August 28, 2008
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The cool metal of the car’s roof presses against my back as I lay back, eyes lazily watching the stars. Beside me, my best friend rubs his eyes like he’s exhausted by the time we’ve spent out of here, by the time we’ve spent alive.

“Man, I gotta get outta here,” he says, a heavy sigh filtering through his words.

I make no comment, still lazily watching the stars, wondering.

Another one of his bone-deep wearied sighs interrupts the rhythmic chirping of the crickets, and this time it is a sigh of regret. “I gotta get away from here, like, now.”

Again, I make no response.

He sits up, pulling his knees in tight because anchoring himself is the only way to keep from breaking down, from freaking out, from crawling out of his own skin. I feel it, too; the burning desire to escape this mousetrap we call home.

I listen as he lets loose another sigh, this one frustrated and wounded. “We’ve both gotta get out of here.”

Still staring into the endless abyss above us, I just let him carry on.

“It’s crushing us, man, crushing me! I gotta get out of here.”

He lays back down, breathing deeper than before.

“I mean, can’t you feel it? The walls are closing in, man.”

I remain silent and just keep on keeping on. His breath brings a whole new rhythm to the night and I find my own anger stirring, rising to the surface.

Once again, I hear a sigh. He sighs like without his sighs he’d be lost to this hell we’ve been trying to escape our entire lives.

His next words make my fury halt its progression into rage.

“This place’ll kill us.”

Then I speak, “Hell it will.”

His voice is a little louder, more confident when he responds. “It will,” he says earnestly, “It is right now. I can feel it.”

I clench my fist, feeling the car keys pressing their mark into my palm. “I know.”

The confident tone wavers just the slightest, “I don’t wanna die here. I gotta get out of here.”

I nod shortly. “Well, we’re going to.”

“Good, ‘cause I’m not dyin’ here.” He doesn’t sound too convinced.

I build up my determination, feeding off the fury that was welling in me at the moment, boiling just below the surface and I tear my eyes from the bright stars. Pushing myself to the edge of the roof I jump off, landing a little unsteadily but recovering my balance.

After a moment’s hesitation he jumps down, too, landing beside me and tumbling to the ground.

I help him up and in moments we have piled into the car and pulled out of the empty lot. My eyes narrow in determination at the road and I push down the peddle, letting the speedometer rise well above the speed limit, not caring in the least.

We drive, non stop, red lights and stop signs afterthoughts in our wild determination, until we pass that little green sign; the one that declares our freedom. I smile and shriek my joy out of the open window, cranking up the radio.

I can hear him doing the same in the passenger seat. Bright beaming grins split our faces and I can literally feel the air lightening.

We roll up the windows and get on the highway, our minds still on that little sign.

"Thank you for visiting Alpharetta"

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