Every week she would show up, with the silver car so dirty it was gray, and the bumper zip tied together like stitches, and she would take me home. She would take me out of the pretty, cookie cutter neighborhood, and drive until the road became bumpy and the houses shrunk; all the while I counted the change in her wallet, hoping we had enough to get a coke at the street convenient store. Then the drive would end, and we would walk into the house on that convenient street, dropping our bags saying we were glad to be home.

But at the end of every weekend the routine would reverse, the trees would line up again, and she’d take me away from home. Away from the house where I would do what I like and be surrounded by complete and utter love. A house full of laughter and warmth. Instead, I’d be taken to a place where I would only be self-greeted with the sadness of what I was leaving behind. A place where there were no coke bottles or cigarette buds laying around, a place where my restoration was in the thought of returning home every weekend.

But what happens when she stops showing up to take you home? What happens when she decides that having you home is too much work, that home is busy, that home will accept you next weekend, but not this weekend? What happens when she decides she can’t even bring home to you anymore, that she’s trying her best, but the house can only be your home if you give yourself up to it. To her.

You then realize that the feeling of being able to do whatever you want is really just her laziness in the form of no rules. And the complete and utter love you feel isn’t really love, but the idea of building herself up through what you’re not getting from others; bringing them down to gain love in your eyes. You realize then that the laughter is just masking the faults she refuses to admit of herself. And underneath all those feelings of warmth, you remember her cold hand rubbing circles on your back; comforting you over feelings she herself had caused.

And when she finally leaves for good, you see that home is not a house that you are accepted at only a portion of the time. A house that is packed with prior engagements, false promises, and guilt trips. A house full of love that is based on unfilled words; ignorant to the actions that contradict those words. A home is not a house of lies. A home is a house that will always be there for you no matter what. A place that doesn’t have hidden secrets or half-truths and will accept you with nonjudgmental love. A home is a house of truth.