Words have always been used flippantly around me, their importance simply disturbing nothing in their owners.
When I was five I heard my first words of the real world come from the mouth of my first caretaker. Remembering now, I hear the sound of her words; the echo of her desperate attempt at moving me on. The exact words would forever be lost to my childish mind, but her deliberate attempt to let me go had tattooed itself, like the drawings of our lost ancestors, into the walls of my mind. I had been playing my imaginary games in a room that sat abandoned at the end of the house when she had entered, followed by a man in black robes. This man would become someone of wonder; almost a figment of my imagination every time I drew him out of my memory for a peace that he, in true life, had never offered.
Hiding had been no hard task, being small for my age and hard to differentiate from the surroundings had always aided me. The woman, a lady with too much black hair and vivid ivory eyes, had closed the door quietly after the man in robes had joined her. My eyes widened as I watched my caretaker hold her ground by kissing the man in robes, a small cross swinging easily from his neck. His hands, withered with age, grasped onto her wide hips and had shown something that my young mind could never forget, or truly understand. In this sinful embrace she had ranted, forgetting her strict words on us, the many children that she cared for, and the sound of her deep, urging voice told him to send me off.
The sound of these useless words brought me to the middle of life and death as I stood with my finger inches from the doorbell. I knew that if the right word was uttered I would have no choice but to leave, but I also knew that if nothing was said; if stars could protect us from the glares of those never left behind, then maybe, just maybe, my father--a man that I never knew-- could want to know me and know me in such a way that would threaten the stars above me.
Words. Such a simple word in itself, had the most power in the world and just as they could bring life to something astray, they could simply brush life out like a struggling candle. My saving word was "leave", I had become best friends with this word. We are not born as who we are, we become what we let life guide us to be by using words, and "leave" made me who I am; it taught me to never fear abandonment, but instead embrace the unknown and the freedom that I could have for moments like this.
Heavy navy blue bag in hand, I press my finger on the doorbell, awaiting the words to come.