After Richard graduated from high school, he realized that, unless he followed in the footsteps of all the males in his family for generations, he had no prospects for employment in the small company town in West Virginia. He could not abide by the thought of working in the coal mine, the town’s only real employer for able-bodied young men.
Richard’s departure had been sudden and unexpected to all but himself. Even though he didn’t know where he would go or what he would do, he did know that he needed to embark on his journey of self-discovery. And so Richard quietly packed up his meager belongings and disappeared before dawn one morning.
He figured that no one would miss him. He was, after all, a loner. He had few friends and even his parents complained that he had been a cold, aloof child. He was never quite sure if he was that way because it was just in his nature to keep his distance from others or if he acted that way because that’s how everyone told him he was. In the end, though, it didn’t matter. He left and didn’t look back.
Although he vowed that he would never return, Richard found himself standing on the ridge of the hill looking down at the small town where he had been born and raised. It was hard for him to believe that five whole years had passed since he’d last been to the place he used to call home.
During his absence, Richard had finally discovered who he was. He was still a loner, still aloof, but now he was okay with being that way. Those were the characteristics that gave him the self-sufficiency and confidence to make it on his own. And now it was time for the prodigal son to go home for a long overdue homecoming. It was time to reintroduce himself to his family.
If they would have him.
Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. The idea is to use the photo above and this week’s prompt word, “return,” to write our story. And speaking of return, I’m so happy that Sue is feeling well enough, after having been seriously ill, to return to posting brand new #writephoto prompts.