First, if you signed up to participate in the super awesome local product swap, emails have been sent out revealing the name of your partner! How exciting, right? Make sure to check your inbox and get in touch with your swap buddy ASAP. If you don't hear from your partner within 48 hours, don't hesitate to reply to the email and let us know. Happy swapping!
Second, last night I participated in my very first Google hangout with some of my favorite girls here in the blogging world. Elizabeth, Jessica, Kelli and I had a grand old time testing the waters of the technology that is Google. It was pretty cool to have a face to face meeting with people you have been communicating with regularly, but have never actually met in person. It was great, and I can't wait to do it again soon!
The past three Fiction on Friday posts have been a part of a series, but today I am taking a rest on that and sharing something completely new. Don't worry, the next installment of that series will be back soon, I just felt like breaking it up a bit.
The moon is unusually bright tonight.
It's not even full, but it streams through the cracks in the blinds, casting a pale glow across my unlit bedroom.
I move between the closet and the open backpack on my desk chair, grabbing staple clothing pieces, folding them, and placing them into the pack. Two pairs of worn out jeans and four ratty t-shirts...will that be enough?
My bare foot lands on a loose floor board and a dull creak radiates through the house. My breath catches in my throat as I freeze, listening for sounds of disrupted slumber.
"Please..." I think silently, begging no one in particular. "Don't let this be over before it begins."
I throw a toothbrush and a stick of cheap deodorant into the front pocket and slowly zip it shut. After adding some extra undergarments into the main compartment, I find myself pausing before I close it.
Something is missing.
Sitting on the edge of the worn twin bed, I slowly pull out the top drawer of my nightstand. A single book sits inside. I pull it out, running my hand over the old leather binding. It's such a familiar gesture.
A lump forms in my throat. Maybe I shouldn't go...
I force the thought from my mind as I push myself up from the bed and carefully place the book in my bag. The closing of the final zipper seals the deal and removes the brief doubt from my stream of thoughts.
This is happening. There is no turning back now.
I ease back onto the edge of the bed, bringing one foot up to put a sock on, and then the other. The mattress creaks and I fight to reduce the movement, bringing the room back into a state of silence.
My old Converse sneakers are the final piece of the puzzle. I pull them on and lace them up, just as I have done every other day of my life. There are holes forming at the tip of each toe; the soft fabric in a state of unraveling.
Unraveling...just like everything else I know.
As I stand up, I button the length of my sweater, preparing for the cool night air. My fingers are shaking as I struggle to push the buttons through the holes. In the stillness, I can hear the choppy, nervous breathing escaping from my body.
"This is it..." I think as I gingerly pick up my backpack and slide it over my shivering shoulders.
I pull the note from my pocket. I had written in weeks ago, preparing for this very moment. I place it on my nightstand, right next to the broken alarm clock. They will find it there. At least I hope they will.
I tiptoe to the window, gingerly opening the blinds and flooding the room with pure, uninterrupted moonlight. My heart nearly stops beating as I slide the wooden window frame open...hoping for the least amount of noise possible. The swift night-time breeze hits me, blowing my loose hair around my face.
One leg climbs out of the windowsill and I sit straddling it, taking one final look into the room. The note flutters in the breeze, and I feel another pang of guilt.
My other leg swings over, and I slide off, both feet making contact with the damp ground. The dew is thick, covering the grass and seeping into the cloth of my shoes. A sudden chill envelops me and I shutter in the night air.
"I made it..." I think to myself. "I'm out...but what now?"
I take in my surroundings, breathing in the pure air, squinting at the bright moon, listening to the eerie silence...and my brain seems to stop for a split second before it urges me on.
"It's time to run," it tells me.