My great-grandfather had been a glass blower, like his father before him and the cottage they lived in had stayed in the family, though my father had broken that line. I hadn’t know my father that well and despite the glass making trade being gone, there was something in my heart and soul that drew me towards it.
I didn’t set out to make any money from my glass designs, it was just a hobby but then it turned out people were interested to own my pieces and before I know it, I had brought my great-grandfather’s trade back to life.
Opening the door, Shiloh walked in and saw the wallpaper she remembered still on the wall. It was pink with unicorns, flowers, love hearts and rainbows. She touched the wall, just to be sure then walked further in. She recalled where all her furniture had been and her collection of bears and dolls stuck into every free space.
Shiloh saw her eight year old self, just for a moment playing on the floor with a large pink horse. The window was open letting in a breeze and she could smell strawberry cupcakes. She rubbed her nose and felt tears pricking her eyes. She went to the window and looked out, below she saw the back garden.
Turning, she left and avoiding her sister’s and parent’s rooms, went back downstairs. The stairs creaked under her then she back in the hallway. She hugged herself and knew she had had enough. In fact, she wasn’t even sure why she had come back here. Going to the front door, she left for the last time officially. Not looking back, she walked down the path and got back into her car.
The pine trees shook in the wind and out of the blue she remember how the wind howling down the chimney at night had sacred her. Getting into the car, she sat there and remembered her mother’s soft telling her not to be afraid.
‘I’m still afraid, mum,’ Shiloh whispered.
She started the car and quickly turned the wheel. The house filled her rear view mirror, looking depressed with its peeling white paint. Her eyes flickered upwards out of habit and she was transported back to being that kid waving goodbye to the house.
‘Why did we have to leave when you died, mum?’ Shiloh muttered.
Silent tears began falling. She licked her lips and tasted salt. Her sister had always said she was a cry baby. She wiped her face and had to look again at the mirror. The house was still there, framed more by the trees now, which seemed to be waving.
‘I won’t go back. There’s no answers there,’ Shiloh sobbed.
She got the car on the road and drove away, the house still filling her vision even though it was no longer there.
I knew I should have gotten rid of it years ago, but the sentimentally attachment was always too strong. Rubbing the blue old leather, I sat on the attic floor trying to convince myself not to open the small square box and just to put it in the charity bag. The image of what lay inside stayed fixed in my mind and I had to give into opening the box.
Laying on dark blue stain was a small heart locket with a matching gold chain. I’d never worn it and maybe no one ever had. It was the type of jewellery you’d give a child, which they’d only wear it on special days. I had no memory of receiving it; just that she had given it to me and it was the only thing I had to remind me of her.
Sighing, I closed the box and put it back in the large storage crate again. Maybe, I’d never be ready to part with it or maybe the fact that it was the only thing left of someone who’d once loved me and that symbolism was too precious to give up.