The sun shines brightly on my face as the barred gate slams shut behind me with an imposing bang. Freedom! I marvel at the green grass and the birds flitting past me. The world has once again come alive while I was stuck in the slammer.
A little yellow cab pulls up in front of me. My chariot back to life. I get in, closing the taxi’s door between myself and my past. The future and my family await!
It is on the way to my house that things start to lose their shine. My favourite restaurant, a quaint little Greek place where everyone knew me by name, is closed.
“How long has Mama Agathe’s restaurant been closed?” I ask the driver.
“Since Mama Agathe passed away a few months ago. Her husband was constantly reminded of her in that place, so he didn’t want to keep it open. And when none of her children wanted to continue the business, it closed for good. Kind of sad, really. Mama Agathe’s was my favourite.”
“Mine too,” I say. We lapse into silence as I continue staring out the window at my town passing us by. The next thing that catches my eye is the bright white and red sign of Shoppers Drug Mart right where the local pharmacy used to be. “Did Shoppers buy out Murrel’s?”
“Yeah,” the driver replies. “That was also a few months back. Bought out almost all of the pharmacies in the region.”
“Wow. I never thought old Murrel would ever sell out.”
“From what I heard, he retired in Florida with the money.”
We turn left onto my street. Now I’m getting really anxious. Only a few more minutes and I get to see my daughter again. Whenever my wife came to visit me, she always left our daughter at her mother’s. Said she didn’t want our girl to have any memories of the prison.
Out of the corner of my eye I notice the derelict building across from our house is gone. In its place sits the foundation of a brand new house, with workers swarming all over it. Who would’ve known that so many changes can take place in just six months?
We pull into the driveway of the two story brick house that my wife and I bought three years back. I pay the driver, then nervously approach the front door. The door swings open silently and my wife comes forward to welcome me back into my life. And out toddles our daughter, cautiously following her mom. It is only when I finally see my little girl after six long months without her blue-eyed smile that I truly grieve for all the time I had lost.