The sun creeps its way through the dark curtains, which are meant to block it all out, but they are failing terribly. Just five more minutes of sleep is all she really wants, but once she hears her boyfriend, who is sprawled across their already tiny double bed, grunt lounder than he ever has before, she knows that it is no use trying to get any more rest. She decides to creep slowly out of bed before he wakes up and tries to sweep her off her feet with his morning breath.

Contemplating starting the morning coffee, she decides against it. Somehow, it always ends up tasting stale and no amount of sugar could ever hide that fact. She throws on a shirt much too large for her (those are her favorite, she feels like she can drown in them, no one can see that she is there) and steps out of their apartment. The weather isn’t warm, nor cold. There is a bit of a breeze, which is her perfect weather. If she closes her eyes just tight enough, she could just blow away. That is not her goal for today, though. She knows she can’t keep running away forever.

Today, all she needs is a break and some time to herself. To the strangers walking past her, she appears to be such a young, pretty girl. Not the most beautiful thing they’ve seen today, but there is still something about her. Her soul, she feels, have gotten so old in these past couple of years. Once, so full of aspirations as far as the eye could see, she now only hopes to make enough money at her mediocre job to pay for her half of the rent and perhaps some food for her thinning body. She doesn’t ever wonder why her life ended up like this, because she knows what happened and that it was all her fault.

She had grown tired of life’s routine; going to school aiming towards a job which would leave her bored with her ever-dulling life. She knew she wouldn’t have been able to support herself and move out on her own, so when she met a half-decent guy who seemed really fond of her, she took a chance and left everything behind. Little did she know it would only lead her to yet another boring routine, but now she has nowhere else to run to.

She snaps out of her deep thought when a bus approaches. It’s a route she is unfamiliar with, but she decides to get aboard it anyway. She doesn’t feel like putting a smile on her face and making Elliot feel wanted and she has nothing better to do. She can’t remember the last time she went on a spontaneous adventure. Hell, she couldn’t remember the last time she did anything remotely spontaneous. Perhaps, she thinks, there was one occasion when her and Elliot began dated. She was curled up in bed, about to drift off to sleep, when he phoned her to go on a late night adventure.

Looking back on this now, while sitting on the loud, public bus taking her anywhere (and quite possibly nowhere) she realizes that it was that night that she decided he would be a good fit for her. He hadn’t always been some “half-decent guy” and she somehow forgot that along the way.

She distinctly remembers them trying to find their way through the pitch black night; her boots deep in the mud, her fingers holding on to the back of his leather jacket. She didn’t know where they were heading and to be quite honest, she didn’t care. She had only cared that she was going somewhere new to her, with someone who felt exhilarating. They started a fire and sipped beer until the sun came up. Nowadays, she doesn’t have many memories with Elliot that stands out, and it drives her crazy that she doesn’t know why.

Wondering how she became so apathetic, she continues to look out of the window. She never takes the time to breathe and admire the beauty held within the city. The bus is filling up fast, but no one takes the seat next to her. Maybe they avoid that empty seat because even with one glance it is apparent how lonely and lost this young woman is and they don’t want it to rub off on them, or for her to break their hearts with any story she could possibly have.

She notices that rain drops have begun to land on the bus and she decides that there isn’t anywhere else to go, but home.

Home.

She’s not sure if she ever felt that their apartment, or even this city, was home. She is beginning to realize that it isn’t the world that is letting her down, but herself. For the first time-possibly ever since they moved in together- she wanted to go home and see Elliot. TO lay with him and laugh with him, like young kids in love.

It seems like time moves so much slowly on her way home. The red lights want to linger, the bus wants to make mroe stops, and the streets themselves seem to elongate with every inch they move. The world keeps throwing balls at her to throw her off track, but for once in her life, she is trying so hard to persevere. Almost there, just a few more blocks to go, then she can get on her feet and decide her own pace; she’s going to decide her own future.

It never occurred to her before that maybe Elliot felt as apathetic about things between them as she had. It never occurred to her until she turned the key in the lock and opened the apartment door to an utterly cold, dark, empty space. She again feels something completely new to her, the feeling of her heart dropping into her stomach. She grabs a beer from the fridge and heads straight to bed. She begins to feel foolish that she started to feel hopeful about her life and her what-could-be love for Elliot. When she lays her head down, she turns on her side to see a note on his pillow.

“Let’s make today more amazing than any other day we’ve let go by. I’ll be home soon.”

She feels a smile forming on her face, amazed to see that it comes as easy as any frown.

Today is a new day. She’s decided not to let any day go by without making the most of it. It took her this long to realize that she is the one in charge of her life and her own happiness; she has never felt more in control.

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