By myself, beholden to no one, forced to hear no lectures. That’s what I want. That’s what Paradise looks like for me.
I can’t afford it though. Not because of money – I actually have some tiny savings built up, for the first time in ages. I can’t afford it because no one in my family would ever speak to me again.
We don’t run.
We might check out or be completely useless, but we’re there physically. We do our duty.
I don’t want to do my duty. I don’t want to watch while the rest of us shrivel up and die waiting for a woman who’s never going to come back to open her eyes. I don’t want to pour my life into my mother, I wouldn’t have even if she wasn’t in a hospital bed. Sabira can do what she wants but I am not going to let her make me feel guilty about this.
Thank God I’ll be gone soon enough. I cannot wait. I’m not gonna kid myself – this is irresponsible and careless. If it blows up in my face, I’ll only have myself to blame.
I don’t care.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. An internship. It’s unpaid and I’ll be working myself to the bone and I don’t care. I can hardly believe that my application got accepted – I’d forgotten I put an application in!
That’s a lie. I could never forget that. But I had lost hope. And now, I’m going! I feel kinda guilty about using S’s friend to pay for my airfare, but I am gonna work for him for as long as he’s in France and then when he leaves, spend the week and a half break I get frantically looking for the cheapest place to stay I can find and saving up some rest.
That’s something Dad used to say. “We’re going to be running around all over the place next week, let me save up some rest.” And then he’d go take a nap somewhere.
They’re going to be so mad when they figure it out.
But I’ll deal with that when I get back. If I get back. Oh, God, don’t make me have to come back.
If I got offered a permanent job… all my dreams would have come true. I could die in that moment and be perfectly satisfied with my life.
I won’t even imagine it, it’s too precious.
Two weeks to go.
One week to go.
Three days to go.
I feel like I’m growing wings.
S and Dad have given up on me at this point. S sighs to herself sometimes about my callousness, but she’s mostly kept her peace. She did give herself the pleasure of oh-so-sweetly asking whether I was going to visit Mom before I left at all.
Her mouth dropped open when I told her I’d arranged a visit for myself on Thursday afternoon. I’d already cleared it with my boss (not told him what I was doing, but asked for the time off to sort out loose ends).
I’m going to meet Soph after I say goodbye to Mom. She deserves a personal goodbye from me, and I’m going to use the time to teach her some truly bratty ways to stand up for herself. I can’t leave her completely undefended. Though, she’s been learning all by herself from what she told me a few days ago.
I’m proud of little Soph. She’s bursting out of her cocoon and right in time too.
Maybe I should leave her CV on my boss’s desk. But no, Soph should be doing something better than waiting on someone.
Everything’s falling into place. I’ve even gotten all the boxes I needed to start packing up all my stuff. S won’t notice if I’m not noisy about it and Sabira can just arrange for it all to be collected once I’ve left. I bet she’ll still complain about that but I’ve honestly done the best I can to make sure I’ll leave neatly. She has to give me credit for trying.
I’m all packed. I said goodbye to Mom – and Dad yesterday. I had some fun with Soph, baked some brownies, and wrote Sabira a letter. It’s cliched and old-school but I couldn’t resist.
It’s very me, if nothing else.
An hour to the flight. I’m already all checked in and I changed some money yesterday too. All that’s left are my final goodbyes. To my sister, to my city, and to me. The me who lived here and so desperately wanted to get out.
I was convinced that I was meant for something different – and I am. I can’t even bring myself to feel as suspicious as I should because I’m just so excited about it. Maybe I just get this one?
Yes. I’m determined to get this one. I want it so, so badly.
There’s S. I’m gonna stuff this in my pocket in a minute when she gets close enough and enjoy the milkshakes she got us. It makes me think of us as little girls and that’s something that should get to be enjoyed, if nothing else.
I’m in the plane. I’m connected to the terrible, overpriced Wi-Fi and using the work laptop that I’m gonna have to give back soon enough (my own laptop is tucked safely away in my backpack above my head).
This should be scary, probably. I have no support structure where I’m going. No S, no uncles. Nobody.
But that just sounds so amazing.
I said right at the beginning that I was a selfish brat. I still am. This is going to be good for me and so it makes me happy. I’m gonna make other people unhappy but I just don’t care. I need this.
I need it so bad.
I’m going to miss S though. I really, really hope that her anger eventually fades and we can maybe start to talk.
I’m running from S, a lot. But the thought of not having her at all, even when I need her, is causing the closest thing to worry that I’ve felt since I got that first email.
Please let my big sister still talk to me at the end of this.