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Free Like a Bird
My sleepless nights and mental breakdowns are starting to affect my grades. The thought of going back to school makes me sick to my stomach. There’s a chain attached to my ankle while I trudge through the halls to my class. I sit down in a cemented room on a chair of needles looking out the window. The teacher starts the lecture for the class. I’m deeply engaged, listening intently, comprehending the lesson. That is until I make the error to look up at the clock. 10:03. That’s it? It’s only been fifteen minutes. A cramping pain invades my stomach. My leg begins to tremble, my fingers twiddle my pencil and my eyes wander out the window. I hear the birds chirping to their friends. I watch as they fly around worry-free in the cold snowy weather. My teacher’s voice fades away, all my thoughts want to be as free as the birds.
Beep Beep! I honk my horn in front of my friend Ann’s house.
My bright orange Jeep reflects off the sun with the open tops to a brilliant summer day. My jean shorts sticks to my thighs, my tank top strap falling off my shoulder, and my sunglasses on with my hair going wild, I feel the rays of sun beaming on my skin. Finally, Ann emerges from her garage with her suitcase packed for the week ahead. Ann climbs in the front seat, slams the door shut with the biggest smile on her face.
“Ready for the ultimate road trip?” I ask with excitement.
We pick up speed as we exit the neighborhood. The wind captures our hair, we have the radio blaring music and our arms waving in the air without a care in the world. We arrive to pick up the remainder of our friends that are joining us. They were all sitting on the front porch with their bags piled high.
“Hey girls shove all your things in the back and lets get going!!”
“Okay!” the four of them squealed
They all crawl into the back of the Jeep and get situated.
“Is the navigation all ready to go?” Ann questions.
“We are all set. Let’s get out of here.”
I follow the navigation system onto the expressway. I merge on easily without a car in sight. We are all singing along to our favorite songs. I can feel the car rocking back and forth when the song “Dancing Queen” shuffles on the aux next for Natasha, “A Million Dreams” for Molly, “Imagine” for Julie, and “Sixteen” for Ann, Christina and I. The sun shine still glowing from above, our hair waving in the wind like a flag, phones hiding in the center console, as we all sing and talk about how much fun this week will be as we travel up north.
“How much longer?” Julie complains.
“I’m hungry!” Christina whines.
“There is an exit coming up with Wendy’s. We will go there.”
I flip the blinker up listening to the old clicking noise it creates. The car diminishing in speed, as we come to a complete stop at a red light. Our hair looks like lions and ear drums punctured. I roll up slowly in the drive through as we all name off what we want to eat. I pull over to a parking spot as we feast on the food before us. We are eating like wild animals. Finishing our food, Ann and Natasha run inside to use the bathroom before the rest of the trip. They squirmed back into the overloaded car eager for the end of the car ride. I re-entered the expressway still without any cars for miles. The day couldn’t be more perfect; I am surrounded with the people I appreciate the most, and we are living our best lives.
Everyone fell asleep on the last leg of the trip except Ann and I. We got lost in a long, deep conversation that made the time fly by. As soon as we knew it, I was on the exit ramp almost to our destination.
“Everyone wake up! We are almost here!”
They moan as they shift from side to side eventually regaining their energy. I turn onto an excluded road with house divided miles apart.
“Turn right in one-hundred feet.” The navigation system demands.
I pull into a long driveway that swerves through the woods. We hear birds chirping, examine as the wind blows the leaves from the trees, and the scent of the freshwater lake before us. At the end of the long driveway was a big rustic, but sweet wooden cabin that stood proudly in front of the magnificent water view.
“Molly this is your cabin?”
Molly was quiet for the entire trip because she was too busy watching her Disney movies.
“I told you! I knew you were going to love it. Come on let's unpack and go swimming!”
I scramble to lock the car as we all jumble into the front door at the same time. The cabin welcomed it’s visitors with a grand entrance. The house has a chandelier swaying from the ceiling, and two sets of staircases leading to the upstairs.
“I call the master bedroom!” Natasha screams.
“No! My cabin, my master bedroom!” Molly argues.
We all pick a room and change into our swimsuits. Mine was a little small considering I haven't gone swimming in a long time. We meet down on the long dock to catch a tan before the sun sets.
“Christina can you move over a little? I’m laying completely in the shade of the boat.” Julie asks nicely.
“No then I will be in the shade.”
“Seriously? Just move over a little!”
“Go move over there where the sun is.”
Julie gets up, rolls her eyes, and stomps over to the other side of the dock.
Just then I hear Julie walk back over to Christina and pushes her into the water.
“Julie I’m going to get you back!”
Julie turns around and sees Molly standing right behind her.
“No no no Molly don’t do this.”
Molly smiles and just as she pushes Julie into the water she grabs onto Mollys arm and they both trample into the water. I feel the water drops gracefully land on my skin. I perk up to make sure no one would pull the same prank me.
My sunglasses protect my eyes from the glistening sun rays. I feel a shadow creep up behind me. I turn. I was staring at a flock of birds flying around me. Except this time they weren’t flying free, it was an unnatural movement.
I jump as my eyes meet with student sitting next to me. The waving of his hand in front of my face created a shadow that guided me back to the snow falling, with my teachers voice in the background.
“Are you okay? You haven’t talked and you’ve been staring out that window.”
Blinking as I come back to reality. There I was. Sitting in the concrete room. On a chair of needles. My leg trembling and twiddling my pencil with my fingers. I spin around to Ann and Christina in my class both smiling and making sure I’m alright. I reassure them that everything is fine. Being honest, everything really is fine. I have multiple tests, papers, all nighters, and mental breakdowns left in the school year. However, I have a lot more sleepovers, girls nights, unforgettable adventures, and crazy car rides, to look forward to. Having the people I really do appreciate the most in my life gives me the confidence that I will be able to overcome any obstacle that stands in my way. I make the mistake of looking up at the clock once again. It reads 10:15.