Friday, March 5, 2021

Microstory 1575: Fresh New Life

It’s time for me to leave this place, without telling anyone where I’m going, or even that I’m going. It’s for my family’s benefit if I just sneak away, and start fresh with a new life somewhere else.

I don’t want anyone to know what’s happened or why I’m leaving. Just leave quietly, under the cover of night, just like we always did in the old days when things were quieter. But I know that will never happen. I’m just one of the lucky ones. Yesterday, I gave my two weeks’ notice at work. Two weeks. As in, I’m leaving after two weeks. Just like that. And I was going to leave it there, but the truth of it is that I have nothing else to say about it. My mind is blank, and the thoughts that have been swirling around in there since I decided to leave, now seem to have no connections to each other or the outside world. I can’t think of what to do next, or how to move forward. I feel adrift, rudderless. I didn’t expect this. I didn’t think it was even possible. When I was working at my old job, I was the king of my domain, working late hours every single day, dealing with my job and then coming home and being the king of my domain, too. Sometimes, I felt like there was no...

..escape, because I had so many responsibilities. I now realize that the only thing holding me back from the life I want was always myself. I thought that my father needed me after his second wife died, but that was two years ago, and he’s already found himself someone new. I thought my brother needed help with the baby, but they have a nanny, and I’m just the fun uncle. I have to go, and find out who I am when I’m not defined by the people I grew up with. Everything is packed, everyone is asleep, and I’m ready to go. I carefully carry my heavy suitcase down the stairs, careful to not make any noise. I drop it once, but don’t hear any movement from upstairs, so I’m still safe. I get to my front door—well, I suppose it’s not mine anymore, is it?—and swing the suitcase over to get through first. It nearly collides with someone standing on the porch. She looks scared, as if this were her house, and I was the one intruding. I just stare at her a moment, not knowing what she could possibly be doing here so late at night. Selling cookies? It takes me a long time to realize that I recognize her. She was a temp at work that I spent the night with a few months ago. I thought we had an understanding, that it was a one time thing. I don’t even ask her how she found me, or what she’s doing here. If she wants to talk to me, she can speak first, so I just wait patiently. Finally, she works up the courage. “I’m pregnant.” Well...I did ask for a fresh new life, didn’t I?

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