A New Beginning
"Are you sure about this?" Ashley asked me for the tenth time since we arrived at the overcrowded airport.
"You don't have to come," I pointed out to my best friend, flinching at the sound of a shrill crying baby a few seats over, the mom patting his, or her, back in a failed attempt at comfort.
"And let you go across the country by yourself? Your parents would kill me,"
"They're already going to kill you,"
"Only because you failed to mention you were leaving! It's the start of the new year and you're running off for what? To chase some dream?"
"I'm not chasing a dream," I faced her with an annoyed look on my face, "I'm trying to find myself,"
There's not other way to explain it. Ever since my now ex-boyfriend Dan, and I broke up, I've been lost, unsure of what my next step in life is. We've been together since junior year of high school, even making it through the rough college years. All for a cliche breakup of me finding him in bed with his secretary on my lunch break. The world I built around him now crumbled at my feet, tossed away in a matter of seconds.
"What's left to find?" Ashley asked, squirting sanitizier in her hand an older gentleman walked by coughing his lungs out, "You're twenty six years old, you've already got a career, or had one before you spontaniously quit, in medicine. So you had one bad relationship,"
"How can you not understand?" I whispered, looking at her with pleading eyes. Of all people, I really needed her on my side at this point.
As soon as my parents realize I've left the state of of Arizona for the big city of New York, they'll be demanding I return right away. They've never been able to let their 'baby girl' grow up, sheltering me to this day. I even walked in on them packing my belongings after I broke the news of Dan and I splitting up, leaving out the gruesome details.
Now here I am, a week later waiting to board my flight that'll take me to my next chapter, my new beginning. Maybe what I'm looking for won't be in New York, but I'll keep looking until I find it.
"Flight number 105 now boarding!" A cheerful woman's voice announced over the barely audible intercom.
"Ready?" I asked, standing up to stretch and grab my suitcases.
"No," Ashley grumbled, following my lead anyways.
The original plan was to go alone, a one bedroom apartment awaiting me when I land, but Ashley walked in on me packing my things, a plane ticket in sight on my desk. Unable to come up with a quick response, I decided to tell her everything, starting with Dan.
"Seriously," I began, "You don't have to come with me. This is my adventure. I'm not dragging you along if you don't want to,"
Ashley sighed, "I know, I'm sorry. I want to come with you. There's nothing left for me here anyways,"
She whispered the last sentence, averting her eyes from my gaze, my heart hurting for her. Ashley's parents were involved in a drunk driving accident last month, they were on their way home from one of their weekend night outs together when a car swerved into them, dying on impact.
"This will be our new adventure then. So cheer up, get excited, because we are off to New York!"
I can't help the panic that begins to surface at the click of the seatbelt and the pilot announcing that we were ready for take off. I feel gravity pushing me into my seat as we began rolling down the lane, the hum of the engine roaring so loudly I can barely hear myself think.
I want to stand up and scream 'Stop!' as the realization of what I'm doing hits me hard.