Her sister’s call to help pack up the old family house meant that Hanna had to take a two hour flight to come “home”.
Her father was in frail care, dementia slowly taking him away, but she did not want to see him. The house was empty of people now. It stood three stories high, the garden a ramshackle overgrowth, the path to the door maintained by feet alone.
She did not want to go in.
The room she’d shared with her sister on the second floor was visible from the garden. They’d stay up nights, lights off, whispering about their mother’s lying, wondering about trust.
Off the main passageway was the living room, where her father had lorded and drunkenly argued. There been no conversations. He’d never hit. He’d never loved.
The kitchen was spacious, filled with kitchenware older than the children. Eavesdropping outside the door, she had learned that her mother had gambled away their savings.
The stairwell was still dark. It was on the stairs that her father had tried to convince Hanna to look after the finances because her mother couldn’t be trusted. He was the man of the house. She’d been 16.
The bathroom remained with mouldy grouting and a freestanding tub. She missed the bath and the privacy. It had been her place of thinking and healing and hurting and cutting.
Hanna didn’t know where to start packing. She wished that she could sit in the garden and burn it all down.