I did not know know where my mother was, I presumed she would be out in her studio or staring off into space as she sometimes did. For that, I did not blame her. In fact, that is most likely where I got it from.
Our little cottage was bright, like everything else in our life, and nothing seemed to quite match everything else. White carpet, yellow walls, fading blue chairs, and paintings; hundreds of painting piled all over the room or plastered over the walls. Our own personal gallery, that was what mother called it. Oil pastels and paint tubes littered any open space along with blank sheets of paper and various brushes.
I wondered what the conformative, grey-cloaked people from the village would say if they saw our little piece of papered paradise, totally un-matching the bleak town with its bleak people and bleak weather. I was torn between them laughing at us, as most did, or throwing us out of their village where we would, again, be destitute.
My room was my favourite place. I had a few pictures in my room, but I did not like to show off about painting, for I was not nearly as good as Mother. It was tidy, immaculate. Just how I liked my life, if only it could be like that. Beside my bed was my small bag packed with essentials incase we had to get away quickly, like last time. Food, water, blankets, money. I was more prepared than Mother.
No one at the orphanage would have let Mother adopt me if they knew the position we were in now.
So this is where we hid, where I hid. Away from the prying eyes of school children and town mayors. Our curtains were always pulled tightly shut, candles snuffed out ceremoniously at ten in the evening. I could not bring friends home, if I had friends. I preferred my own company, or maybe my company preferred me? Maybe that does not amke sense to you.
I only hope it can never happen again and we can stay here, safe and hidden. We hope it will never catch up with us. But we know it will, one day. I am not ready yet.