No one would believe me if I said I’ve never woken up at a same place twice. It all began the moment I turned 16. I had gone to sleep the night before expecting waking up to parents screaming and arguing. Instead, I had woken up to a gentle breeze, warmth of the sun and salt in the air. It had taken me a minute to be aware of my surroundings. Somehow from the comfort of my bed, I had woken up in sand and water going past my body. I had woken up to a beach from my bed overnight. When I had tried to tell somehow about it, my throat had closed and lips sealed tight, absolutely refusing to utter even a single word. And at that moment I knew, this wasn’t going to happen just once, and no one would ever know this secret of mine. Years went by, the curse stayed. Every day I woke up to a different place yet saw the same sun, the concept of something named “home” completely erased from my mind. Every night, I had gone to bed afraid and woke up to unknown places I had never seen and faces I had never met. It had taken me a lot of time to adjust but I had overcome the fear, the surprise. I had liked the places, the adventures. Loved every bit of it. Then came the hardest part. Leaving behind all the people who made space into my heart. For them, I would just disappear, vanish into thin air without a clue. For them, I was a liar who wasn’t able to fulfil my promises, all I could do was give excuses. Because no matter how much I wanted to stay, I couldn’t, the time did not care for me, neither did fate. I did not fit anywhere. All the places, all the faces felt unknown, uncertain. Today and tomorrows were gone in me playing pretense and being nothing more than just a mask, a facade. The pain of leaving people behind wasn’t worth belonging somewhere. Then someone came along. Someone who invaded my heart and all my senses. Someone who wasn’t ready to let me go. Someone who learned to love me despite everything. And someone who somehow knew my secret.
Years back, somebody had told me you always crave for what you can’t get. I had always wondered what was it that I craved the most? Was it the excitement? Was it the adventure? Was it freedom? Is that why I was always at a different place whenever I opened my eyes early at dawn? But when I laid beside him in the darkness, I realised, a home was always what I needed all along. A place where I could belong. A place where I could just be. And when I had just found something I felt like I could hold on to, I did not want to let it go, I did not want to close my eyes only to open them and find myself surrounded by nothing. I wasn’t just afraid; I was terrified of drifting to darkness but that did stop the fluttering of my eyes. There was only as much my brain could take before slipping into unconsciousness. It was after a certain time, I felt the warmth of the sun in my bones, the sound of birds chirping outside, and I was already dreading whatever could be this time, what will I wake up to. Already knowing I’d lose it all, lose everything, all over again. I kept praying and praying and praying until and opened my eyes in a daze and realised those were the same arms I’d fallen asleep in, the same arms promising to hold me and never let me go no matter what, the same eyes that had turned into the melted pools of tenderness while cradling me, the same voice that had sung me lullabies of forever.
I wondered maybe that was the reason why I never fit anywhere and that was the exact reason why I awoke at a new place every morning. Because I wasn’t meant for it. Until now. And that was the day I woke up with something other than fear- a hope, a hope that maybe my dream wouldn’t be a mere dream anymore, and that day I woke up with a feeling of what it is like to be finally home.