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There’s a block of flats not five minutes from my office. Above the windows, there’s a giant banner.

“If you lived here, you’d be home by now,” it says.

Every day, I pass that sign and drive almost half an hour further until I get home.

It always makes me think. It’s almost half an hour each way; that means if I lived there, not only would I be home by now, I would save myself five hours every week.

With an extra five hours every week, I could take up a new hobby. Painting, perhaps, or knitting. I could learn to sew; make my own clothes. I could take cooking lessons- I could cook proper meals, instead of whipping up the quickest thing possible as soon as I got home.

But for all the extra things I could do with those five hours, it isn’t worth it.

For the sake of five hours a week, I would have to accept sleepless nights and slamming doors; thin walls and floors, noisy neighbours and nosy neighbours. A convenient, well-placed flat with no garden and no life; a flat that looks exactly like every other one. Not a home. Not even a house.

So I drive that extra half an hour, every evening. I drive that extra half an hour away from the smoke, and the traffic, and the people. I drive that extra half hour out to green fields, to a garden full of flowers and a house that is more than just a place to sleep that’s conveniently close to the office.

I drive home.

And if you lived here, you’d be home too.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note – I’m going to be moving soon, so it got me thinking about the difference between ‘house’ and ‘home’. I have great hopes that this is going to be a Home.)