A comment fic written for fic_promptly and the prompt Home means the place you feel most unwelcome.

Return of the native

Jake hesitates below the stoop, looking up at the house. The familiar slope of the roof looms above him, black against the familiar pattern of the stars in the Kansas sky. He didn’t expect to be back here so soon. He didn’t expect to be back here ever, after this afternoon.

“Jake?” His mom is holding the door open. “Can you manage the steps?”

“Yeah. I can manage.” Though his leg’s still sore, the painkillers April gave him when she cleaned up the cut and bandaged him up are starting to kick in. Still Jake doesn’t move. “Is Dad home?”

His mother shakes her head. “No. I think he’s still out with Eric, handling things.” She disappears through the door, her next words floating back to him. “Let me find a flashlight….”

Jake puts a hand on the porch railing to help him climb the steps. He doesn’t want to be here, doesn’t want to face whatever fresh disapproval his father can throw at him in the morning. Doesn’t want, above all, to breathe in the familiar scent of home again and remember all the could haves and might haves and past mistakes. Doesn’t want to have them rise up from where they’ve lain hidden all these years, buried beneath the layers of his more recent screw-ups. Have them join the current reproachful chorus in his head: Saffa, Freddy….

Taking a deep breath, he pulls himself up the stoop and through the door.

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. He learned that in school, a long time ago. Doesn’t mean it feels good to be back.

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One Review

  1. Shadowflame
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Hah – see? It is good to nip on here several times a week! *beams*
    Nice little filling scene, and I surely can see him thinking all those things…
    And with his thoughts and his background the saying you chose gets a dark, uncomfortable meaning… 🙁
    Well written, loved it! 🙂
    Hugs from Germany
    Shadowflame 🙂

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