The engine already running, Todd put the car into gear and left the street that rested between his old diner and the building it sat in and the park that marked the town square.
People walked around the park. Some faces familiar. Some not. Even where he didn’t know the faces, however, Todd recognized enough of their features to name exactly which family they came from.
Windy Hills, a small, close community, had always been home to certain prominent families, as well as many not so many prominent ones. Even though Windy Hills had a healthy population, it was still easy to know all the families, if not the individual members, by name.
The park was largely unchanged. In spite of the economic hard times that swept through the town and shut down many businesses, the park had somehow persevered through all of it. Todd had the bittersweet knowledge that it wasn’t the external weight of a bad economy that led him to close the doors of his and his grandfather’s business. It was his choice.
But the decision would stick in his gut for a long time as one of the worst decisions he had ever made.
Did I have a choice? he thought.
Todd had plans to drive around the town, take in all of the images that he used to associate with the idea of home. He knew that he wouldn’t do it, however. Because once he started the look around, he knew he would eventually find the former home of someone he did not want to remember. The home of the woman who had his heart. The woman who was with him no more.
It was on account of his driving that he did not close his eyes and blink out the tears.