FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 7/15/18: How can you go home again if you can’t agree what “home” is?

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Get the most recent draft here:

fe2018.pete.ink

Read the latest words below this line:


“We’re going home, Jill—you’re not cat going to the vet to be put down,” I said in the back seat of the ride share.

“Home? That place is hardly my home, Jacob. C-c-come on.”

“It’s where our mother lives. It’s close enough.”

“Jacob, when was ‘where our mother lived’ EVER a home? In fact, any place our mother and father were was pretty much invariably a horrible place I’d never want to call home.”

“Yeah, well, dad’s gone now, so you’ve got 50% less of an excuse to not want to go to Mom’s house.”

Jill was silent. 

“I… I just thought we should see Mom one more time before things might get nuts. We’ve almost died several times over the past couple, uh, weeks is it? I’ve lost track of time.”
Jill shrugged.

“Don’t you love Mom?”

“Of course—that’s why I wanted you to have the other Accessory. So you and she could hide from this invasion.”

“Then what’s the big deal in seeing her now?”

“Don’t you get it? I never wanted to see Mom or Dad again!”

“Well, you got your wish with Dad.”

Jill let out a big sigh and we just sat there silently for a while.

“You think I’m happy to feel this way?”

“I don’t know. Don’t you still love Mom and Dad?”

“I don’t love what they did to us. We had the opposite of a stable home. We barely stayed in one place long enough for us to make friends and when we did we moved. Then the fights! We never got any attention from them! It was like we were all just roommates, man—it was absurd! And then, when we do get attention it was only when we did something wrong! They didn’t care about anything we did that was good.”

This was good. I was glad she was letting all this out. I was hoping she’d off load enough over her anger to uncover her feelings of love for our mom at some point.

“You know what? Screw this. Driver? Pull over! I don’t need this today!”
Obviously, I was going to have to help her dig more.

“Hey! No, come on, Jill! Driver, don’t stop!”

“Jake! Come on! Why you gotta make me feel all this right now?”

“Because—we’re gonna be doing some dangerous things—don’t you want to see Mom one more time, give her one last hug?”

“If I’m honest, not really.”

She hadn’t stuttered in an hour so I knew she was sure of what she was saying. I decided to put all my cards on the table.

“Then please, Jill, keep venting! Let it out so maybe you’ll be able to find some place in your heart that still loves the woman who gave birth to you!”

Once again she was silent. After a long moment, I spoke. “So, are you ok with this then?”

“I stopped talking didn’t I?”

“Alright. No news is good news.”

We were silent for the rest of the trip out to Mom and Dad’s place. 

By the time we pulled into Mom’s driveway, I had pulled out the Accessory and was viewing the AR map of all of the Fire Escapes. There were none in the neighborhood.  No surprise—this was the heart of suburbia. Nothing interesting happens in the heart of suburbia.