Isabella was laying on her bed. Staring at the ceiling. Motionless. She didn’t feel like getting up. But also not like sleeping. What would the sleep bring her anyway? Actually she didn’t feel like doing anything at all. She should get up and do something. Just anything. But then again no. First of all she didn’t know what to do and second even if she wanted to get up she didn’t feel like she could go anywhere. She thought about raising her arm just to check if she still had control over her body. Nothing happened. Isabella laughed a silent and ironical laughter. “I can’t even control my body. How am I supposed to control my life?” It fitted too well. “But if I only really tried …. I could do it.” That thought made it only worse. She knew that if she only tried she could do anything she wanted. Isabella had always known that. So why didn’t she try? Why did she already fail at the attempt to try? Isabella could simply not understand herself.
She listened to the sounds in the house. So distant and so close at the same time. Life just inches away from her. She heard her mother calling for dinner. But from the sound of it the biggest part of the family was already surrounded. In a moment somebody would come and check on her. Ask her to come for dinner. As always she didn’t feel hungry at all. But she could at least sit at the table with her family. Or not. They would probably just stare at her. Or worse ask her questions. The questions she got no answers for. She would only end up ruining their good moods and making them worry. Right now she was just no good company. She was a burden.
Isabella closed her eyes when she heard steps coming closer. The door opened and she heard her mother whispering her name. She didn’t answer and concentrated on breathing regularly. Her mother touched her at her shoulder and whispered her name again. Then she sighed and left the room. Isabella fought tears. And lost the battle. Again she didn’t know why.
The sounds from the dinner table seemed even farer away than any sound before. There was her world and their world and she was losing contact.
Everything used to be so easy, so clear. She had always known what she wanted. She had always had a plan. But her plan failed her and she got lost in her own world.
How did she go from a little girl, planning to take over the world, to this? How could she go back to her own self? Could she even go back?
And then again did she still want to be that person? Maybe not.
She closed her eyes once more and tried to think of something else. Isabella needed a beautiful thought. A dream she had always dreamed. How wonderful life would be when all her wishes finally came true. No more stormy skies for her. Her personal paradise.
“Jamie!” Finally Alice had opened the window. I was standing here for quite a while already and my feet started getting cold. Not to mention my hands. I grinned at her. “Hey Alice.” “Did you throw stones at my window?” I nodded and scratched my head. “Why? I mean, why didn’t you just text me? And what are you even doing here?” The truth was I simply liked the idea of doing it. Who ever does this nowadays? “I thought it would be more special. I came to pick you up.” “Pick me up?” “To travel the world with me.” “Travel the world with you?” I heard a scent of surprise in her voice. “Yeah, won’t you come down?” “I thought you were joking when you said you wanna leave this town.”
Earlier this week we had been for a walk. She never had liked walking her dog alone in the dark. We were living in the safest and most boring town around and still she seemed to be scared of this place. I loved the darkness. And I loved walking around in the darkness. Everything was so different in the dark. Calm and alive at the same time. And my thoughts were never as clear as in the dark.
It had been a very long walk and we had been talking and talking and talking. Well most of the time I had been talking. And at some point I had felt the enormous desire to just walk on. To never stop. To just leave this place. I knew that feeling very well.
Sure it was my hometown, but I kept thinking that I had outgrown. I knew every single part of this town. There was nothing new waiting for me. I had met every person living here. There was nobody new to meet. And those people I had met here? Well, their worlds seemed quite little to me. I had often asked myself if just a single person in this town had ever dared to dream big. If just one wanted more than just this ordinary life. And how many of them had even been travelling? Not the “We have been travelling to see aunt Maggie” kind of travelling, but the “going abroad, seeing other countries, seeing other continents” kind of travelling. There was so much to see in this world and I wanted to see all of it. I wanted more. I wanted to ride on waves, to walk on sand, to dig in caves and find treasures. Not for the gold. I would just throw it away. But for the story. I wanted stories to tell. So when I’m old I would have stories to tell my grandchildren. Maybe I could also write about it.
I had told Alice about all that. We were dreaming for hours about all the foreign places we could go to. There were so many places on her list. So many things she wanted to see. The pyramids in Egypt, the Great Wall in China, Venice, the Taj Mahal in India, Machu Picchu, the Petra ruins…
That had been the moment I told her that we should leave this town. That I wanted to leave. I had always wanted to do that, but I also had known that I couldn’t do it alone. I had been waiting for fate to come, because I was afraid of being alone in this big world. I had been waiting for a brand new day. I had been waiting for too long.
“I wasn’t. Come away with me, Alice. I’ll be waiting outside til you’re ready to go.” “That’s insane Jamie. I’m not coming. I can’t leave and you also can’t.”
My neck started hurting from looking up at her. Speechless I looked on the ground and watched myself drawing circles with my feet. I knew she was still at the window and watching me.
“Why can’t we?” “Why can’t we?” she repeated. “Because we have a life here, Jamie. That’s why. We can’t just leave.”
A life here. What kind of a life was that? The kind of life were safety kills your soul. The kind of life were there’s no room for creativity. No room for originality. No room for being different.
“I can’t do another year like that.” I looked back on the ground. “Like what?” I didn’t answer. I didn’t feel like she’d understand anyway. I thought she was like me, but I was wrong. I thought she would be the one on my side when I forever leave this town behind me. That she would be my partner in crime. The one to be with me when I finally start to live. I was wrong. I simply whistle to a different tune.
And then I knew it. I needed nobody. I could do it all alone. I wanted to leave this town and nothing could hold me back. I knew that more than being alone I was scared of never getting out of here.
I smiled and looked up at the window again. Alice was still there. “I’ll see you soon.” I said and added “Or not.” in my thoughts. I turned around and walked away. And I walked on and on and never stopped.
I never saw Alice again.
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