Waiting for Mum & Dad

Devastation

Desperate to find him, she dashed around the house calling his name.

When he didn’t respond she looked outside to find him lying on the sidewalk, his head resting in his hands.

Waiting for his Mum and Dad to come home.

 

Both his parents worked.

So each morning since he was a six weeks old they dropped him off at the neighbours to care for him, collecting him in the afternoon.

Once he began school his routine changed.

After school having returned to his neighbours, he would have a snack and watch his favourite cartoon before going outside to wait for his parents.

Each afternoon he lay in the same spot on the sidewalk looking down toward the car factory at the end of the long street, waiting for the siren to sound.

The siren signaled the end of the day, and workers would pour out of the factory.

He could recognise his Mum and Dad from a long way away.

As they walked up the street toward him, he would get up excitedly and run into their waiting arms.

This was his favourite time of day when he was reunited with his parents.

 

On pay day Thursday and Friday his parents went straight to the pub after work.

On these days he still waited for them in his favourite spot on the sidewalk, it was habit.

But after the siren had long sounded and all the workers had left, he would return to his neighbours just in time for dinner.

His parents would come home from the pub late, sometimes just after midnight.

They used to collect him from the neighbours even though he was still sleeping, only to drop him off the following morning.

Eventually they let him stay at the neighbours on Thursday and Friday nights, collecting him on Saturday morning.

 

In the wee small hours of Friday morning yelling could be heard from outside on the street.

He awoke to find the room he was sleeping in filled with light.

Opening the curtains he looked out to see his home next door was fully ablaze.

So much so that the entire neighbourhood was lit up like daylight.

He was pulled away from the window and taken into another bedroom on the other side of the house and told to go back to sleep.

But he couldn’t sleep.

Not after what he witnessed.

In the meantime confusion ensued.

Had the Fire Service been called?

Was there anyone in the house?

The neighbours tried in vain to put out the fire with their garden hoses.

The Fire Service arrived and eventually doused the flames.

The neighbours all gathered on the opposite side of the road and began speculating about what had started the fire.

No one imagined that there was anyone in the house.

Moving slowly the hearse drove toward the house, stopped and reversed down the driveway.

Silence fell over the group of neighbours as they realised what this meant.

The two body bags carrying his parents were discreetly loaded into the back of the hearse.

 

After his parents passed away the neighbours became the little boys caregiver.

Months after the devastating tragedy…

Desperate to find him, she dashed around the house calling his name.

When he didn’t respond she looked outside to find him lying on the sidewalk, his head resting in his hands.

Waiting for his Mum and Dad to come home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Waiting for Mum & Dad

  1. The image of a child, waiting eternally for his parents to come home seems so haunting. Almost like an allegory of life-long mourning within us for needs that weren’t met as a child and that we don’t quite understand … the way we keep returning to certain aches and longing.

    Liked by 2 people

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