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Waiting for Tomorrow

By @CollisionOfFates

“Do you have everything?”

“I think so.” I tighten my grip on my black backpack and look around the house. We spent the past two days packing, double checking the boxes, and triple checking to make sure all the other stuff is all set. 

“Oh shoot, we forgot Dad’s telescope!” I drop my bag onto the table and begin to run upstairs to my bedroom closet.

“Honey, we can’t take the telescope with us. The moving van left last night, and there’s no way we’ll be able to lug that onto the plane.”

I feel my throat threatening to tighten. “We… can’t take it?”

“I’m so sorry, Ami.”

“No, you’re not!” I hate how my voice catches as I say it, but I can’t stop the tears from exiting my eyes. “You’ve wanted nothing to do with Dad since he died. That’s the real reason you want to move, isn’t it? You want to get away from the memories because they hurt too much.” I wipe a tear off my cheek, trying not to care that Mother’s jaw is locked in a baffled drop. 

“I’m sorry,” I whisper. I run for the door and head to the garage to get my bike. I pedal out as quickly as I can, needing to put a few miles between myself and my soon-to-be former home. 

The light breeze soothes me a little as my feet find a rhythm. The bike’s wheels move steadily, like they know how to get to where I want to go on their own. I stay in the center of the road for most of the ride – almost no one travels down this part of the street. Eventually, the road turns to the right, but I take a left, cutting across the grass and onto a tiny pathway just wide enough for a bike tire. This small groove has been created by my constant trips over the course of many years. Long grass brushes my ankles, a clear sign of how no one else comes this way.

I keep heading down the path, which curves into a gentle upward slope. I finally pop out into a wide valley with open sky, bright grass, and blue water. 

I hop off my bike and lay it on the ground before running down the deep hill. My feet stop automatically when I reach my usual spot a few feet from the water. 

An immediate sense of peace enters my mind as I lay back against the grass, hands under my head and elbows splayed out to the sides. My eyes close. I breathe slowly and deeply, regaining my sense of self. 

When I was younger, my dad used to take me here all the time. We would drive to the end of the road before the turn, park the car, and run all the way across the valley until we collapsed with tired laughter. Then he would get his telescope out of the car and show me how to set it up. We would lie on the grass and watch the stars twinkle in a million different parts of the sky. I would stare up in amazed wonder, calmed by the mysterious, amazing magic of the night. 

Soft footsteps sound behind me. I open my eyes to find my mother walking down the hill. She settles down beside me. I keep my gaze fixed on the horizon.

“I’ve forgotten how beautiful it is here,” she whispers.

The sky is bathed in a golden and pink glow. It’s as if the world itself knows that change is coming and is attempting to comfort me.

“I’m so sorry I didn’t consult you before any of this happened. I didn’t mean to be selfish or impulsive.” 

Pause.

“I probably should have mentioned that I was also offered a high-paying job as a financial manager there.”

“Would have been nice,” I sigh.

“I really am sorry. I wanted a chance for you to adjust before I started the job – that way you wouldn’t think that I had ruined our lives for a little extra money.”

“I doubt this is going to ruin my life,” I say, “but seriously, I didn’t want another huge change so soon after Dad’s death.” I pause. “Actually, I hear myself now. Four years isn’t exactly ‘so soon’. And I’m sorry for blowing up at you. It wasn’t fair.”

“It’s okay. We all need to blow off a little steam now and then.” She reaches to her left to tuck a strand of hair behind my ear. I turn to look at her. “You remind me of him every day,” Mother whispers with a smile. 

I lean my head on her shoulder, and we watch the sunset for a while. 

“I guess it’s a good thing that you booked a night flight, huh?” I comment. “Gives us a chance to see this sunset one last time.”

“I know,” she agrees. “It’s too bad the stars won’t come out until later.” 

I nod silently. I’ll miss seeing the open sky reflected in the water tonight, but at least I’ll have the rest of summer to stargaze in a new state.

I wonder what the view will be like from New York.

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