When you leave home, you never leave in one go. By the time you’ve decided to leave you’re already one foot out of the door. Then you say good-bye over and over until you actually go. I’d been saying good-bye for days.
I started packing the night before I left. Textbooks and trinkets disappeared into deep cardboard boxes. The packing tape strained and squawked, their fates sealed. Wiping my hair from my eyes I turned to my backpack gaping hungrily on the floor. I pushed up my sleeves, again, and studied the checklist stuck to my cupboard door. Rolling and folding became squashing and squeezing and within minutes I’d reduced my life to 75 litres. The night-time hours crept.
The telephone’s rings pierced the waiting room. My brother’s car had been stolen from campus! South Africa: your legacy, my heritage. Dad made plans to fetch Roger from UCT and meet us at the airport. Mom cut the thread. Good-bye dog-log, good-bye house, good-bye street.