This week’s Weekly Writing Challenge: Backward, from The Daily Post, inspired this story that begins at the end:
As she drove into the city, car packed with everything she owned, she felt nervous and excited about how this big change would unfold. She had never made such a big move on her own and hardly understanding it herself, with such a frivolous goal in mind.
A college girl recently graduated was ready to make the next big step in her life. She had stayed in her home town for college, always intending to transfer somewhere new and exciting, but stayed home where she was comfortable instead. She made a solid group of friends and a boyfriend whom she dated throughout her college career, because it was comfortable. Wanting excitement and spontaneity did not always translate into action, for she was cautious and nervous about things she didn’t understand.
The girl and her boyfriend ended their relationship shortly after she graduated. With little holding her back and the world opening wide beyond college, she left home. She traveled to Washington D.C. to visit a friend interning on Capitol Hill. On a night out, feeling free out of a relationship and higher education, she was open to and craved opportunity and experiences that would break her out of her mold. She and her friend went to a bar and a chance meeting changed her life.
There was stunningly handsome guy, living it up in D.C. and residing in the suburbs.
He visited the city often. On one particular night with his friends, he was ready for a night out in a swanky club but one friend had no identification and the other did not have the right shoes for this particular establishment. All signs pointing in a different direction, namely the seedy bar down the street, this guy made what did not seem meant to be, be. The one without the ID stayed in the car happily listening to music, drinking whiskey and writing poetry as he had offered his shoes to the one without proper club foot attire.
Minutes after the girl walked into the bar, she grabbed a drink; started dancing and the handsome guy grabbed her hand asking if she wanted to dance with him. She did, of course, because she could; nothing was holding her back anymore. They danced, talked, kissed, talked more and kissed more. The next day, the guy took the girl to the river to spend more time talking…and kissing. They spent the following week seeing movies, visiting museums, talking at coffee shops, having lunch, walking the city, and kissing. The girl finally had to go home and make plans for the rest of her life.
She flew home after a heartfelt and difficult goodbye to the guy she met on her trip away from home. She wrote about him, talked to the lovely woman on the airplane about him, grinned ear to ear about him when she arrived home, and then received a message from him as soon as she walked into her apartment.
Giddy with love and the unknown, she called him back and their love began to blossom in a way she had not known possible. He flew down to see her one week after she arrived home. He inspired her to break out of her mold. So, she went to a place in between security and excitement to a small town with a close friend but still eight hours away from home…beyond familiar comforts and officially, on her own.
Over the next eight months, she experienced newness and her love for that handsome guy in DC grew beyond measurable proportions. They visited frequently and were ready to take their relationship a step further. She was a cautious girl in every respect and wanted to make sure that she was not moving to the city for the guy. She was accepted to a master’s program and prepared to move to the city to pursue further education, widen her geographical knowledge, and live a more cosmopolitan life, but deep down the truth that she would not admit until years later is that she moved for the handsome guy.
She would never have known then that she would marry this man, that he would father her children, or that he would provide for her in every way possible; that he would drive her crazy in all of the ways he once attracted her. That he would make her laugh like no other and understand her in ways she wished he didn’t. In the midst of these unknowns she knew that this was a love that she always wanted.
So she packed her car and left her small town. She drove 16 hours north into the unknown. Dare she admit what she truly sought; she focused on the things she knew she could control and drove on with bright eyes, music blaring and a world of love and opportunity just ahead.