The neighboring homes were festive, Christmas lights blazing, wood smoke in the air, laughter drifting out into the street. My home, though, was dark. I could barely make out through the gauzy drapes the figure of my father, watching television in the living room with my baby brother whining and crying at his feet. From somewhere in the house, I heard my mother’s irritated voice, yelling for my sister to come and fold the laundry. I heard my sister’s angry response.
I stood, and looked. Then I turned, and left. I would make my way back to campus. I would call Darren, and thank him for raising me. I would tell him that I was okay, that I loved him for all he’d done for me. And because I loved him, I would bless his freedom. Then, I would make my own way, into my own life. Alone, yes, but also in control.