The falling snow blurs the forest landscape, hiding the pines and the aspen trees. Even the rocks and underbrush lining the remote highway are mostly obscured by the practical blizzard.The hum of the van's engine drones on, constant ambience that filters through my ears and into my thoughts. Warm air blasts my face as I adjust the heater, wishing for the hundredth time today that I could have taken my car. But I couldn't. It wouldn't be safe on these mountain roads, and I need to get away.
Better safe than sorry.
Even though it's been several hours since I left, my nerves have yet to settle. It might have been the obvious fear on my mom's face as she said goodbye, or my own paranoid imaginations of everything that could go wrong--heck, it could just be the chill that's making me shiver like this.
But the heat is turned all the way up and last I checked, this van had a functional heater.
There are just some things nobody should have to go through. Some things that no one is ever prepared for. And it seems the more unexpected an event is, the more disturbing it has the potential to be. Maybe that's just due to the overactive thoughts I inevitably go through all the time, running through every possible scenario, planning for each one without ever really having a plan, all the while knowing that half the things I'm imaging myself doing would be impossible for me. I can't really stop it, though. It's my brain, and it has its own plan.
I wonder what kind of fear has the power to stop my imaginings, my plans, my obsessive worries. I've been scared before, but never like this. Never so much that my thoughts sound foreign to me. This is a slow burning terror, and I can't even find the strength in me to examine the source. I'm just running away, driving across three states with no more of a plan than where I'm headed. I'm freezing inside, and it burns.
By now, Mom will have called her parents to explain my impromptu visit.
As the tingling in my fingers subsides, I turn down the heater, sudenly realizing that my seat warmer has been running for who knows how long, and my butt is on fire. My left hand fumbles along the side of my seat, finding the controls to switch it off.
My rights hand goes tap tap tap against the wheel, trying and failing to find a rhythm in the engine's noises. My patience dies and I switch off the heater completely.
Silence fills the car.
There's me, and the car, and the snow, following a lonely ribbon of black asphalt across nature's version of a fence.
The snow flurries over my windshield like a million tiny white birds, zipping past me to fall to the ground. Here, the snow won't melt as quickly as it does in the city. Again, it occurs to me just how alone I am. I'm strangely safe in my solitude.
No people here. No strangers, telling me we should meet up, or complimenting me without reason, or attempting to make conversation about irrelevant things. Even better, no strangers telling me that they feel like they know me. Saying they want to know me more. Even worse...
I startle at the vibration against my thigh, heart racing within only two beats, entire body tensing as my brain scrambles for an explanation.
Then I feel stupid. I sag into my seat, closing my eyes and breating in twice before reaching into my pocket and pulling out my phone.
The notification is a text from Mom. I slow down to read it.
yeah, I reply so she won't worry. I mean, I'm texting, so I'm not really, but this far away from any other drivers...
Better safe than sorry.
I pull over completely, hunching over my phone as I tap the screen.
where are you going to stay again? I ask, forcing myself back into reality. Her response comes twenty seconds later.
Probably Anne's place. Just get to your grandparent's house, don't worry about me. I'll be fine.
My fingers fly across the keyboard.
Not if he finds you and tries to find out where I am. be careful
I am being careful, now get back to driving. everything is going to be fine.
I force myself to do what she says.
I pull onto the road again, windshield wipers rhythmic in their removal of the snow. Four more hours left.
With all the events of the past months, more questions have plagued me than anyone could ever answer. Through the worry, and the paranoia, and the terror of threats and just knowing that someone's watching you, your life falls apart until you can't recognize it. But when you're scared for your life, losing your job doesn't sting so badly. You stop caring for everything you have, instead falling completely in love with what you wish could be real. Safety. Peace--anything but anxiety and insecurity. You're left wondering if some people are just more twisted than the rest of us. And why. Why me.
My phone buzzes again, but I power it off. I'm truly alone.
I don't want to ruin that.
Author Notes: Well. This happened. Please leave a rating! If you don't know what to say, just press space a lot and have it be an empty review.