Everytime she visits, she feels like a stranger, a mere visitor, a traveler that had just stopped by s friend's house, a friend that wasn't at all close to, dropping by to say a quick hello just to be polite and kind.
And to think, she was there since the mere beginning, when the community was small, when she knew everyone and her way around. When there were talks and jokes and laughter, like those of family and friends at a dinner table.
Now she is only just an outsider, thinking she knew of so many, thinking that she was perhaps wise, that perhaps this is another chance to inspire, another chance to mend old friendships. To maybe join that dinner table again.
But in her heart she knew she would never truly belong.
She knew that eventually, if she joined that dinner table again, she will drift away, as so many other times before. Knew that she will only disappoint and sadden them, but in the end they would forget, they will only have that faint memory of her, and a wonder of where she went.
She knew that she would never get to know what happened when she was gone, for she was the one that disappeared without a trace, yet dared to come back and laugh as if nothing happened.
She knew that she abandoned them.
She knew that she made mistakes, horrible ones, that she argued without knowing, that she despised without thinking, yet she reassures herself that they were just done to maybe help others, maybe fix things. It never ended that way. It ended with people scarred and broken and angry.
Perhaps they don't feel this way, but in her heart she knew that she would never deserve anything of theirs.
Yet still she tries to join in the conversations at the dinner table. She tried to understand the jokes. She tried.
But deep inside her heart she knows, she knows perfectly well, that she will always be an outsider. That things won't be the same as it was before, when she was part of something bigger, when she was one of those who joined the dining table without hesitation, and talked and laughed sometimes even argued with the others.
She would only be the one sitting there, listening as the ones that she used to talk and laugh with debate and talk and cheer and joked at the dinner table, unaware of her.
Because she is only a traveler passing by, because she will only drift away, because she will only leave once again.
And knowing that, she tries still.
To maybe for a moment feel like she was part of that grand dinner every night at the dinner table.
To maybe for a moment feel like the family she used to feel so close to.
But then again, she doesn't try.
She doesn't try with all her might. With all the fight in her. With the determination.
Because she knows, as they all know, that she will only drift away once again, to leave them, to have them wonder what happened. And maybe they already despise her for doing so, because who does she think she is, waltzing back as if she didn't leave. As if she didn't drift away. As if she won't leave again.
So when they talk to her, she doesn't know how to reply, how to react.
For she is only a stranger now. Just a traveler, simply passing by.
And that thought alone pains her.
Soon enough, however, she leaves the dining table anyways, an outsider still, and like a traveler, she's on her way again to gods know where.
And soon enough she learns to bear with the pain, perhaps even forget them as they probably did her. She learns to move on, for she is an outsider, they didn't need her anymore, for she was the one who left in the first place.
But somehow, soon enough, she'll wander back still.
Because travelers always wound up to be with their families again, right?