2 Doyle’s Way, Birr, Co. Offaly, Ireland, Europe, The World, The Solar System, The Milky Way, The Universe.
There it is. My full address. The place I’m home at last. The one tiny pixel-sized spot in the whole universe that belongs to me. Where I’ll be safe from him. Where he cannot reach me. Where nobody can reach me.
A small house. A house of thudding floorboards and dust motes floating busily in sunbeams and candle flames dancing joyfully.
A house with bars on all the windows – the reason I bought that house. I put deadlock in the doors, and the satisfying solid sigh of the key turning is the sound of safety for me. I placed bolts too, slid home whenever I go to bed.
And so the nightly groans and sighs of the house: the gurgles of pipes, the settling of walls, the clunks of the fridge, all these no longer scare me, but are whispers to me, “You are safe, you are safe.” And so I sleep deeply and peacefully, knowing I am secure. Inviolate. Impenetrable. Nobody can get in. Nobody can reach me.
Not even the fire brigade, the night the candle flames danced too ferociously.