I was waiting at the door. Me and my backpack outside.
The rain pouring down even though the air was warm. Humid but warm.
My finger stuck on the doorbell button, I was looking through the big window of the living room to see if my eyes could meet her.
I went to the other side of the house but all doors were locked. I got back to the living room door again, where at least I could have checked better where she was.
Something was on the bed, probably her legs. That was all I could see from the outside.
If she was asleep there was no chance for her to hear the bell ringing.
In that exact moment I realized why all of a sudden I felt I had to come back.
I was looking at those legs wrapped under heavy, winter dark duvets, inside a house which once was full of loud people. A place where all the conversations were leading to the next thing to plan, to the next thing to improve.
In one minute I saw all the birthday parties inside that living room.
Year after year me and my brother blowing on candles which were always pink or blue and too short to stay still on the cake.
The taste of that whipped cream still caressing my taste buds as if I just had a bite.
I saw all this plus a million and a thousand pictures while I was staring at her through the window from the outside.
All at once, everything was so sad.
I had the feeling I was watching a TV show.
How a happy life can turn into something so silent?
How a life filled with glorious years, laughs, material things and brilliant thoughts can become the one of a lonely old person, sleeping on a ground floor living room and locked from the inside?
I looked up into the sky, myself under the balcony while the rain still pouring down.
I felt all the love for my granny gathering into an internal space I did not even remember I had available for the pain of so much love all together.
At that point all the worries and sleepless hours and bones ache of the days before, they were all wiped away.
A memory of me running barefoot into this house when something was wrong with my parents flashed in front of my eyes. I remembered all the times I used to go to the top floor looking for hidden treasures.
Whatever was left from her 1950 mini store was valuable as a gem to me .
Like those pencils and plain notebooks with the black cover smelling dust and countryside.
Books of my mom, books of my aunties and books that were the reign where I could hide from the rest of the world.
Smelling those velvet armchairs and the rich wallpapers while writing my journal with a glitter pink pen was all that made me happy during the winter afternoons.
I lifted my finger off the doorbell button when I realized that something was moving.
My heart skipped.
I saw her tired shape getting closer. Her hair like a mess. Her eyes almost closed.
She went on limping till she reached the door between us.
I jumped in her arms.
My throat blocked in a knot and I almost fainted.
I saw her eyes filled with tears. Her face blushing because of an unbearable and unused happiness.
She was holding my hands strongly, she did not want to let me go.
Today I am the happiest woman
You can’t believe how happy you made me
(her voice trembling)
She was looking at me as if I was the only thing that mattered.
She was looking at me as if I was her entire world and she won’t allow me to go anywhere else.
Now I knew once more I was exactly where I wanted to be.
I was again the barefoot kid running to her place for writing poems on those yellow velvet armchairs.
I realized in that moment why all of a sudden I felt I had to fly from the Netherlands to Sicily.
Even though there is not a physical place I call home anymore, she is still my home.
And she is still here, with me.