Claire didn’t have to rush to pack her bags. Her mother, Elizabeth, was out sponsoring the big city’s triathlon, and her father was out at work. She stood in her brightly pink room and neatly folded clothes into her suitcase. She was eighteen now, and there was nothing stopping her.
However, she couldn’t just leave mysteriously. Claire’s mother would come home to find her missing, which would cause great chaos. She’d call Claire’s father, John, and he would immediately get people to look for her. They would get the authorities involved and family connections would all be on the lookout for her. That couldn’t be her plan.
After months of planning and doing research, Claire had a scheme that would play out perfectly.
“Good evening mother.”
“Good evening,” Elizabeth answered coldly, never revealing any emotions behind her glass-like expression.
“Mother, would you have a minute to speak. It’s important.”
“Make it quick, I have to be at city hall for an important meeting with the governor. Now what is it?” She asked impatiently.
“I received a letter from the board of SimCityUniversity. I’ve been accepted into their program.”
“Oh dear, I’m just chuffed as nuts! I need to chivvy along though! I’ll tell your father the news when he’s done with clients.” Claire hated the way her mother’s heavy British accent filled the room. She used old sayings and expressions that the rest of the average person couldn’t understand.
Claire cut her off abruptly. “Mother there is more to it. This University is across the country. I will be staying there for every session. It’s a private establishment that already provides the students with dormitories.”
“Wonderful! I’ll write out the check whenever you need it.”
“I need it now. I’m leaving in less than a week.” Her words cut off Elizabeth’s movements.
“Darling can we talk about this later? I need to carry on now.”
Claire took a deep breath, trying to stay calm. “Mother, you can write out the check later, after the first few sessions. I’m leaving in three days. The flight is already booked.”
~ ~ ~
Without asking for too much information, Claire’s parents kissed her goodbye at the airport. She was surprised to see that both her parents had finally taken some time off just to be able to say their goodbyes.
“Darling, your father and I will be out most of the night, however you can leave a message to the maid, and she’ll transfer to us!” Elizabeth hurried through last-minute explanations.
“Mother, my flight is only leaving in a few hours.”
John, her father, interrupted their conversation. “Dear, we need to get going. My boss called me in and I must be at the office before noon.”
Her mother added, “It’s my turn to sponsor the Alcohol Anonymous meeting therefore I need to get going as well. This flight will be a piece of cake.”
Both her parents gave her a cold, awkward hug and started walking away. “Goodbye dear, phone us once you’ve arrived to the school.”
Claire sat waiting in the large airport. She watched as both her parents hurriedly walked themselves out. Her mother’s high heels clacking along the shining floors and her father fixing his gelled back hair and adjusting the buttons to his tuxedo. Once again, she was left alone. No one ever had time for her. But on the other hand, her plan seemed to play out even easier than expected.
The flight to Appaloosa Plains was quiet. Finally arriving into the small town, Claire walked among the misty streets. This was an environment completely different for her. The lights of the big city were far away; no more noise of the traffic and the smell of pollution. She walked through streets, some not even having sidewalks. There were healthy green trees here, and freshly cut grass. The air was fresh and soothing upon her young skin.
For a second, she completely forgot about her life at home. She didn’t care about her mother’s heavy accent, or the way her father dismissed her all the time. In this world, it was no longer about her past, but about her present. This is going to take some time getting use to. Claire thought to herself as she now stood in front of her future.