She’d avoided the place for years until a work trip brought Maria back. When her meeting ended unexpectedly early, she sat in the hire car for an age – her fingers throttling the steering wheel – before heading to the suburbs.

Illustration by Jim Pavlidis.

Illustration by Jim Pavlidis.Credit:

Passing landmarks both familiar yet disconcertingly altered, she finally pulled up outside her old family home. As the car idled, she noted a slick extension, solar panels, magazine-style landscaping where once there’d been a thriving vegie patch.

Then the front door opened. Instead of ghosts, two squealing children emerged, water pistols firing. Infused by a long-forgotten lightness, Maria pulled away.

To read more from Good Weekend magazine, visit our page at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Brisbane Times.

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