum,” she said, “It’s just Gracie. She’s come home.”