Orchard

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic


A road trip to get away from it all leads to a seemingly mystical orchard.


Orchard

 

This morning I got in my car and started to drive. I didn't even know where I was going. Maybe the ocean. Maybe a forest. Somewhere pleasant where I can just sit alone and breath. I'm alone at home anyway so I might as well be alone in nature, surrounded by beauty instead of four walls. My alarm went off at 5:45 this morning like it does five days a week, and I realized I just couldn't do it anymore. The only thing that had kept me going these last few years at this stressful, dead end job was picturing just dropping everything one day to finally find a life that didn't make me wish I was dead. I called in sick to work and threw a change of clothes and some personal effects into a duffel bag because I didn't know how long I would be gone. I got on the freeway in the opposite direction of my usual work route and every second felt like freedom. As I saw the sun coming up and giving the sky a bright orange hue, I realized it felt like a huge pressure was lifting off my chest and I could breath freely again for the first time in who knows how long. I had forgotten what that felt like. 

After a few hours I got off the highway and drove through a small town to get breakfast at a diner. I took my time to just observe all the people going about their jobs and lives as they passed through the place until my plate was picked clear and I had drank three cups of coffee. I left a large tip and then got back on the road. 

I spent most of the day on the highway, occasionally taking random exits for fun, and once to get gas and pick up some snacks for lunch and dinner. Now it was dusk and I had exited onto a country road somewhere that stretched into the darkness. I drove for a good 20 minutes without seeing a soul and was getting a bit worried I had strayed too far from civilization when my headlights illuminated a large grove of trees up ahead, and I swear something sparkled when the light hit it.

When I reach the trees I pull off to the side of the road to investigate. My car lights shut off and for a moment it seems so dark I can barely see the trees in front of me. I get out and look up at the sky and realize as my eyes start to adjust how beautiful it looks tonight. The almost full moon shines brilliantly and the stars glitter like moondust scattered across the sky. Living in a city has many perks but I never get a good view of the night sky. This view makes me remember the few times in my childhood when my stepmom and I would lay blankets on the grass and she would point out faint constellations to me like the Big and Little Dipper and Orion’s Belt. I’ve always loved Orion’s Belt because I have three freckles in a line going down my arm that remind me of it.

Finally pulling my gaze away from the sky, I peer into the nearest tree and realize this must be an orchard of peach trees. Now, it may be a trick of the light, but the peaches seem to shimmer in the moonlight like gemstones. I take a few more steps down the aisle and realize that all of the peaches seem to have this mystical shimmer. I pull out my phone but it won’t turn on which is weird because it was at 60% an hour ago. I put it away and suppose it doesn’t matter. The whole point of this trip is to realize that life is fleeting and you should just take time to be grateful for where you are and what you have and to realize how much stuff doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes it’s okay to relax and to just be.

I wander a little deeper into the orchard, not wanting to stray too far from the road, but I don’t dare touch anything for fear of disturbing the idyllic beauty. This seems like a dream or some otherworldly experience, but its real to me and that’s all that matters.

I spend a few more minutes wandering between the trees and soaking up the beauty of the orchard gleaming in the moonlight, wishing I could stay forever, before I know that I have to leave and continue on my journey.

I get in my car and pull back onto the road, casting one last glance in my rear view mirror. It’s almost 11 and I need to find somewhere to sleep at some point.

I drive for almost half an hour, reminiscing about other cherished childhood memories, before I find a small town with an inn which, thankfully, has a vacancy sign. I park and grab my duffel bag to go check in. I take one more look at the sky, which is still beautiful, but it seems to have lost some of its ethereal glow.

After entering the room I go to charge up my phone but it turns right on and is at 58%. Honestly this only confirms my suspicion that there was something enchanting about that orchard. I collapse on the bed and drift off into a deep, dreamless sleep.

The next morning as I’m grabbing some fresh clothes to take a shower, I see in the corner of my bag a peach that I definitely did not put in there. I stare at it for a few seconds and then pick it up to examine it. When I hold it up to the light it gives off an almost imperceptible shimmer, but I know it’s there. I take a bite and let the juice drip down my chin. It’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

I’m ready to continue my journey, not backward, but forward.


Submitted: February 06, 2018

© Copyright 2021 KirstenLovesBooks. All rights reserved.

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