This story is one of the July Writing Challenge entries chosen to be a featured story.
It’s been 5 years. 5 years since I knew I loved him. 5 years since I first heard my name on his tongue. Yet, his memory still haunts me. He can speak to me as if we are friends and smile as if he never shattered my heart. Never tore every will I had to live to shreds. He tainted my past with regret and painted my future with distrust. But I still laugh at his jokes so he doesn’t see the hurt brewing inside me—the deep dark void that I thought I finally vanquished but was still lurking within me, waiting for his voice to call again. And I don’t even like him, let alone love him, anymore. But something deep within me wants to impress him. Wants him to see what he let go.
So I need to let go. I let my sister grab my hand and drag me away from this place. Away from this crowded room that smells of sweat and tears and broken hearts. “Where should we go?” she whispers in my ear.
Away from my past that won’t stay where it should be. Away from the future that was slated for me. I can’t look at the same people in the same places for one more day, one more minute, one more second.
So we drive.
We will drive through sun and storm, mountain and dessert. However far these roads will take us. We will feel the wind pulling back our hair and the taste of freedom on our tongues.
I cannot spend another day smiling at his face, as if he didn’t turn my world black. So I will leave the darkness behind and move towards the light. Where nobody in a crowded room will know my face, and my future will finally look different than my past.