The feeling of dread that I am now use to starts to creep upon me as Vine Street approaches. What use to be smiles, laughter, and giddy feelings about wanting to get out of the car as fast as we could, has changed to tight faces and empty feelings inside.
As soon as I turn the car left onto Vine, all noise stops. What could be heard of town only moments ago is now stifled by the trees and growth that seems to be closing in on me. If it is dark outside, the feeling is intensified ten-fold. I drive slowly, knowing that nothing is awaiting me up ahead.
I pull into the driveway. Within seconds the absence of multiple things dawns upon me just like it has every time I have come the past three years. No longer do I see the smiling old woman with grey hair waiting for us on the porch. The sound of the bell she is ringing to signal our arrival cannot be heard. Barking and kisses from a beautiful and soft golden retriever is also missing. It is almost too much to bear as I fight back the tears that are starting to form. I don’t even get out of my car because I know that no one is waiting for me inside. My grandma’s cottage is no longer the same. The house still stands but the love that use to radiate from the inside of it can no longer be felt.
Without realizing it, I am almost to my family’s cottage. Although it is about five minutes away, I don’t remember the drive. My mind was filled with haunted memories.
For a quick second I get my hopes up for what I am about to see. But as I round the corner to the large, gorgeous white cottage that has been a second home all of my life, I am immediately let down. Every time I let my hopes go up, I feel that my insides have turned to lead. Reality hits me like a cold bucket of ice water hitting my face.
This place, just like my grandmas cottage, is empty. No one is sitting on the hill in the bright metal yellow chairs. The red front door is closed instead of wide-open and welcoming like I am use to from the past. The gold Saturn that brought me comfort every time I saw it, is missing.
This time, however, I cannot just sit in the car and drive away from then pain that is stabbing me like knives. I steady myself and get out of my car to spend a weekend away from home at a place that use to, but no longer, brings me comfort.
As I walk up the path, the dark house reminds me of what has been lost. I punch in the code and swing the door inward. No sound of laughter. No smell of cooking. No sight of smiling faces. As I go to put my bags down in my bedroom, I see my grandma’s smiling face in a picture frame. I am taken down memory road, without wanting to go.