Now, Looking Back, Part 3
Serena gets up, wearily, from her table and dries her tears. She rinses out her cup and looks out on the landscape she has held so dear for these past years. She came here to find peace and she did but only for awhile. She knows it’s time to leave her home. She doesn’t have much of importance to leave behind. In some ways, she has always traveled light. She has one child, Kenneth, but he and his family live away and she can contact him later. She has some cousins left. She doesn’t think any but a few will miss her and she will let them know. She has some good friends who she will call. They will keep her confidence. Serena has made her decision. Now to act on it before the man comes back.
What do you take with you when you are never coming back? Serena will, of course, take Maggie, her small dog. She goes about making room in her car for Maggie, first and foremost. What she takes now depends on the room she has left. She will need some of her clothes so she quickly sorts some summer and some winter clothes into two small suitcases. Her good jewelry is precious to her and she might have to sell it so it also goes into her car. She pulls several of her grandmother’s old quilts out of the closet along with one set of good sheets. Either she or Maggie or both can use those. That’s it for the bedrooms.
Her computers go with her. She will have to depend on establishments with free WiFi. A few canvases and her paints and there is only one more thing to take out of her storage. Her family pictures. She struggles with the boxes and dumps them all into one box. Out of her bathroom, she stuffs the bare necessities into one of her suitcases. Her makeup, some hair products, and all of her medicines.
In the living room, she stops in front of the fireplace and looks around her as she tries to calm her dog. Maggie is sensing change and is getting agitated. Almost everything in Serena’s house has meaning to her. Her legs start to shake and for a brief moment, she doesn’t think she can do this. Doesn’t think she can leave it all behind. What is the alternative? In order to continue on in this life, she would have to sell her soul. That would be the price of peace. She knows that price is too high. She knows that superficial “things” cannot buy her happiness. She knows she cannot live with herself if she makes that bargain with the devil.
Serena walks into her kitchen, grabs Maggie’s dog food, bowl, and medicine, and a few bottles of water for herself. She carries everything, except Maggie, to the car and begins to pack it.
Within a few minutes, the car is packed and Serena picks up Maggie and settles her in the car. She lays her cell phone on the seat beside her so she will have use of the GPS.
Serena has been thinking of this plan of action for days now. She went to the bank earlier in the day and cleaned out the accounts. She is leaving the man the house and everything else. At least the money will help keep gas in her car for awhile and food in Maggie’s belly. She will arrange for the income she gets to make its way to her when she decides where to stop. She hurriedly gets in her car, tears streaming down her face, and pulls out of the drive. She stops briefly, looking back, remembering the peace she once found here.
As Serena drives away, amid the devastation she feels is a tiny glimmer of hope. She doesn’t know if she is going north, south, east, or west. But, she thinks maybe something good awaits her at the end of her long road away from what was once home.