I touched the cold iron wrought gate that opened to the small yard leading to No. 42, Filey Street, I was not sure whether it was the sleet rain or tears that rolled down my cheeks that day. But I felt a big lump in my chest that got stuck in my throat and my eyes got very misty. It was the 27th of April. 2016, summer, in Sheffield, yet the rain that fell brought sleet n snow instead of water. The last time Afzal crossed these gates was in February, 2010, when he said goodbye to his friends and left to come home for good.
It was an unplanned trip to the United Kingdom, to accompany Jep and his family, but when I purchased the air tickets to London, it was clear in my mind that I would like to revisit No. 42, Filey Street, Sheffield. The journey from London to Sheffield brought back waves of memories, with familiar sights greeting me all along the way. I felt like I'm going "home".
I walked the streets of the city, tracing the tramp route from the Sheffield University Station,had dinner at Popeye's on West Street and bought chocolates from Thorntons in downtown Sheffield. Although it has been 6 years since I was last there, nothing much has changed. It really felt like I'm visiting "home".