Submitted Date 07/15/2019

'Home' was always just a word to her. She wasn't a traveler, or someone who moved around a lot. Not as much as others. She had lived in the same house as a child for fifteen years, but the word home hung in the air limply everytime she laid the letters down flatley infront of her.

When people toss the word at her in small talk conversations or an attempt to get to know her and her background better, her lips sit still in the emptiness of sentences she could not provide. Only lies and quick answers got her out of an uncomfortable situation that would only remind her she is as lost as the feeling she tries not to feel.

When she departed to university, the dorms were named home by all the students around her. Small cramped dorm rooms that were once empty and bare walled welcomed in thousands of newly moved in students, equipped with packaged hanging lights and cheesy copies of art prints, posters, photos, whiteboards and chalkboards, all the fixings and decorations to try and create a home out of something empty and faintly tainted with the smell of damp carpet or remnants from mistakes of past students on too-drunken stressed college nights. It wasn't home to her, even if she fixed up er side of the room herself with paintings and quotes that she loved, or lights that reminded her of sitting by a fireplace or christmas tree somewhere somehow. She knew it wasn't home because she felt homesick, but whenever she went back to her fifteen year occupied house she would unpack the neccessities to get her through a weekend away and sit on her twin-size bed and instantly feel the shroud of homesick creep up on her from behind, as if it's only way of greeting her was to poke her shoulder ever so gently and hug her from behind. Even homesick thought of her as home, and she could still not make out what her own could be. Was it because the room was bare boned and stripped down to be moved into the small dorm room that she felt misplaced? Was the dorm cramped and terrible enough that no decoration or fluffy things to resemble comfort could dress up the lonliness that lived in the walls?

After graduating she jumped from apartment to apartment, lease to lease, place to place, but not without waiting moments between six months or a year. Every office that she had left the insides of her stomach sit uncomfortably beneath her skin. She moved from job to job in search of something that could feel like it was worth going to everyday. Something like a home away from whatever home was.

She put effort in decorating her apartments, jumping from store to store to find the best things that could help things feel more put together, whatever that meant, but it didn't do much.

Every relatonship ended within a six month to year timeline. Jumping from one to the next, it felt as if homesick came differently with relationships, planting itself like a seed in disguise of something called love. Slowly growing along with the secrets shared and midnight whispers and nightime drives. Homesick would come out of no where until she had to leave to feel something close to being put back into her own life and body and seperated from another, probably the closest thing to whatever home was that she could feel.

But it was tricky like that, because whenever something seemed to become comfortable or tolerable, the urge to run would rattle through her spine all the way down to her toes until she had to get up and leave.

Maybe home is something she never wanted to feel. Maybe home is something she believes she does not deserve. Maybe once something starts to become familiar and good and safe and stable she becomes afraid of the boredom that could come out of the comfort and searches for another place or person to move into, to deal with the uncomfortablness of the unfamiliar again.

Every day she would come back from work into the small living space in different cites and towns and curl up into bed with the only warmth that felt like a familiar comfort she did not want to get rid, and never wants to get rid of; like sleeping felt as if it was the only thing she could curl up against and sigh into in complete comfort.

Maybe her home is drilled into her body, and her bones are the only shelter she feels like she can live within. Maybe home was never meant for her because she never found complete comfort within the cracks in her bones and vessels through her veins. Maybe home was never the thing to chase. Maybe home comes from happiness. Maybe home comes from a feeling. Maybe home is all around her waiting to be touched but she only grazes the surface and leaves once more. Maybe she just was not built for the thing that she always wanted to find built into the foundation of buildings and people. It was never the place for her.

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