Leaving Herself Behind

By , Phoenix, AZ
Leaving Herself Behind

It was the beginning of the end. Her home in Florida was slipping through her fingers and nothing could be done.

She walked, for the last time, throughout the now empty house; embracing all that she could in the time that was left. She looked out of the window in her room. Memories she had cherished throughout the years and her own reminiscence of the past played like a movie in her head. The once vivacious home was filled with laughter and smiles. The vision left her numb from head to toe. The home she loved because of its enclosure to comfort and love disappeared as it was now a fixture of towering boxes cluttered on top of each other. Everything else was gone, heading towards Arizona. Her time was coming to an end and she would have to leave. They would have to leave. The family would have to leave; and as hard as it was, depart from their once sweet home in Florida.

She took a final look at what she would miss. Above, the bright, summer sun shined so radiantly, opposed to her spirits. Her eyes led her to a flock of birds flying by, across the white, tranquil clouds. How she wished she could just fly away with them and prevent herself from leaving. Prevent herself from abandoning her friends, life,
everything.

The palm trees waved farewell as the humid, wet air breezed by them for the last time. A sullen croak from a nearby toad could be heard, lying in the damp grass. She closed her eyes and tried to remember what she had just seen, smelled, heard as a last chance to absorb her final minutes. Would she ever come back and experience this moment again?

Not long after, she mechanically stepped into the car and abandoned her halcyon days behind. The bustling city vanished and only an endless stream of concrete could be seen. Miles they drove with the occasional stop to fill up the gas tank or to get a bite to eat. Miles she went, only to be getting further away from a part of herself she left back home. Miles they continued to their destination, the terrain transforming throughout the different states as seconds turned to minutes, and minutes to hours.

The first night arrived. They pulled over at a hotel and checked into the lobby. After hours of sitting in one fixed position in the car, everyone was exhausted. Brushing their teeth and washing their faces robotically, they all slipped inside the beds as quickly as possible. The quietness was soon drowned out by the sound of someone snoring. The darkness enwrapped everything and nothing was visible. Nothing, besides the evident moonlight peeking through a torn hole from the curtains. Dreams sailed through their minds; dreams of happy futures, a happy home, and a happy life.

They rose early morning to get a head start. She brushed her teeth sluggishly, not fully awake and took a shower. They piled into the car and got some breakfast on the way. With fatigue encrusted over everyone, the only noise audible was the sound of
slurping coffee and the hum of the engine as it accelerated towards the highway.

They made their way past numerous states: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and finally arrived in Arizona in two days time. Already, the heat could be detected in the car. The rays of the sun penetrated through the tinted windows and annoyed her. The air conditioner was blasting now; however, even the cold winds
couldn’t fight off the 125° weather. The unwelcoming heat was irresistible and irritated her more and more. With a deep sigh, she closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep.

She woke up to the sight of the new house. She got out of the car, already sensing the unfamiliar dry air and quiet land. In every direction, a cactus could be caught in her sight- short, tall, wide, skinny, some with flowers, some without. Everybody else seemed to like Arizona with the serene landscape and scenery; yet, she couldn’t seem to call it her home.

Anxious to get out of the heat, she went through the house and found a spacious room with a view of the mountain. She collected a few of her boxes and began to unpack. Box after another, her possessions were laid out on the floor. A stuffed animal was thrown into the closet, lifeless and dead. She looked through the rest of the house; but, chaotic with the muddle of cardboard boxes, she left hopeless and depressed.

She wandered out of the neighborhood and into the desert. With all her thoughts colliding into each other inside her head, she began to run. Faster and faster she pressed on; struggling with great effort to flee from her plight, to break away from the loathsome possibilities, to wish this would all be over. She went farther and farther into the horizon. The scorching heat that never seemed to ease, left her face covered in beads
of sweat. Gasping for air, she fell to the ground, just as the sun was setting. An array of colors cascaded across the sky and the vibrant hues of red, orange, pink, and purple seemed to make all her problems fade away. She sat and gazed at what seemed like a work of art. The beautiful image still planted in her mind, she headed home as it began to darken with the departing sun.

She slowly walked back home and found her family preparing dinner. Everyone noticed her distressing complexion as she abruptly entered through the front door without a single word. The table was being set. She washed her hands and set herself down on a chair. Just realizing how hungry she was, she piled a heaping mass of food on her plate. With a silent prayer, everyone began to eat. Conversation about the new house arose; although, this was the last subject she wanted to discuss.

In her room, her bed was placed in the corner and her desk at the right. More boxes were stacked along the walls. Ignoring the disorder for tomorrow, she sat on her bed and looked out into the night sky. Again, she felt the relief and sense of all her problems disappearing. The magical, glimmering stars sparkled along with the full moon. The moonlight caressed her so reassuringly, letting her know that the future would only hold wonderful things to come. Yet, could she believe this and really let herself to accept this as the truth? She fell asleep, dreaming about the moon over her that night. Maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe it won’t.





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