Andie stuffed the last storage bin in her car and closed the door. she was relieved a sliver of visibility remained from the driver’s seat through to the back window.
after driving for only a few moments, her phone began buzzing. when she stopped at a gas station and glanced at the texts piling in, her suspicions were confirmed: her friend since childhood, her flatmate Bethany, had adopted one of the small feline siblings of Andie’s grey kitten, Pepper. she smiled to herself and went to pump gas, hearing the phone jingle with new messages even as she closed the door.
the gas station building was tiny so she was grateful the afternoon was a quiet one. only as she had finished paying and was leaving did another customer come in.
as Andie drove, questions flittered through her mind. she wondered what Bethany would name Pepper’s sibling; why the driver of the SUV in front of her had failed to signal their intent to merge into her lane before doing so; what it was about the person who had entered the gas station as she had left that made her feel clunky. the last question lingered as she reached the toll highway and paid the amount to continue her journey toward Levettport.
To go back would have killed me. To turn aside would have derailed me.
- David Hayward, "Sophia and Being Steadfast"
eleven years ago, I embarked on a journey.
I spent the first four years in construction;
deconstructing walls, building bridges in their place.
tearing up planks mouldy with indoctrination,
installing new boards of humility and authenticity,
and new windows and doors, to aid freedom.
Jordan selected trays of red flowers from the shop’s garden display - Avery had discovered the need for two more in the midst of planting. children’s voices floated from the school playground across the street; Jordan smiled at the joy warmer spring days brought.
inside the shop, Jordan waited in line to pay, attempted to resist the cute chocolate eggs with toys inside, then, resistance failing, selected two, knowing Avery’s good-natured teasing would only last temporarily. plus, Jordan was bringing the flowers.
“more bad news,” said the person at the front of the line, motioning to a newspaper. “soon it’ll be just like that here.”
Jordan glanced at the headline and remained quiet. news certainly made the two countries seem quite alike, but eighteen years lived experience in one, and over a decade in the other, made Jordan aware of many subtle yet important distinctions.