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We were stumbling along the cracked and broken sidewalk. We had just come out of a movie about some stupid couple that had to fall in love all over again or something like that. I didn't really know because I wasn't paying attention to the movie but to Danny, my best friend. He was making fun of the couple in front of us who were all over each other and making out. I was crying because, I was laughing so hard at him making noises and faces at the two teenagers. They turned around and glared at us constantly. We finally got kicked out of the movie for being to loud. So we started walking to our favorite coffee shop.
"I hate those types of people," he told me. "They think they have to flaunt their so called 'love' everywhere for everyone to see and it's gross. If you love each other shouldn't you know it enough to where you don't have to shove it in everyone's faces?"
"You know I've always thought that was just something single people said to make themselves feel better," I teased him.
Danny had been single for as long as I could remember. As where I had on and off relationships all the time.
He looked at me with a scowl and then shook his head. All I did was laugh because I knew he hated when I teased him for never having a girlfriend. We continued walking in the absolute freezing, Aurora, New York weather.
We both hated that town. The constant routine that everyone was always following, made me cringe on a regular basis. I hated that town because it held too many bad memories. My mom and dad divorced in that town. I had to endure middle school and high school in that town. I hated that everyone knew each other, and their business. The only thing I could thank that town for was bringing Danny and I together. He was the only reason I stayed in that pitiful place after high school.
I had graduated last year and I was so ready to leave and never look back, but Danny told me I should stay and take a year off college. What did I do? I listened to him, of course. I had always listened to everything he told me to do. I trusted that idiot with my life, and he was always right eventually. Danny was, nineteen, a year older than I was, but he never wanted to go to college. I don't know what made him want to willingly stay in that town for a whole other year.
We made it into the coffee shop and went up to the counter.
"Hey Rosie, hey Danny," Matt Ryan, the barista greeted us.
"Hey. We're just gonna have the usual," Danny mumbled. He nodded at us and started to make our hot chocolates. We both hated coffee. We got our cups and sat down at a table. I stretched out my legs across the seat next to me and made myself comfortable. I looked at Danny and found him staring at me with a smirk.
"Can I help you?" I asked him.
"Yeah, you can actually. Do ever think about your future?" He asked me randomly.
"Of course I do," I scoffed, "I think about it all the time. I always think about who I will be. Who I will marry. Who I will inspire. Who I will meet. I always think about it," I said. He simply nodded his head and sipped his drink. I waited to see if he would continue talking about the subject but he didn't.
"What about you?" I continued.
"Me?" He looked at me curiously, "I don't plan my future out. I don't think about the future all that often to be honest. I think planning it out is stupid," he laughed.
"Why is it stupid to think about your future? Don't you want to know what will happen to yourself? Don't you have a dream that you want to come true in the future?" I asked him earnestly.
"I have no desire to know that stuff because I like living in the present. I like that I don't know what will happen tomorrow, or next week, or next year," he smiled "I don't want to know. I like this day, I like what is happening now. I don't want to be burdened with what might happen tomorrow. The burden can be worried about when it comes," he said as he leaned back in his chair.
We didn't really talk that much after he said that. I was lost in my thoughts and he was doing something on his phone. It was getting late and the hot chocolate was making me sleepy along with the soft tunes of the coffee house music.
"It's getting late, we should start heading home," I suggested to Danny.
"Okay sure, let's go," he said as he got up.
We walked out of the coffee place into the brisk, bone-chilling air. We were walking and not talking but Danny was humming a song. I knew it was Let Her Go by Passenger, because it was his favorite song. All of a sudden he stopped walking, grabbed my shoulders, and turned my body to his.
"Let's go somewhere," he said with complete seriousness.
I was so confused as to what he meant so I asked him, "What do you even mean?"
" I mean let's go! Let's get out of this hell hole and run off! It's not like anyone would actually care what happened to us!" he nearly shouted with excitement.
"Are you feeling okay? You've been acting strange since we were at the coffee place," I said as I felt his forehead. He pushed my hand off his head and let go of my shoulders. He turned towards the night sky, and was silent.
"Rosie, I'm being completely serious," he said "you are the only person I would run away with, and the best part is, we can! Do you really think anyone would notice that the two people who hate this town the most, were gone?" he asked. I went to respond but was cut off by Danny, "Of course they wouldn't!" he shouted.
"Dan, what about our parents? They would notice! My mom would freak out!" I exclaimed.
"Don't lie to yourself Rosie, you know as well as I do that neither of our parents would notice. Your dad doesn't even talk to you anymore! And you're mom doesn't even know you exist!" he yelled. I wasn't mad at him for saying those things because they were completely true, but I didn't understand why he was getting so worked up over all of this.
