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Click. I freeze at the sound of the door closing behind me. For a snap second I wonder if someone has heard me leave and I’ll be forced back into the depths of suburbia. Then I realize I wouldn’t care if they did. Even if I was heard by Mother or Father it’s far too late to catch me now. I may not be defying gravity just yet, but I still won’t be lured back down. My backpack slung over one shoulder, I don’t glance back at my former home as I make my way into the night.
Strutting through the lamp-lit street, there’s an air of solitude one can only obtain on a lonely road at a quarter past midnight. For a girl who’s never uttered a word in her life, I never realized the absolute power of pure silence until the only thing I hear is the thud of each step I take as my combat boots hit the concrete. I revel in it. My whole life I’ve been trapped by noise, or, in my case, the lack of it. And since I was the only one who couldn’t talk back, the little brutes chose me as a favorite target. I still hear their idiotic chants ringing through my brain. I may be mute, but I’m farther from dumb than any of my tormentors were by a long shot. So I’m escaping. It’s quite a nice way of showing everyone just how loud a silence can be.
No one’s awake to see or hear me, and if I could I would sing of the freedom. Since that’s never going to happen I suffice by dancing a mad jig across the sidewalk. I romp past the next door neighbors, and sneer toward the window of the seemingly perfect boy next door. Let’s just say, when he forgets he was ever your friend so he could fit in with the rest of the brats, Mr. Perfect ceases to seem quite so perfect. I pass by old Mrs. Thompson’s and that puny rat dog of hers starts yapping its irksome little head off at the intrusion I make. Let it! This is the last time I’ll have to hear you, you insolent fool! Yip on! Running now, I flee this small town torture chamber.
I sprint past house after house, stealing away like a dogged criminal on the run. I tear through the town for nearly twenty minutes down the block, past the firehouse, past trees and houses full of perfect little families till I round the corner. Breathing heavily, I collapse onto the concrete. I look up to see where I am, and my eyes fall upon the one spot in this entire town that doesn’t give me cause to hurl: the library. I stare up at the ancient edifice towering over me and a silent tear slides down my face. I’ll miss you, dear old gal. I’ll miss your rows and rows of bookshelves, your ceilings as tall as the sky, and your secluded corners with the old fashioned chairs that I could read in for hours, trading this dire world for ones where there is always a happy ending. If only I could walk upon your shining wood floors one more time . . . suddenly I spy an open window on the first floor, perfect for a petite, lonely, brunette to climb through. After I make sure no one’s watching, I climb through the open window.
My boot touches the floor, making a loud thud. I swing the rest of my body through, from my grey v-neck to my frayed hipster jeans. I take a deep breath as I realize I’ll never walk these floors again. I roam aimlessly through the library, through the self help section, to the young adult novels. I saunter past the children’s books, past the thriller mysteries, dramas, and frilly romances. I finally reach my destination, a lonely corner behind the classics, with a high backed chair fit for Sherlock Holmes. I can imagine the detective sitting in one just like it after he has finally unraveled the murder mystery. I turn behind the shelf that shields my sacred corner, and I let out a silent scream. There is a trespasser in my chair.
Hold it right here a second- I recognize this trespasser. I would know that scruffy mess of sandy hair, those deep brown eyes, that mocking mouth anywhere. Even if it has been seven years since I’ve looked into those eyes, I remember my ex-best-friend, none other than Mr. Boy-next-door: Jeremiah Fischer. What are you doing here? I sign to him with a glare on my face in the ASL we learned as kids. I doubt he even remembers. I bet he forgot sign language right along with me when he discovered popularity. But he remembers.
I could ask you the same question, he signs back with a glint in his eyes.
Ugh. I can’t believe that NITWIT dares to be cocky with me. I am so not in the mood for him. Whatever, I sign back, and then I whirl back around, my long hair flinging behind me as I storm off. I have to leave this town, now. I can’t be weak enough to let some idiot boy suck me back into this horror film of a life I lead with just a bit of attitude. No. I’m leaving right now, and I’m not coming back.
I stomp off toward the window and I almost make it, when suddenly I hear “Bridget!” ringing through the halls. I don’t even turn around. I hear desperate footsteps following me through the halls, faster and faster, they’re running when I reach the window. “Please, Bridget, stop! I’ll tell you why I’m here, if you’ll just listen!” This catches my attention. I slowly turn around, waiting for his explanation. “Oh, thank goodness, I figured you’d hate me after not speaking to you for seven years. But I’m sorry and I want to be your friend again just if you-”
I could spit on him right now. Maybe, if I was a different girl, I’d believe him. I’d go back to the kingdom, my prince in shining armor leading the way. But I’m no princess. In this fairy tale, I’m the wicked witch. I don’t need to be rescued; I can wreak enough havoc on my own. So that’s why, instead of running into his arms, I simply fling my legs over the windowsill and slam the window behind me. I run off into the night, though I guess it’s more early morning now, as the sun is on its rise.
I keep running until I reach the set of train tracks that border the edge of town. I take a deep breath, and knowing nothing will ever be the same again, step onto the tracks. In three deliberate steps I cross the edge. I have passed city limits, and the limits which have held me back my whole life. Goodbye, you dungeon of a town. Goodbye, Jeremiah Fischer. Goodbye.