The ground was gritty. Dirty snow lined the streets as we drove down them as fast as we could go. We were on our way to the airport. I remember because I couldn’t breathe. As I tried to concentrate, in and then out, I saw things buzz by and I wasn’t sure if it was because I was dizzy or because we were going too fast.
I was leaving everything behind to be with you. Everything. My family, my friends, my life. Part of that scared me. No more safety net. But part of it exhilarated me too. I could start over. From scratch. Remake myself. And that was way more appealing than being with you.
We struggled to get our bags on the plane. There were carry-on restrictions. And more restrictions. Everything I wanted to keep was in those bags. And no one knew, yet, but you and me. I squinted into the sun and tried to picture their faces when they found out we really were gone, but it made me a little sad, so I looked at the dirty snow again.
We stepped onto the plane and I sank down into the seat. This time, I would be the perfect image of me. I would be happy all the time. I would do what I loved. I would. I promised myself all that and more as I buckled myself in.
You sat next to me, and gave my hand a little squeeze. I almost hurled. I hated you, but it was the escape I so desperately needed. “When we land, we’ll find a little shop, get you a white dress.” You said in your soft-condescending-in-public tone. I could only nod, but I had no intention of wearing one for you.
I was running away from you, and you didn’t even know it.
Getting on that plane was making a statement. To the world. But mostly to myself.