Day 1: Alone

Your body becomes tied to its machinery. The sound of your breathing mingles with the distant sound of the engine humming. As the car speeds ahead you lurch forward with incredible momentum. Twisting and turning at every corner the car tires screech against the rubble and you feel yourself bracing each bump in the road, each veer and shift in direction.

Here you are. You’ve made the decision to leave and as your heart rate increases so does the cars acceleration. Everything has come down to this final moment. It’s not easy leaving everything behind you in the dust. The past is as easily left behind you as the clouds of debris that whirl around the cars wheels. And in this moment you feel free. But what if you made the wrong decision? The silhouette of your hometown phases in and out of your conscious memory; a reminiscent flash on your mind as the scenery of it all reels by quickly without comprehension, without reason. What was the reason?

The road ahead looks long and is unwinding now, a perilous stretch of empty streets and vacant neighborhoods. A foreboding sense of paranoia takes hold of your thoughts. Where is everybody?

Everybody was gone. And as that realization sinks in it takes all the more effort to bare it. With not a single trace of another car on the road your left feeling dismal. How small and pathetically dismal you are in comparison to the whole stretch of unknown land that flashes before you.

Faster than the blink of an eye you’ll be the only one speeding down the freeway but all your thinking now is where you can rest around familiar faces and smiles. The only one left smiling will be you as you stare at yourself in the passenger side mirror and think to yourself how ironic this whole situation is.

You wished to be alone. And the next day it was granted.

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Joelle Shusterman

Joelle Shusterman

• An aspiring novelist inspired by her father • Feel free to indulge in her writing!