It was time. It was time to leave. The town she had grown close to, the place she had called home for so many years was becoming toxic, dark and cruel. It wasn’t home anymore, it was cold and frightening. Strange people lurked in the corners, women cried and men cursed, many people had moved away already, some for good and some for a few years.
Either way, they were free of this place.
A place that had once been bright and warm, with fiery leaves and large parks, full of chatter and laughter, it was a place that used to be safe, that used to feel as though you’d stepped back in time, to the years of big dresses and swing music. It was a festive town, you knew just about everyone. And then things changed, as things always do. It wasn’t the same; it would never be the same.
It was time she accepted that and turned away.
Leaving one’s home is a terribly hard thing to do. It’s a sad, bittersweet feeling, deep in the pit of your stomach and in the pounding of your heart. Tears come freely and the weight on your shoulders lifts, but the sorrow of leaving the place, the people you knew like the back of your hand, stays, it burns and coils, threatening to engulf you, and keep you rooted.
But she couldn’t do that.
No, she was leaving. Her yellow boxes were packed. Her car was ready. She was ready, well as ready as she was ever going to be. And like that, she climbed into her car and started off down the road, watching the cream walls of her old house disappear into the blue sky.
The town where she’d said her first word, the place where she’d first walked, laughed, cried, where she played in the garden pretending to be a witch, where she met her best friend next door, where she had a first breakup, where she found out her parents weren’t coming home from the war, where she’d lost her grandmother and graduated university. It was all fading into the background as the setting sun swallowed it whole. It was better this way. Having no one to say goodbye to, everyone else had already moved. Everyone else was free.
It was about time she was too.
“You’re making the right choice, sweetheart,” a voice tore her from her thoughts, the hand on her thigh still drawing circles, soft lips beginning to trace her shoulder.
“James, stop,” she laughed, rolling her eyes, “I’m trying to drive.”
James chuckled, shifting back into his seat, but he kept his hand on her leg and smiled, “I’m glad you’re gettin’ out of that town.”
“I know,” she responded, sighing, “it was becoming harder and harder to do anything there, wasn’t safe, for anyone at all.”
“Your parents would be proud of you Loreali, they really would be,” James said softly, “gettin’ away from the place where…so much bad happened.”
Loreali nodded, turning to smile at her boyfriend of two years, “I know. I know.”
“I love you,” James leaned over and pressed a soft kiss on her cheek and squeezed her knee, “I love you so much darling.”
Yeah, this was definitely the right choice, warm, safe, home, with him, always with him.
This way, she’d get to work easier; it would be closer to the city but not too close. And she would put some distance between her and the depression, the anxiety and attempted suicides. She could finally let the beast go. While it stayed there, in her past, she was moving forward, into the bright sunset and that, she thought, was much better than the alternative.
Some challenges are meant to be taken. It’s time those monsters were defeated. Don’t you think?