Katrina Humphries: The Journey

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The Journey

By Katrina Humphries

Daisy awoke at the first light of day, hours earlier than she needed to. A mix of anxiousness and excitement made sleep elusive. Stretching out, touching the early morning light streaming through the slightest gap in her curtains, she couldn’t help but dream about the day ahead. How would it go? Would he like her? What if he didn’t? Shaking that last thought from her mind she climbed out of bed, a warm shower was what she needed now.

Turning on the shower and allowing it to run, Daisy looked at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. The dark circles under her eyes would hint to the world, and to him, the sleepless night she’d just experienced. Nerves had certainly gotten the better of her; hopefully, a shower and some makeup would conceal them and hide her nerves. Climbing into the shower her thoughts returned to him. What was he like? What if she didn’t like him? Worse still, what if he rejected her? She didn’t think she could cope with that, having suffered rejection her whole life. But she’d done it now, she’d thought about it so long, and now she couldn’t put it off any longer. No, today was the day…today she would get the answers to a lifetime of questions. Relief at this thought quashed a little of the nerves.

Having finished her shower, Daisy decided some food would be a good idea. She had no appetite but knew she should force something down, maybe it would help with the sick feeling building in the pit of her stomach. It didn’t, only made it worse. Sighing to herself, she came to the conclusion that nothing would help, except just getting it over with. Not much longer to wait now.

Getting dressed, the anxiousness began to build up, no longer coming in waves, more constant now. Daisy felt like crying but managed to push the tears away. She didn’t want red eyes to go along with the dark circles, that would give away far too much. She wasn’t ready for that. Waiting for the taxi to arrive felt like an eternity. With each passing second the temptation of turning her back on this stupid idea grew stronger. She knew she had to fight this temptation. If she didn’t, she would never get the peace she dreamed of, the answers she truly needed.

As the taxi pulled away she watched her house, her safe space, grow smaller and the knot in her stomach grow bigger. The bit of excitement she had left diminished completely. What was she doing? Taken leave of her senses, she believed. She watched all her childhood spaces pass by, feeling, not for the first time, the loneliness she had felt growing up. She hadn’t been wanted, her mum had let her know that many a time. There had been no siblings to share that feeling with, there had been no one. No family and no real friends; she couldn’t wait to leave this life behind.

Finally, on the plane, Daisy felt relieved she had made it this far. A few hours and she would have what she needed. Watching the world pass under her gave her a strange sense of calm, and sleep finally took over, only waking on landing. Stepping off the plane she was hit by the warmth of the early afternoon sun, a warmth she hoped would stay with her in all aspects of this new life. She hoped with all hope that, here, she would be accepted, here, would be where she finally found a place to belong.

She decided to skip heading to her new apartment, knowing full well once she was within those four walls she would likely not leave and confront her main reason for being here. Him. Instead, she waved down a black cab, loading her lifetime of belongings inside, and gave the driver the address of the long-awaited destination. It was such a beautiful place she noticed as they were driving through the streets. Romantic looking, just as she had expected it to look. There were old buildings all around, worn with the process of time, mostly white with fancy black railings guarding them. They made her imagine her own feelings, secured away in fancy black railings. Would she ever be able to set those railings free, she wondered.

Daisy’s thoughts were interrupted by the driver.

“Almost there,” his voice boomed joyfully.

Daisy was filled with a full range of emotions. She felt they were almost as loud as the driver’s voice and was surprised that he could not hear them. Looking out of the window she realised they had turned into the street. The houses here were no different to the many she had seen on the way. Romantic, white and worn, with the same fancy black railings guarding the inhabitants, keeping them safe from harm. Oh, how she longed for that feeling. Would she ever feel that way?

Paying the driver, and unloading her lifetime of belongings, her whole body had turned to jelly. She felt like she could possibly just melt into a puddle, right here outside his house, just as jelly would do in the heat. Taking a deep breath, trying to make herself braver and taller, she walked up the path and knocked the knocker. She wondered if it would imitate her heart, thumping and beating so loudly, around the rooms of the house. It didn’t take long for him to answer, but took much longer for her to speak.

“My name is Daisy, I was born in 1999 to a May James.” It was the line Daisy had rehearsed over and over until it had imprinted into her mind. “I am your daughter.”

He stood, stock still, all colour from his face draining away before her very eyes. It seemed a long moment, almost felt as long as her journey here, before he made a move toward her. He wrapped Daisy in a loving embrace, where she felt a warmth similar to that she had felt getting off the plane, a warmth that made her realise she was home and accepted.

“I had no idea you existed,” he informed her. “She told me motherhood wasn’t for her, and heartbroken, I walked away.”

Now Daisy knew the truth of her absent father and knew she had found the place she would always belong.

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