"You're totally right Danny, but why is it such a big deal that we run away? I hate this town as much as you do but what are we in like, third grade?" I asked him.
"I'm so sick of being boring and not having thrill in my life! We could go so many places! We could go all over the country! Heck even the world!" he said with fire in his eyes.
" And how exactly do you propose we do that? I don't have million dollars just lying around! Do you?" I said.
"What I meant was, backpacking all over the place. Live off of what we have at the moment and just, just I don't know, be free!" He said as he threw his hands in the air.
I stared at him for a while and saw that he was completely serious. I had to admit it sounded like an amazing idea, to not have anyone tell us what to do and, to just be us.
"When the heck would we actually do this Danny?" I asked him.
He had started walking down the sidewalk towards the direction of our street, but when I spoke he stopped in his foot steps and turn around towards me.
"So, you're on board with it? You'll go with me?" he asked.
I let out a big sigh and stuffed my hands in my jacket pockets and looked at the stars, then back at Danny and shook my head.
"I honestly cannot believe I'm going to do this, I hate you," I told him.
He laughed and tackled me in an enormous bear hug that almost brought us to the ground. I smiled into his shoulder and hugged him back. He threw me over his shoulder and ran around in circles.
"Put me down you moron!" I laughed at him.
"You're the best person in the world! I love you!" He yelled towards the black sky.
"I know I am, and I love you to, but put me down!" I yelled at his back. He let me go rather roughly and I stumbled and fell on my butt.
"Hah! Sorry Rosie," he offered his hand to me after apologizing, for practically throwing me on the ground. I took his hand and stood up. We started to continue the walk to our street when I turned to him.
"When are we gonna do this?" I asked him.
"Let's go tomorrow!" He said.
"Tomorrow? Are you sure?" I asked.
He shrugged and responded, "Why not? The sooner the better."
I nodded my head and we both silently agreed that we would leave tomorrow and not look back. We decided that we were going to take a train to New York City and wing it from there.
We made it to my house and I turned to him and hugged him with all my might. He hugged me back just as hard and released me.
"Night Danny," I waved at him.
"Night Rosie," he returned, and then started the short walk to his house across the street from mine.
I went to bed that night and laid awake thinking about what would happen tomorrow. I wondered if my mother would notice me leave and not return home. I didn't even get to see her when I had gotten home because she was out with here new boyfriend, and couldn't be bothered to come home at a decent time to tell me goodnight or, that she loved me. I couldn't even remember the last time she actually told me to my face, that she loved me. It didn't matter though, not anymore. I would be gone and she wouldn't have me as a burden any longer.
Though, a part of me wanted her to notice when I left. I wanted her to miss me. I wanted her to cry over my lost presence. I wanted her to worry out of her mind about me, and then demand I return home because she missed me. I knew that wouldn't happen though, I wasn't stupid enough to actually let myself believe that it would.
I slowly fell asleep that night with the feeling of excitement starting to brew in my stomach. It was a nervous, uncomfortable feeling, but I couldn't help but smile when my stomach churned with butterflies. Because truth be told I was beyond excited and beyond ready to leave that town. I fell asleep thinking of endless possibilities for Danny and myself, thinking of adventures,new people, and new things.
I woke up at six the next morning so I could meet Danny at seven in his driveway. We decided we were going to call a cab to drop of us at the train station. Neither of us had a car, we both used our parents' cars or walked.
I stared to scurry around my room like a mouse, trying to get everything together. I packed a book bag filled with clothes and the essentials. I put a phone charger in the last pocket on the book bag along with my earphones and a random handful of ponytail holders. I put on the outfit I chose for that day: faded green skinny jeans, a long sleeve t-shirt with some random band on it and a old, battered black jacket over it. I left my hair down and threw an old gray beanie that must have been Danny's, on my head. I grabbed my favorite pair of black leather combat boots and slid them easily on my sock clad feet.
I grabbed my back pack and made my way down the stairs into the kitchen. I hit the final step of the stair case and looked around the deserted den I had grown up in. I knew that it wasn't going to be the last time I stepped foot into that house, but it was still a bittersweet moment.
I walked into my kitchen to find my mother hunched over the table reading the morning news paper, with her old red glasses perched on top of her slender nose. I cleared my throat when I made my way further into the kitchen. My mother's head rose ever so slightly so she could see who had entered the kitchen even though, we were the only people in the house. I grabbed a green Granny Smith apple from the bowl of fruit on our granite island. I was still surprised my mom knew that I only liked the green ones.
"Good morning sweet heart," she greeted me.
I cringed at the pet name that I absolutely hated. My dad used to call me that all the time when I was little, but now the nickname left a bad taste in mouth whenever I heard it.
