I Catch A Bus (Flash Fiction)

I catch a bus. To your town.

I don’t know why.
There’s a chicken on the path, a broken fence, a river beneath a bridge (this river too tiny to be marked on any map). The grass too long, as if they too, know you are gone. I walk, not understanding this urge to see this place you left behind. Perhaps some important part remains here. Something real, something in the hills that swoop up and down, something in the sky here that’s full and wide. I think I will find something to make sense; maybe something in the grass. 

A box, a ball, a truth.
Your childhood is abandoned here. Perhaps I am seeking evidence of your existence. I walk through uneven hills, climb down a steep bank away from the path. In a small valley I stand in your old world. I scavenge for pieces of you, but find nothing. I climb back up, trying to remember what you told me about this place. On a small hill overlooking your map of the world, I sit. It’s early morning, there’s a bird singing in the bush, barefoot children scrambling up, laughing. They ascend, small heads on the horizon, see me, whisper, curious. I smile at them, that smile that is turning my face into an incomplete mother.
The land is heavy; it recognises itself in me. 

I walk to the end of your street, ignoring your house, it’s emptiness too much to feel, yet. Some people peer at me curiously but it is better not to ask questions and, I have no answers. I am overcome with the urge to lie in the middle of the road in the hot sun.
The children are following me. Small, tattered dresses and snotty noses. I am nothing like you think I am, I want to tell them. Despite my incomplete motherly face, I am nothing that you think I am. I wish you knew, the real me. But there is nothing left to say. They wont understand and I’ve stopped trying to explain. And now all the words are gone.
I climb down to where I am hidden. I sit in the grass. Hours pass. In this abandoned place, an old friend who understands, I wrap myself in the land. No truth, nothing of yours, reveals itself, just the sound of birds in the trees.

I am sitting, caught in myself, in the shape of a memory that never existed. 

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