She was moving full-speed ahead, not looking back, just passing the milestones. Racing past them. And then she passed college, the tires screeching as she came to an unexpected stop. For the first time, she couldn’t see in front of her. She didn’t know what to do. Was she supposed to keep on going? Was she supposed to stop?
She climbed out of the car, wringing her hands, the engine quiet for the first time in forever. She paced furiously next to the car, her normally relaxed stance tensed. What was happening? Was this normal? Everythign in her life had always been so clear, a path carved out for her, her next step calculated to the tenth decimal place, analysed and certified. This was not supposed to happen, she was supposed to know it all, she’d avoided it all, anything that could screw up her plan, she’d taken the necessary steps to make sure this never occured. Had she done something wrong? Had she made a mistake? She couldn’t make mistakes, no, no, no.
Her heartbeat was racing and she couldn’t breathe.
But she could hear all the chanting voices in her head, asking her what she was going to do now, she needed to know, she was smart so she could do it all, she needed to get a good job with a good paycheck, just putting more and more pressure on her and she was going to collapse with all the expectations and hopes piled on top of her shoulders.
She just needed time, time to figure out who she was, what she wanted, but time was the one thing she didn’t have. No one was letting go of the reins they had on her, despite her pulling and squirming and she just wanted a break.
Everyone’s passing by her, she can see them and she can see them looking out of their windows, blatantly staring at her, not even bothering to pretend looking abashed when her gaze locks with theirs.
It was all so wrong, so much different than she had planned and her throat was closing up again and she couldn’t.
She collapsed on the ground, leaning against her old, rusty car, facing the road. Her hands were fisted in her hair and she was breathing heavily, her elbows resting on her knees.
She closed her eyes and she could see the few people she loved and cared about, the few people whose opinion mattered, the happy looks on their faces as she posed in her new office as Editor-In-Chief. And suddnely she wasn’t that scared anymore.
She could do this.
Maybe she could actually do this.
So maybe she couldn’t see ahead of her. That didn’t mean she still couldn’t go ahead. That didn’t mean she needed to stop and screw up her life.
It was her life and she was going to beat it like a bitch.
She got up with newfound determination, wiping a stray tear and climbed into the car. She twisted the key in the ignotion and the car started. She put the gear in position. Her hands were on the steering whell, her foot on the accelerator and she pushed her foot down gently.