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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

She's you.

She finally decided to leave; not for good, but only for a few weeks or maybe months. She nervously but calmly packed her bag and left home heading to the airport. It felt so unreal, out of this world. She’s been wanting to travel for as long as she remembers, and now it’s finally happening? This mustn’t be true! She wasn’t thinking about the people she knew. She didn’t even feel like missing her parents nor her friends. All she ever wanted to do is to leave this bloody place. All she ever wanted to do is go somewhere else, anywhere… where no one can recognize her, judge her looks and stop her from doing whatever she wants to do. All she ever wanted to do is to go somewhere she can feel free, somewhere she can be free… all she ever asked for is to be alive again. Ever since she was a little girl she dreamt of traveling. She always dreamt of going to the airport, smiling at the stewardess as she brings her ice-cream and staring at the sinking orange sun in the horizon from the plane’s circular window. She dreamt of visiting a new town in a country she’s never been to, on a different continent. But these were always just dreams; dreams fading away as the morning sun slowly creeps through her bed room window to touch her heavenly face. Dreams that kept her alive, dreams of living. Nevertheless, for the first time in her life; this hour, this moment, these few minutes of packing ran like drugs in her veins. Certainty about the messiness and uncertainty she always lived in, made her feel free.
As she stepped-off the taxi and walked inside the airport everything started going in slow-motion. She could hear everything. She could hear the strap of the bag on her right shoulder; rubbing with her yellow top and soft skin. She could hear her heavy breath, exhaling air rapidly, fearing the sun pulling her eyelids up. She could hear the tapping and squeaking sound of every step she took. It was very confusing to her. She stopped in the middle of the airport, put her bag down and looked around. She could hear wheels spinning, children singing, lovers crying, lovers lying, friends laughing, people passing, singing toys and… from afar, she could hear her mother’s voice. Scared, she turned around fearing seeing her face, fearing waking up. There was no face she could 
recognize; it was either her mother wasn’t there, or she had forgotten all the people she knew, and she wished for both. As harsh as it sounds, forgetting everyone and moving to another place seemed easier than just moving away. Her mind was her strength, but also her weakness. She always thought that her memories were never hers to keep. Memories shared with friends, family, loved ones… were not hers alone. Sad memories never made her cry, happy ones did. She always wished for amnesia or early Alzheimer’s, just to forget every day. Make new memories every day and meet new people every day without leaving the house.
A quick look from the airport’s doors behind her to the airplane gates in front of her made everything come back to normal speed. Normal. That’s a strange word for her. She never really knew what was normal, if she was normal… In her house, “normal” meant being like her siblings. “Why don’t you be normal like your brother?” her mother always said, or “Your sister is normal, why are you the only one like this?” She wondered what “this” meant, too. But, no answers came clear, only many sleepless nights of wandering her own mind. What is normal? Are all people who are not like her normal? Being different frightened her.
Steadily, she boarded the plane, slithering through its aisles to find her seat. The seat on her ticket was an aisle seat. To her luck, the money she had saved to buy the ticket was not enough for a window seat. Money was a huge problem back at her house, but she thought differently. Her mother was the type of women who saves money by spending the least possible amount of it on anything, to keep it for rainy days. The smartest dumb concept. Faces printed over paper lying in wallets and bags, hidden in closets for rainy days. Let’s say there are 120 rainy days a year. 120 days of thunderstorms, blizzards and unexpected floods. That leaves 245 of sunny days. 245 of sunshine, butterflies and beautiful things. To her, suffering those 245 sunny days just to survive the 120 rainy days was nonsense. She felt it was taking her back, way back in time when humanity’s purpose was survival. Surviving in the wilderness; from wild animals, natural catastrophes and starvation. Living was not an option, staying alive was the sole goal. Now, in a world like this, living is a right. She despised her mother for that.
The plane started slowly ascending and she firmly grasped the edge of her seat; not only from fear of flying for the first time, but also from leaving everything for the first time. The trip wasn’t like she had expected before. Her seat was in the middle of the plane; no sky to see and no sunset to cry over. But, she did cry. Her eyes shined bright as the pilot assured people that everything was okay and that they can move freely in the airplane. It was the first time in her life that someone told her to be free. Stupid, she felt, but free at last. She pulled out her small mp4 from her bag and hit shuffle. A sweet and sad guitar tune started playing, followed by “Elliott Smith’s” angelic voice “Drink up baby, stay up all night. With the things you could do, you won’t but you might. The potential you’ll be, that you’ll never see…” poetry, she thought of it. Even finer than poetry. She thought of every word he said and applied it to herself. She thought of having more opportunities than they gave her. She thought of having another family. She thought of her useless existence and everyone’s indifference if one day she disappears into the nothingness she is.
A hard tap, a few softer ones, some rubber burning, and the plane landed safely. She thought how silly people are to only care about flying and soaring, rather than thinking about landing and not falling.
Falling, that has always been an issue for her; not falling, but not falling. To her, falling meant being something, being somewhere and making something. You can’t say “I’ve fallen” without ever being up. You can’t say “I’ve lost” if you never won or had something. Weirdly, she wished to fall, lose and crumble. Because that would mean that she meant something, that she means something, that she is something… People always fall; while they’re running, while riding the bike or while learning how to walk, and they always get back up. They get back up to gain control, to learn how to do it and to do it. Even baby birds have their fall, their parents push them out of the nest for them to fly! She was pulled in the nest. They pushed life out of the nest and kept her inside, with no rise, no fall and no sense of self-worth.
An airport behind her, a bag on her left shoulder and a whole new world in front of her. She stood there with a troubled look, not knowing where to go and what to do. Even though she had this dream of going somewhere new a million times, yet she never dreamt of after the airport. She subconsciously 
rejected and deleted the idea of really leaving because she thought she never will. Now, it’s not a dream anymore and there’s no time to dream of what’s next; all she had to do now is live.
She followed her legs and heart.
Everything was beautiful, to her. Even the tiles on the ground impressed her, they were a lot different than they were back home. Home… what a vaguely meaningful noun. Is it material? Is it sentimental? Are homeless people called like that because they lost the property they lived in? Or because they lost everything and now they own the world as their property? She considered herself homeless, countless times. When people get home, they take their clothes off and get comfortable. When people meet their home, they vow to love and cherish. She never was comfortable or cherished anything. She couldn’t cherish anything for she had nothing. Even her body wasn’t hers, it was theirs to beat and control. They could never break her, for she didn’t live with them. She lived in her own world, daydreaming of one day visiting it. They were powerful, but she was powerful.  They feared her. 
A small bridge over a long river attracted her soul. The lovely sunset was reflected on the river. She stood on the side of the bridge as she put “Queen’s” “Bohemian Rhapsody” on her old mp4. The sun sinking in the river as Freddy is singing his soul out, made her eyes and heart tear. She saw a small bird trapped in some telephone chords alongside the river. She put on both straps of her bag on her shoulders and stood on a rock. The little bird seemed frightened and so was she, each for their reason. She started freeing its foot.
Her foot slipped, she fell on the rocky side.
Her body, along with everything she had, floated on the river, creating a mix of red, orange and blue.
The earphones and mp4 got trapped in a pointy rock, leaving Freddy Mercury lonely, singing “Nothing really matters to me…” 

Submitted: June 09, 2019

© Copyright 2021 Heath Gebreek. All rights reserved.

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