“Let’s runaway” my mother told me two years ago. Her rotund face framed by false blond curls, was aglow with excitement. She had said such things before but this time was different. If only I had known how different it would be.
“We’ll jump into the car and drive. No direction just you me and the open road. We haven’t been on an adventure in years and look how beautiful it is outside. The leaves are changing the air is crisp. Get your camera and we’ll go now.” The mask of her excitement cracked for only a moment, showing just enough worry that I had to say yes.
Before I had even finished nodding she was packing a sandwich lunch. Her homemade purple dress flapped and danced around the kitchen like a tiny purple culinary tornado. I ran to get my camera.
Being in my early twenties and having moved away from home meant I was no longer required to pretend I was too cool for these trips. I had always found them exciting. She called it “Running Away” but we rarely went far and on the rare occasion we did, we were home within a week.
I had a head start on the running away, I had flown it the night before. Running away from my life and growing up. I had just finished University with a degree in English and teaching. My mandatory Term of Service with his Highnesses Royal Army, started in a few weeks and after that I had a ready made, pre packaged life ahead of me. I’d return from service be wed to my genetically compatible husband or wife and teach the school I was most needed. It scared me, I felt like my freedom and life, were ending. Pushing away my worries, I concentrated on my last week of freedom and the only person I wanted to spend it with.
“Do you think we’ll see a T-Rex this time? I can’t believe I missed the picture last time.” I said as we got going. She smiled at me and took my hand, squeezing it and laughed. The one and only time I had seen the endangered species I was twelve and my shock and awe at actually seeing one made me forget to take a picture before it had run back into the trees.