"Homes really are no more than the people who live in them."
To a spy, home is a very fluid concept. It't not really home the way most people think of home. It's not so much where you grew up. It's more where you happen to be sleeping that particular night. And, since there's a distinct possibility that you could die in the next twenty-four hours, for all you know, you might never get to go back. It's one of the reasons spies never really get attached. Besides, when you're a spy, the odds are you're living alone. And one person doesn't make a home, not really. So the place where a spy stays shouldn't be called home. Anything, just not home. Never home.
My home as a child shouldn't be called a home either. It was a house, with a family living in it, sure, but not a home. To most, home is a safe haven. The one place you can be yourself. Homes have happy memories, smiles, and laughter. My home didn't. As a young boy, home meant tears, bruises, and worry. It wasn't the place I missed when I was away; it was the place I dreaded returning to. When I left at seventeen, I promised myself I would never go back. I escaped, and I planned to stay away.
After that there was just a list of places. Dublin. Moscow. Germany. Afghanistan. Southern Nigeria. Belfast. The Balkans. None of them permanent enough to be deserving of that particular title. None of them home.
And then, the next thing I knew I was dumped back in Miami. The one place I never wanted to see again. I tried so hard for so long to get out, to leave Miami behind me again. Forever. But then, it wasn't just the place I had tried so hard to forget. I didn't mind it anymore. I had family, and friends. Fiona. Sam. Mom. Nate. Even Barry. I had a car, and I knew where'd I'd be sleeping tomorrow, and even the next night. Sure, there were still bad memories, but they weren't the only thing I thought when someone said the word Miami. Miami meant family. It meant friends. It even meant safety, most of the time. Miami was no longer just a place. It was home.
And this time, home didn't mean tears or bruises or worry. It meant friendship, laughter, comfort. It meant love. And that's when I realized that home isn't a place, not really. It's a feeling. One that I hadn't really known until now. One that means something different to everyone. One that you never want to let go of once you find it. And I had found it. I had found home.