"Morning Mom," I replied to her. I didn't have the lovey relationship with my mother that most girls had. I had alway been furious with her for letting my dad walk out on us, and not trying to stop him. She was in a bad place after my dad left and ignored me for a while. She left me to clean the house, take care of the laundry, and look after myself. I didn't speak to her for the longest time, and even when I did, it was forced and awkward. Things weren't as bad as they used to be between the two of us but, I still didn't like holding too many conversations with her.
"Where are you going so early?" she asked me.
"Danny and I are going to go out and do some stuff today," I smoothly lied to her. It wasn't a complete lie because I was going somewhere, (even if it was hours away) with Danny and we were going to do some "stuff".
"Oh, okay. I won't be back until late tonight because I have a date, so don't wait up for me," she said as she looked back to her newspaper. I just kind of looked at her and couldn't help but laugh because, she had no clue that I wouldn't be here whenever she decided to come back home.
I looked at my phone and saw that it was six fifty so I moved to my mother and stood directly in front of the table.
She looked up at me again and asked, "Do you need something Rosie?"
I simply walked to her chair and embraced her in hug, for the first time in months, maybe even years. She didn't know what to do at first but soon she hugged me back. I let go of her and stood up straight up.
"Goodbye Mom," I said with sadness in my voice.
"Bye honey. Have a good time with Danny," she told me, not knowing she wouldn't see me anytime soon.
I took a deep breath and started to make my way down the hall to my front door. I passed the few pictures that were hanging on the walls of the narrow space. I ran my fingers over the family picture that I refused to let my mom take down, because it had my dad in it. I wanted her to keep something of him so I could always remember him, even if I didn't want to. I walked a little further and saw the picture of my mom and I when I was five years old. I was smiling at my mom while she was holding me and smiling back at me. I felt my eyes start to water but I didn't know why because, I wasn't going to miss my mother all that much, if I was being completely honest.
I guess it was the feeling in my stomach of knowing that I wouldn't see her for a long time. I made my way to the very end of the hallway to see a picture of my father and I when I was a baby. He was looking at me with so much love and I was smiling a toothless smile at the camera. I couldn't believe that in that picture, was same man that left me when I needed him most.
I reached for the knob of the front door and looked down the hallway to the kitchen one more time, to see the light pouring out into the hall. I turned back to the door, opened it and walked out. I stepped down each step of my childhood home one at a time. I paused at every step and thought of some sort of memory that had brought me joy or sadness while I lived in that house. I knew that there were more memories that were covered in sadness rather then joy. I knew that leaving this place was the right decision. I knew that this was what I had to. That way, I could find myself and grow more into the person I wanted to be, without my depressing past constantly thrashing in my head.
I hopped off of the last step and made my way down my drive way. I walked across the street to Danny's house and saw him leaning against the car looking at me.
"I was starting to think you changed your mind," he said as I walked to stand in front of him.
I rolled my eyes and said, "Well I didn't, so let's go."
"The cab is gonna be here in like five minutes," he told me.
I nodded my head and started to shuffle my feet in the small puddle that was in his drive way.
"You okay?" he asked me.
"Yes I'm fine. I'm just tired," I lied. The truth was that I was so nervous I could've thrown up. I didn't know why I was so scared to leave, but I was.
"Cab's here," he told me.
I looked up from my boots and saw the awful, mustard yellow car sitting in the street. Danny started to walk to towards the cab. I followed closely behind him. He opened the door and gestured for me to scoot in first. He climbed in right after me and shut the door.
"Where to?" the driver asked us.
"Grand Central Station," Danny replied.
I knew it was going to be a long hour drive from Long Island to the station, so I made myself comfortable against Danny and laid my head on his shoulder. He was on his phone, probably looking at which train we were going to take. I decided to try and get some sleep since we wouldn't be there for a little while.
I had successfully fallen asleep until I felt someone shaking me and trying to get me to wake up.
"Roz, c'mon, wake up!" Danny shouted at me.
I groggily rubbed my eyes and stumbled out of the car to stand next to Danny. He walked over to the passenger side of the cab, leaned into the window, and paid the man the taxi fare.
We walked into the station and I was amazed at how everyone was in such a rush and hurrying along with out so much as blinking. We walked up to the ticket window and a woman was sitting there waiting for us to order our tickets.
"Where should we go?" Danny asked me.
I looked at the schedule board and saw a train that left at nine thirty for Maryland.
I moved my head to look back at the lady, impatiently waiting for our decision.
"Two tickets to Maryland please. The one for nine thirty," I told the lady.
She nodded and started to print the tickets. I could feel Danny's eyes on me, probably wondering why I chosen Maryland out of all places.
"Why Maryland?" he asked me.
"There's this place, called Ocean City," I stopped and grabbed the tickets after Danny handed her the money. "I saw it on this travel pamphlet that was laying around in my kitchen. It's a beach town. It has this pier and it's supposed to nothing but a small island and beach everywhere," I told him.
