Hands wrapped around his throat woke him up. He could barely see as his eyes failed to adjust to what he was trying to see. Breathing was getting difficult and his throat was being squeezed. His chest felt like someone was sitting on it. He could see eyes piercing through the darkness, as he concentrated on them they cut their shape thin in a look of anger, like a snarling dog ready to attack. Frozen by this attack he didn’t think to move his arms or to defend himself, instead he blinked over and over again, each blink making the image of a pale woman’s face clearer. This face was haunted by blue surges across her beautiful face. She looked like she had been partially drowned, and only woken from her unconsciousness to throttle the life out of him. He started to be able to breath again, his chest felt less heavy and as this happened the woman released his throat, and began to crawl backwards from him. Her face did not look away, nor did the expression change until she was standing in front of the bed. Her angry face and eyes became calm, and looked as if they glanced at Guillaume with a feeling of pity and sorrow. She raised up her hand and waved, saying farewell until your next sleep.

He lay staring at the ceiling in a pool of sweat. He did not know where he was. ‘Think Gwilly, where are you? What are you doing here? Don’t panic!’ His mind began to reel as it threw itself through all of his memories. ‘I was attacked, I escaped and a woman was going to take me home.’ He remembered. He assumed he was being taken home, but where is he and why was he here instead of home? ‘I must be at her’s, maybe it was too late to go home, maybe she doesn’t know who I am and where to take me?’ He sat himself up and looked at his open palms, they had a sheen of sweat across them. He clutched his fists which made a sound like moving leather. ‘I will ask her to take me home’, he thought to himself optimistically.

He left the room and went back to the bathroom he had bathed in last night, as he did all the memories of yesterday began to be more clear to him. He brushed his teeth and slapped some cold water on his face and arms, and then washed his hands to remove the sweat marks. He crept downstairs and turned down a hallway. He could see a woman with her back towards him, this was the same woman who had grabbed him and was going to take him home. She looked busy cooking or doing the washing up, he couldn’t tell what it was she was doing. He heard a noise behind him and didn’t dare to look, a pat on the head was delivered and a man briskly walked passed him saying in a soft morning voice ‘Good morning Willy, come get some breakfast’.

He didn’t know what to do so he followed the man, thinking that obedience may be the best start in this odd situation. He sat himself at the table in the kitchen and was given a plate full of morning food: buttered toast, an egg, two sausages and a piece of bacon. He wolfed it down without much thought about his predicament. Food and hunger had a way of pushing everything aside. The woman was talking to the man about the supermarket and was explaining how she had found ‘Willy’, as she called him, in the bathroom washing his hands after he had gone missing. It was true, he had gone missing because he had ran away from home, and he was found washing his hands after being attacked. Before she was able to finish the story Guillaume became impatient and shouted ‘Can you take me home please!’ Both the man and woman burst into laughter. The woman spoke with a cynical tongue, ‘you see? He is still confused from going missing. What did you even do when you went missing?’, Guillaume replied ‘I was missing…But, I wasn’t lost, I ran away. Can you take me home?’ The man spoke this time treating him like a child. ‘I think he is tired and just means THE home.’, the woman replied ”oh that makes sense’. She walked over to Guillaume and leaned down, speaking in a soft, affectionate tone which reeked of sugary apples and other sweet and delicious things, ‘We will go soon. Finish your breakfast, okay? I promise we will go the moment you get changed.’

Hearing this he fell silent, made sure nothing was left on his plate and went upstairs to change. The man and the woman spoke to each other, ‘what has gotten into him’ one said, the other replying ‘no idea, I think yesterday took it out of him and he just wants to see granny’. ‘I’m gonna be busy, can you take him?’ said the man, the woman replied with a soft sigh that raised her chest and slowly sank it back down again, ‘yes, of course.’ ‘Thank you’, he said meekly like a child being told he is allowed to play. Guillaume was already at the kitchen door fully dressed. They both looked at him stood in the doorway. ‘See? I told you he wants to go to the home!’, they both smiled at him and his face blushed violently. The woman rubbed his face with affection and went to get changed. Before she could disappear up the stairs Guillaume shouted to her with excitement, ‘I’ll be waiting on the front door step for you!’ She smiled at him, finding him adorable, ‘O-K’ she mouthed at him with a grin. He opened and closed the front door, plonking himself on the step and sat himself down. He waited for what felt so long that he thought that he may actually die of old age. Just as he decided to stand up and go back inside, she opened the door on his rising. She was flustered by the pressure he was applying on her to hurry up. ‘Okay, calm down please otherwise we won’t go.’ His body went stiff and he tried to remain as calm as possible. ‘Good’, she replied seeing his body change its posture and attitude. She no longer felt so impatient with his pushing her to rush.

They drove for a while. He felt no need to talk. He was going home, but the woman kept looking at him like she had something to say but didn’t want to break the silence. Finally, she spoke. ‘I’ll drop you off as always, make sure to say hello from me.’ He had no idea that she knew his father. ‘Okay.’ he replied, and before he knew what he was saying he slipped out a desperate plea of a child, ‘will I ever see you again?’ She looked at him with confusion, ‘I’ll pick you up after, stop being weird.’ ‘After what?’ he thought to himself, was he coming back with her after going home. ‘That would be nice, she seems nice and reminds me of my mother’, he thought to himself secretively. This thought embarrassed him so he looked out of the window pretending he was watching whatever was passing by. He nestled the affection he felt in that moment and held onto it, it made him feel warm inside and he liked it. He would hold on to it as long as he could, he thought to himself.

She pulled up at a gated set of houses, they looked like old people’s homes. ‘Where are we?’ he said, the woman replied ‘at granny’s care-home, stop being weird and pretending you don’t know!’ He spoke with disbelief, ‘I thought she was dead?’, ‘Oh my God, Willy! She may be old and dying, but she isn’t dead yet. God, you have gotten rude lately!’ He without a word felt sorry for what he had said, and blurted out how he felt with a ‘I’m sorry’, although he didn’t understand why what he said was wrong and should be felt sorry about. ‘Now go inside and go to room 65, which is her’s. Spend the day with her and try to calm down. We all know you get distressed when you don’t get to see her regularly. I’m sorry we didn’t get to go last weekend. Make up for it, she loves you dearly.’ He didn’t know what to say so just said ‘okay’. He got out of the car and looked back at the woman through his side of the window, she wound his window down so she could speak to him. ‘See you later.’ He went to speak but didn’t know what to say other than goodbye, but he didn’t know what to call her, and he wanted to call her something in order to show her he liked her. So he asked ‘what should I call you?’, she frowned and replied in an instant ‘Mommy.’ She laughed and said goodbye again before driving off.

As the dust raised by the car leaving began to fall back to the ground, he turned to face the care-home. ‘Wow, I get to call her Mommy. That’s nice!’ he thought to himself as he hugged the warm feeling within him so tight he could throttle it like a cute puppy crushed against his chest.

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