The time glowed green on the dashboard of a silver car and the radio played a random mix of music through the stereo system. The bell on the corgi charm on a set of keys jingled slightly as the car turned the tight corner almost too quickly.
The female driver checked her speed and shook her head to refocus on her driving. She reached to turn on the air conditioner in an attempt to make the cool air rouse her from her drowsy state of mind.
She caught a glance of her reflection in the mirror and pulled a face. Her auburn hair had fallen from it’s bun which had been carefully pinned that morning. Dark shadows were evident below her slightly bloodshot eyes, despite the use of high grade concealer. Her lipstick had long been worn off and she hadn’t had time to fix it after her fruit salad lunch. The woman was almost glad she wasn’t returning home to any significant other, especially when she could be mistaken for a zombie of some sort.
It was the beginning of summer and daylight savings meant that the sun was only just beginning to set as the young woman made her way back home.
It was Friday and although that meant an end to her work week, it didn’t exclude her from the chores that awaited her in her messy flat or the never-ending list of social events she’d been begged to attend. Everyone was throwing a party it seemed, and she was a ‘required’ attendee. This however meant she’d have to do last minute gift shopping in the morning as well as plan an outfit that fit with a 1920’s Mystery Murder theme.
Suddenly the setting sun shone through the car window on her right as she rounded a bend in the road and the woman flipped the sunshield of her car to block it out. She let out a long sigh and glanced at the clock again. Another ten minutes, through the winding rural roads, and she’d be home.
A car parked by the side of the road caught the woman’s wandering attention and she raised a curious eyebrow. It was odd to see a car parked in such a position, unless there was an issue and they were waiting for roadside assistance.
However instead of seeing an annoyed or flustered owner of the car, the woman noticed a couple standing nestled in each other’s arms. They were gazing across the fields of shifting grass to the horizon where the sky had turned a deep orange. Following their example the woman took a moment to admire the sunset also.
It was beautiful. It was serene.
The woman suddenly felt a hit of nostalgia and perhaps longing enter her heart as she quickly focused on keeping her car on the road. She bit her lip and glanced back at the horizon, becoming more and more tempted to stop the car. It had been years, longer than she could remember, since she’d stopped and watched a sunrise or sunset. She envied the couple. She envied the idea of standing with someone close and admiring the creative and beautiful side of life.
As she continued to drive, hoping to get through kangaroo country before the land was plunged into darkness. However she couldn’t escape the sudden heaviness and wish that she had stopped.
She missed the old days.
She missed the times as a child where she admired everything that nature and the outside world provided. She missed the smell of freshly mown grass and the imaginative horse that she fed in her plastic ‘stable’. She missed staying out late just to gaze at the millions of stars as one by one they appeared. She missed going for long walks without telling her parents and feeling like a wild child.
The woman felt tears roll down her cheeks and she laughed quietly at how she was acting. She wiped the tears away with the back of her hand.
She remembered how she had been in such a hurry to grow up and earn the freedom of adulthood. But now it seemed like all growing up meant was that she’d signed her life away. Freedom came for half an hour on her lunch break and when she had the occasional bubble bath. Even then the consuming thoughts of what she had to do and what others wanted her to do used up any room for imagination and peace.
The woman parked her car and stepped out, grabbing her bag from the front passenger seat. She jogged to her front door flinging it open with haste and dropping her bag onto the table. In her room, messy from her hurried preparation that morning, the woman added to the mess by kicking off her high heels. An oversized T-shirt and pair of loose fitting cotton pants replaced the business suit she had been wearing. A pair of comfortable sneakers were tied hurriedly and a smile replaced her usually sullen look.
The woman forgot her former plans of a quick dinner and email checking for that evening. Instead she slapped together a peanut butter sandwich and large bottle of cold water. She exit the house and noticed that the sky was turning dark and the cool night air made her skin tingle slightly. The woman didn’t bother to return for a jacket, instead she ran, jogged and walked her way into an evening void of any adult thoughts. She listened to the birds, who all seemed to sing a song of old which was sweet to her ears. She felt the fresh, revitalizing air and breathed deeply.
She missed the good old days, when nights like this were a daily occurrence. If she could pause that moment for all of time and imagine herself away from the life she had built over the last seven years of her adult life, then she would have been happy.
For one night she would return to those days. Perhaps, after this date with these past feelings, they might even choose to go on another one. And after that she would make time for another. She had been separated from her imagination and love for far too long. They had a lot of time to make up for.
She had missed the good old days, but perhaps… the future could be made to be good days too.
Hope you enjoyed this story!
I’m honestly so envious of my childhood self. I’d run around and never truly appreciate what it was that I was experiencing. I was in a hurry to grow up and be independent and experience those things, and now I just wish to have the serene experiences of the past.
Isn’t it strange how we want things that we leave behind sometimes?
Sorry I’ve been absent, I’ve decided that is just how it’s going to be for this December. I’ll still be posting, but perhaps not every second day.
You guys are awesome!