He could still remember their eager faces, smiling and waving their hands in welcome. He was no more than a stranger to them, a houseguest from a foreign country. Neither knew the other yet he felt a bond form between them the moment he stepped out of the car and one of the kids ran towards him to help.
“You must be tired. Here, let me help you.” said the little boy and in the very instant he knew they’d become friends. And they had. For three whole weeks, he had been a part of their family, in sickness and health. When the kids’ grandmother fell down the stairs, he helped their father carry her to the car outside, when their youngest kid was failing algebra, he helped her with her homework, he played ball with them every Sunday and he even helped the mother cook at times. However, like all good things, this too came to an end.
That’s how he was standing at the same door the family had welcomed him to, this time for a goodbye. He didn’t want to look behind. Yet he did. Before walking out.