The walls of the room were streaked with a full palette of colors, swirling about in an abstract fashion. There was a time when the room would have been described as vibrant, but now that vibrancy was tarnished. The paint was chipped and peeling in many places, and the walls had more than a few cracks in it. The light fixtures were cracked and hadn’t shone for a long, long time. The room was instead illuminated by the soft light of a hazy dawn peering through a shattered window. It was a child’s room once, if the broken toys strewn across the floor were any indication. Smashed pieces of a dresser rested in the corner of the room while an empty bed frame sat against the wall nearest the window. Opposite the window was a rocking chair, the only thing in the room that wasn’t wholly ruined. Its wood was weathered and in some places splintered, and each movement gave a soft creak.

In the chair sat a man as tattered as the room, though unlike the room he had never been vibrant. He had always been gray, a dreary thing in the background. His clothing was old and unclean, spattered with dirt and dust with tears in various places. At his feet laid a small, cracked picture frame, and in his hand he grasped the picture once held by the frame. The picture was of a small boy and a young woman. The boy could not have been older than four, and the woman looked to be in her twenties. The boy, with mussed brown hair and shining green eyes, bore a beaming grin, while the woman held a sad smile. It was plain in her eyes that she held an overbearing grief within her. She contained it though, likely for the sake of the child, who seemed oblivious to the woman’s pain. The old saying ‘ignorance is bliss’ came to mind.

The man let out a long sigh and closed his eyes. The picture seemed so familiar to him, yet he had never seen it before. His stomach gently churned and an odd feeling of regret filled him. He looked out the window into the empty gray sky, and it seemed a reflection of himself. He knew that he had looked through that very window once, when the sky was a bit brighter and the world with it. He knew that he had sat in this room once, and slept and played in it as well. He knew, at that moment, that he was finally home.

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