Part 62

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Two strong sensations are warring inside me right now. One is this feeling that I'm going to get caught. It can't possibly be as easy as it has been so far to get away. I keep looking over my shoulder waiting for someone to stop me or recognize me and ruin my chances of disappearing for a while. I check the large clock on the airport wall at least one hundred times before the attendant finally calls my flight information. As I take a few steps towards the growing line of passengers ready to board, this sense of freedom begins to build and I can't hardly keep myself from smiling so big I'll be seen as a crazy person.

Both emotions make my heart race and a million thought travel through my tired brain. I'm finally doing this. I'm finally getting away from this small town that feels like poison in my lungs and bitter memories on my tongue. I wait for regret to set in, but as I show my ticket one last time, I realize it will remain unfelt. She smiles at me and nods her head in an invitation to begin the journey down the boarding ramp and onto the flying metal that will take me far away from here.

I tuck my purse into the overhead compartment and take a seat by the window as the rest of the passengers find their places. I can't bring myself to look at any of them. I don't want to raise my eyes even once and risk that someone I now will be on this flight and able to tell anyone where I was headed. I let my long hair fall over my face and keep my attention on the ground crew loading our luggage outside.

When the captain comes on to welcome us and the flight attendants go over the safety rules, I can't concentrate on anything but my own beating heart and the way my stomach rolls with every throb of my pulse. Anxiety and anticipation chill my body at first, and then begin to warm me from my gut out to each of my extremities. My hands are shaking and I feel myself practically trembling. When we begin to taxi down the runway I finally take a large breath and let it out as we lift up into the air and leave this town and all its anchors and hooks behind. I've made it out, and now I'm lighter, no longer tangled in my mother's story or the new one that Rick had written for us.

With a new start in front of me, and the weight of everything I've been carrying for years left discarded on the runway behind me, all I have left to think about is Wes. 

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