He didn't respond to me, instead he just lead the way to the benches to wait for our train to arrive.
"Where do you want to go after we see Maryland?" he said.
I thought about it for a little bit, but no certain place came to my mind. So instead of telling him a place I just said, "Wherever the wind happens to blow us."
He laughed at me and said, "I like that idea."
We didn't really bring up any conversation after that. I started to wonder what my mother was doing at that moment. But I didn't really want to think about her so I shoved the thought to the back of my mind.
"What are we going to do when we get there? It's not like we can actually go to the beach. It's winter," Danny asked me.
I didn't know myself so I just shrugged and told him, "We'll figure it out when we get there."
He nodded at my response and started to play some stupid game on his phone. I began to watch him, not in a creepy way, but as if I was memorizing him.
He had shaggy brown curls and sea blue eyes. His hands were large and almost swallowed his phone. He had a tendency to hunch slightly when he was really concentrated. He was muscular for a guy that didn't work out all that much,and he was just slim enough. He was actually a really attractive guy. I always wondered how he stayed single so long. He wasn't the regular teenage guy. He wasn't a pig or jerk, he was actually really sincere, and he was a gentleman.
Although, people tended to judge him because he didn't dress like the rest of the guys at our school. He didn't wear skinny jeans, but they weren't to loose either. He wore a lot of shirts that always had a band on the front, and he constantly had either Converse or Vans on. Girls overlooked him because he didn't play sports, and he didn't try to be some obnoxious idiot like the rest of the loser boys in our town.
I used to have somewhat of a crush on Danny, but after I realized he would never think of me like that I shook the feeling and moved on. I didn't think of Danny like that anymore. He was just my best friend and that was all he would ever be.
"You know staring isn't polite," Danny said. I jumped at the sound of voice, because I didn't even realize that I had been staring at him while I was going through all of my thoughts.
"Sorry, I was um, zoned out," I said as I tried to gather my flustered self.
"It's okay. I would stare at me too. I'm aware I'm pretty attractive," he joked cockily.
I rolled my eyes and replied, "You wish."
"Aw. You don't think I'm good looking?" he asked.
"Oh, shut up Danny," I told him. He laughed at me and went back to his phone.
I didn't even realize that I had been blushing the entire conversation until he said, "You're cute when you blush, Rosie." My cheeks went an even darker scarlet, and I tried to hide my face with my hair.
I looked up at the giant golden clock in the middle of the station to see that it was nine twenty. I was washed over with relief because I didn't need to be embarrassed any more.
"Do you think that this will be worth it?" I asked Danny. He paused as to think about it.
"Honestly, I don't know. But that's what I want to find out. I want to discover if it's worth it as we go. It'll be more fun that way," he said.
I looked back at the clock and saw time had flown by because it was nine twenty seven. "Let's go over to where the train will come in," I told him.
He looked up at the clock and nodded his head. We got up, grabbed our bags and started to make our way to the platform. I was looking down and almost ran into an angry looking business man.
"Woah. Roz, watch out," Danny said as he moved my body in front of his so I wouldn't be trampled.
"Oh geez. Sorry," I apologized to the man. But I wasn't thinking about the man anymore. No, I was thinking about the spark that electrocuted my body when Danny grabbed my shoulders. I didn't know why it felt the way it did, but it made me nervous and I wanted the feeling to go away.
I didn't want to think of Danny like that. I mean, he was my best friend. Oh get a grip, you know you like him. You always have, my subconscious started to scream at me. I ignored it though, and followed Danny through the crowd of people. We stopped at our train that had just pulled up to the station. We climbed into it and made our way down the small isle to find seats. We stopped at two seats and I rushed in before Danny, so I could steal the window seat.
"Oh c'mon! I wanted the window," Danny whined.
"Too bad," I said as I stuck my tongue out at him. He rolled his eyes and fell down into his seat. I giggled at him, which caused him to start smiling from ear to ear at me. I let out a short laugh before turning to the window.
I knew it was going to be a long three hour ride, so I put my headphones in and drowned the world out. Danny must have decided to sleep because he laid his head on my shoulder and I could feel his breathing starting to slow.
I smiled to myself because he was warm against me, and his curls started to tickle my neck. I turned back to the window and sighed out as the train stared to move. At that moment I realized there was no going back. This is what it.
I was pleased with myself for choosing to go on that adventure with Danny because I knew that if I was with him, then I would be worry free. I wouldn't have any troubles. Being with Danny was like taking a breath of fresh air, after being stuck in a muggy room. He was like the first sight of fall after a long, hot summer. He was refreshing and he was a free spirit. He was simply, Danny.