West Finds Parks
When leaving a what or a who behind, most people would turn back one last time. Some would smile or wave goodbye. Some may even give their who a hug and cry because big changes are terrifying. Especially if you must leave a whole lifetime behind.
Standing with her back turned to an old broken home, a young woman holds a single large suitcase. She kept her hood up to cover her long red curls. She looks both ways on street, the only thing there is the street lights illuminating the crusted dead grass and brumbled side walks. The midnight is dead silent, no one in this town will ever know what happened to Addie Wilson.
Addie walked off, left of her never home, down to the bus stop on Harding Street. She cringed at the way the road and sparse gravel sounded under her shoes. Her old sneakers, they were once a red color but are so old they have faded to pink. They used to be her mother’s. she’s not sure why out of everything, she chose to bring those. It could have been that they were good for long distance walking, or maybe because they went with her fading red sweatshirt. All she knew now, in the darkness, sitting on Harding Street, she already regretted this.
She would never think twice about leaving. In fact, it was probably the easiest decision she’s made in her entire life. No, now she realized that even though she refused to turn back, she was still walking in her mother’s shoes. She only took one more pair with her, a newer pair of black converse. She wanted to save wearing those until she was away from this dirt-road town. She wouldn’t really be made new until she was far away from here.
Addie’s watch made her nervous, time slowly trickled past her until three hours had passed. According to the bus schedule, there would not actually be any bus for at least another two hours. Then, he sun would just be starting to show itself and the early birds would be peering out their windows. She couldn’t be spotted here. Not in her town. Not by the people who have known her since she was a baby. Though her hood was up and she was trying to be as discrete as possibly, she stuck out. Even though her fire hair cannot be seen, she looked like an amature drug dealer which would raise more concern than a Teenager up at this hour.
Addie pulls out her old map, there is a gas station three miles away on River Road. Now, river road is the stupidest name for that street since there is no river in miles of there.
The girl quickly decides to get walking, pulling out her flashlight on the bigger main roads where the only cars passing were people driving straight through and truckers. Though the was on a journey for distance, she was not about to resort to hitch hiking this early on. So she walks, and walks. Her feet don’t tire very easily at first. She makes it to the gas station quicker than she thought.
Staring back at her in the soot covered bathroom mirror of the gas station, is a girl she doesn’t recognize. Sure, those were her signature dark stormy eyes and her face was littered with hundreds of tiny freckles but the girl in front of her was not her. From the moment she left that house she was no longer Addie Wilson.
Her under eyes are starting to carry small bags of discoloration. Her youthful glow is beginning to diminish as the early morning goes on. The tiredness is evident. She had not slept in at least two days. Her hair is wild, cascading down to her waist. She never knew why she let it get that long. She never cared to take much care of it aside front tying it in a braid or two. She remembered how her mother used to brush her hair when she was little. She used to tell Addie that this was her most brilliant of features. She instilled into her daughter that women ought to have long hair. She would tell Addie to leave her long hair down to help distract from her freckles and fierce stare. A lady should never have a fierce stare. Her eyes should be soft and her smile delicate.
A sudden, wild smirk appeared on the girl’s face. Tiny, almost unnoticeable dimples appear on her cheeks, drowned in splashes of pigment. She quickly ties her hair into two braids. Taking one last good look at the Addie before her in the mirror, she pulls out her switch blade. The blade was one of the very few things that Addie’s father ever gave her. She takes it, with a dignified yet shaking hand, she saws away at the braids. One at a time they fall to the floor. There is a soft pat to be heard once they land. Stray red swirls fly around, getting stuck on everything in the tiny room. Her hair now barely touches her chin, in a choppy looking manner. She looks again, and decides, shorter. The knife made it way at her hair again and again until finally she is satisfied with piles of fire on the linoleum. A pixy hair style looked back at her. Now the smirk fits.
With her new boyish hair, she brushes off her shoulders, slips her knife in her pocket, and saunters off west. She went to find another street to sit on until a bus finally came. A small run-down bus. This would do for now.
Addie watches as road signs pass by, the morning sun shining an orange hue into her stormy eyes. She smiles to herself as she reads the sign that says she is leaving this god forsaken town. A rush of relief floods her. Her shoulders relax and she leans back in her seat, welcoming the long ride.
In a day, Addie was a while state away, by nightfall she found herself on a huge grey-hound bus that she would ride for the next 12 hours. A man, no a boyish adult, sits next to her. His eyes were tired and his deep brown hair was a mess, half pulled up into a hat. Despite looking like a train wreak, he was smiling. He only carried one bag with him, a rather large hikers backpack. All his clothes were either grey or black. Addie hadn’t realized she was staring t him until he said, “Hey bus buddy.”
She laughed lightly at the time, “How far are you headed?” She questions.
“As far as possible. You?” He replied.
“What’s your name bus buddy?”
Addie had to stop and think for a moment. Was she really Adeline Wilson anymore? Could she even call herself Addie? “Avery West,”
“That’s your real name?”
“Any name could be your real name so long as you say it is,” Avery determined.
“In that case Avery, the name’s Jace Park,” Jace says. His smirk is a slightly lopsided which Avery found adorable.
“Nice to meet you Jace,”
The two exchange stories. Jace decided he needed a change of pace which wasn’t the community college life he was living. Bored at home, Jace decided to start a new in a place still unknown to him. He had enough funds saved so he decided on a whim to leave. Avery told her story in a similar manner. She told her Bus Buddy that her mother was difficult to live with, never giving the gruesome reasons. She told the story of how after her father passed her family was never the same and that she was also a traveler.
Eventually the twelve hours passed, and the travelers were forced to leave the bus. Avery looked her new-found friend in the eyes and asked, “What if we travel together, have each other’s back and all that?”
He grabs her hand and nods, “Partners then,”
“Going everywhere and nowhere at the same time,” Avery says.
“Let’s go then,”
There, on the next bus, sat two young adults traveling together, for a new beginning