Escape from the City

Just a quick note, this was written in response to a prompt, so there’s a reason it may seem a bit forced.

As the skyscrapers slowly gave way to rolling hills of green, I sighed and turned to my sister. Her face was filled with hope and excitement, in stark contrast to my expression of melancholy. We were leaving the only home that I’d ever known and I doubted that I would ever be able to forgive fate for forcing us to escape from the city.

I had lived in New York my whole life, and finally the price of living had risen to such astronomical levels that my family was forced to leave. We were moving to Colebrook, a tiny little town in the Middle of Nowhere, Connecticut. To say the least, I was not please with what destiny had thrown into our laps. 

My sister, however, was ecstatic. Our entire childhood had been spent with her complaining about the lack of greenery in the City. For her, moving to Colebrook would be the best thing ever. 

“Jenna! Do you think Mom will let us get a dog?” Our parents had gone ahead with the moving truck, leaving us to take the train to our new hometown. I shrugged at returned my gaze towards the scratched window. Some idiot had scratched his name into the window. The uneven lines distorted the view of the quaint, colonial towns that lined The Hudson. 

“If we get a dog, we wouldn’t even have to walk it. We could just let it loose in the backyard. Do you think we’re gonna have a backyard?” I shrugged again. I couldn’t really bring myself to imagine what our house would look like and the thought of grass so close to me was disgusting. Let me put it this way, when I was around three years old, I was afraid of grass. Actually, terrified. My parents had taken me to a wedding (this was before my sister was born)  and, in order to make sure I wouldn’t run away, had stood me on a manhole cover in the middle of the field where the reception was. I didn’t move for two hours. To say that I was not a fan of “nature’s carpet” would be a gross understatement. 

“Come on, Jen. Can’t you at least be excited for me? I know that you don’t really like all this nature stuff, but I’m sure that this experience will be good for us.” She grabbed both my hands, wresting my attention away from the fascinating scenery. “Please just try to pretend to be happy? Mom and Dad are really beating themselves up about this. They feel super guilty. Just smile, for them.”

“I’m sorry, Liss, I just can’t.” I glanced out the window, desperate for a distraction from the awkwardness of this conversation. “Oh look! Cows! They look like Oreos!” I forced a laugh, hoping that my attempt would successfully sway my sisters attention. It did.

“Oh my gosh! No way!” Jenna smiled. “This is so different from home.”

“Yeah.” With that reminder, I went back to looking morosely out the window. 

“Ten Mile River!” The conductor announced over the scratchy intercom.

“This is it. Next stop is us. You ready?” Jenna was practically jumping up and down in her seat. 

I reverted to what seemed to be my new default response and shrugged. Standing up, I grabbed my backpack and jammed my earphones into my ears. “Let’s go.” With Liss tagging along behind me, I lead the way into the vestibule before then departing the train at our stop. I gave one last wistful look towards the MTA operated train and headed towards where our parents waited, resigned to my fate. 

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