The following was written as a prompt from Write on Edge: New
Rain fell on that northern summer morning. It cleansed the air but cast a dark gloom. It was the kind of rain that allowed for a lazy summer afternoon indoors, without the guilt and expectations a beautiful day will bring.
We sat in silence during the hour-long ride to the bus stop. If a word had been spoken, it was irrelevant, and quickly cast aside. Everyone’s minds were preoccupied with a shared sensation of the expected loss that was about to come. Any beginning requires an end- a loss.
After an eternity, the car came to a halt.
“Well, this is the place,” my father said.
I’d never been to a bus stop before, and this one seemed lonely. Why was I doing this again? I could turn around so easily right now. Everything would be much easier- and safer. But would I really happy?
I said goodbye to my baby sisters. They stood vulnerable on that cold morning. Did they think I was abandoning them? For the first time I was unable to shelter them. I felt selfish when I thought of the burdens that they were to bear in the future. I could only hope that someday they’d forgive me.
It was his cry that paralyzed me. My father. He had always kept the monsters away. And now he cried.
“If it’s about the money- we’ll find a way to pay for college.”
“No dad.” It wasn’t the money. He would’ve offered me the world in that moment. But I couldn’t stay.
I wanted to go home to curl up in my warm bed. But I couldn’t. I had to go. I wanted to see the world. I wanted to fly. I wanted to “save” the world. I had to jump and look later.
So I turned away. Quick, like ripping off a band-aid. I climbed onto the bus and pressed my face to the window- swallowing to keep back the tears. This wasn’t the place to cry- not right now. I watched my family until the very last second- until they were too far away.
And then I panicked. I just wanted one more look- but it was too late.