Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts. Describe the ghosts that live in this house: Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

The whistle from the wind echoed through the house. I stood waiting for something to happen. But nothing did.

I continued to gather my belongings knowing that tonight I would leave this house forever. Leaning across the dining table I felt a breath on my neck. ‘Don’t push me’, I thought. The time had come to move on and no one, neither living nor dead, was going to hold me back.

Upstairs in the wardrobe neatly organised were my clothes. I opened my suitcase and started to pack them in. This time the breath brushed over my face. Twelve years we’d spent together in that house. Twelve happy years. But the good times ended with a bang. He wasn’t who I believed him to be. He was a ghost of the man I once knew. And now I had my chance to break free. Nothing was going to stop me.

Piling my clothes into my case and forcing it closed felt empowering: I was almost finished with this place. All that was left to do was to drag the heavy case down the stairs and out the door; lock up behind me; and throw the key into the letter box.

But he had different plans.

Each step felt like a mountain. Our time together had become impossible. Endless watching, criticising, scrutinising, undermining, and judgements.

Like I said it hadn’t always been that way. It was glorious until the switch flipped.

Within these four walls I had it all and watched it disappear. Moving away with each step was the sweetest victory I’d tasted in some time. But each step became harder and harder. The judgement ringing in my ears. The eagle eyes watching from every corner. The degrading digs hammering home my inadequacies. Who would I be without this being on my shoulder? Can I survive away from this place? Who will I be if I don’t second guess my every thought, my every word, my every move?

The door getting closer and my mind retreating back into the familiar, I stopped. It was all encompassing. I fell to the ground and began to weep. The breath surrounding me in victory.

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