Gaige Broughton is studying for Creative Writing in Florida. His hobbies include playing and creating video games and enjoys listening to music. You can check him out on Twitter @GManMT540.
The soft glow of sunlight fights through the gray, cloudy sky. As I walk towards an empty house one final time, specks of snow drift pass me.
“Is that all?” I ask Mom.
“Yeah, I think so,” she says, “your Dad should be ready soon, he just woke up from taking a nap. It’s going to be a long trip to the sunshine state.”
A thousand miles is a long way to go just to move away from your parents. At least, that’s what my parents thought I was doing. A lot can change in a thousand miles. Luckily, we’re driving and not walking. In the car, I felt the cushion of the passenger seat where dried gum used to be ingrained. It was soft cloth, the only car we have that doesn’t have leather. When the car was passed down to me, all of the stains were removed liked nothing ever happened. All that I have now are my memories.
“Hey, Dad?” I say. “Did you change when you moved to Florida?”
“I suppose,” he says while adjusting the driver’s seat.
“Was it for the better or worse?”
“I’d say better. Why, are you having second thoughts?”
“No. I was just curious.”
We got on the road as the day was fading into night. As if they were angered by her leaving, the clouds became pink and red as the sun balances on the horizon. The clouds didn’t understand why the sun had to go. They didn’t care to understand. It’s so hard to fall asleep with so much on my mind, but my eyelids become heavy like sandbags were placed upon them.
To me, it was a blink of the eye. To my father, it was ten hours. Eight hundred miles in and it’s drastically different from home. The sun is bright on warm land. Not a particle of snow can be seen. Traffic is slow. It’s almost like our lane is moving backward while all the other lanes are stopped. We’re clearly not in that small town of Ohio anymore.
We get to the apartment, and not a moment too soon as we are bombarded with news of a hurricane. We spent a day and a half unpacking my stuff, building the new furniture, and setting up the gaming consoles that I took from the family’s collection. Before I could even stay in my apartment for a night, we evacuate the state.
“This is what you’re leaving home for,” my father says.
“Moving here is the best chance I have to live the life I want, Dad,” I say. Not wanting to get into it again, I turn to face the window of the car.
It took all night to get to Georgia. We pass by empty gas stations that were once packed full of cars. So much can change in such short amounts of time. Like a bird’s nest filled with baby birds will soon become empty. The hurricane passed, and we came back to my new home in Florida. The storm wasn’t as severe as predicted. There is no damage around my apartment.
I settle into my new home just fine. Mom and Dad stay a week with me before going home. Seeing the area made them feel better about leaving me in a different world. I told them I’d call and send them pictures so that it seems like I’m not as far away as I am. My parents cry as they hug me goodbye, but I assure them that I’ll see them again.