She sat on the front steps for a few minutes to catch her breath.
The breeze blew her hair across her face.
It was a cool breeze. Cooler than before.
Her back hurt. Ached. She straightened out her shoulders and pushed against a column on the porch.
With a sigh, she put her hands on her knees and pushed herself up. She walked inside to get the last box.
Her thin fingers picked through the framed pictures and notebooks crammed in the cardboard box. She found a notebook with “poems” written on it.
She dropped the notebook back in, and bent down to pick up the box.
The box was held against her chest as she walked to the car. It just barely fit into the trunk.
She closed the trunk and looked back at the house.
It looked smaller. It looked older.
Memories lived in that house. She wished they would stay there, instead of following her.
The car cranked on the first try.
A sign of good luck, she thought.
Leaves were blowing across the road now. It might start raining.
The seatbelt clicked as it buckled, and she settled into the car seat.
In a few seconds she’d be pulling away. She tried to imagine what that would be like. She’d pulled away many times before, but not like this.
Not with everything she owned packed up with her.
She looked down the street. It looked like an airport runway.
Airplanes scared her. The moment they left the ground terrified her. She wished she could hold on to the earth.
Some leaves landed on her windshield. They tangled with the breeze before blowing away.
The car fumes were filling up her nostrils. She checked her watch and pulled away from the curb.
Slowly at first.
She kept her eyes on the road. The passing houses were already in her memory.
She pushed the car faster now. She should be happy, she thought. This is what she wanted, after all.
But she wasn’t happy. And it didn’t seem like what she wanted.
She felt as if the car was filling up with water. Getting heavier. Her breaths became more shallow. Faster.
The moment overwhelmed her. She felt time passing ever so slowly. She dared not look back.
She felt heavier than ever. So full of emotions. Thoughts. Memories of a life she was leaving behind.
How could she also feel so empty?
She reached for her purse and moved it to her lap. She shuffled around and found a piece of paper with an address scribbled onto it.
She clipped the paper to the visor above her windshield.
Then the rain started.
Light sprinkles, then splatters.
Faster and harder.
She flipped the wipers on and watched them smear the windshield. The rain got harder.
Blowing leaves now stuck on the glass. The wipers piled them at the bottom of the dash.
Green leaves. She wondered why they weren’t brown and dead.
It’s like they’d been pulled off the tree while they were still growing.
The exit to the interstate was just ahead, so she flipped the blinker on.
Tick tock. Tick tock.
She slowed down just enough to merge into the heavy traffic.
The traffic swallowed her up. She became just another car.
Just another driver.
She would follow this road for miles.
© September 10, 2008