In effort to say all of the things that I wish to say, that I cannot say on leaving and cleaving, I have crafted a short story. Though it is fictional, it is a representation of some themes present in my life and the new journey of life and love that I find myself on. Enjoy!
As Maylee waited in the station, counting the minutes and hours that lay ahead, she carefully pondered all that she would be leaving behind. She recalled images of family and friends that unmasked a deep gray past full of pain and broken promises again and again. She remembered a crimson-stained history of concealed secrets that if let out had the potential of exposing individuals but because they were kept inside destroyed her family. Divorce and depression and unforgiveness kept her family ensnared but that was all they knew and all they were ever willing to know so as such they abided not understanding that they too could be free.
They cautioned her, ‘life would be no better where you’re headed’. Though she had never seen it, Maylee knew different. She read in story books of where peace existed, she overheard her neighbors once say that joy could really be attained. Rumors circulated in her town of wholeness and unity and freedom that could exist and that she wanted for herself. Though her family pleaded with her to stay, to reside in dysfunction and hopelessness, she packed her bags and left knowing that a better life awaited her on the other side of the tracks.
She packed all of her belongings and precious memories of childhood and youth. Though not many, she would cherish them and cling to them as one would to rare precious jewels. She carefully wrapped her fragile possessions, placing them in delicate cloths that would promise to last through her journey. When she was certain that everything was in its proper place, she slowly closed her suitcase but as she did scarfs of bitterness caught her eye.
Frightened, she frantically threw open her suitcase and noticed that along with bitterness lay royal garments of anger, hatred, and resentment too! These she did not want, they she would leave behind. Carefully, Maylee removed them from her things and placed them to the side. That’s when pain caught her eye; at first Maylee thought to remove that too, but she realized that she would need it. Not so that it would continue to pierce and destroy her as did the other things but to serve as a reminder of where she did not want to be.
She gathered her suitcase, walking out of her room, and then out of her house for the last time. No one was present to bid her farewell so there were no goodbyes. Although it made her sad that no one had come around, she had to keep moving forward. She walked down the dusty and broken cobblestone road for two miles until she reached her destination, found a seat and sat, waiting for her train to come.
Minutes passed by. Minutes turned into hours, hours turned into days, days into weeks, weeks into months. People came by consistently, jeering and accusing her of being insane but still she sat knowing that one day her train would come. They told her it had been over 20 years since a train pulled into that station but still she was determined to sit. She was determined to sit, she was determined to pray, and she was determined to receive everything that was promised to her.
Finally after months of waiting, Maylee’s train pulled into the station. “Ma’am are you sure this is the train you want”? “Yes, sir”, Maylee responded. “Can you pay the fare”? “Yes, sir” Maylee replied.
Standing for the first time in months, Maylee grabbed her suitcase and walked slowly to the doors. After going up one step, she placed her suitcase down, exhaled and turned around to behold the world that she was leaving one last time. Was this what she truly wanted, was this what she truly deserved? Doubts began to overflood her mind until before long Maylee was drowning in a sea of them. She began to recall all of the things that her family said, and maybe they were right; maybe family and peace and joy liked she longed for didn’t truly exist and were only fit as fairytales for children’s books.
At the moment when Maylee seemed she would be overtaken, she remembered where she was and who she was. At the moment she considered forsaking her destiny, she remembered that she, herself was living proof that it was real. The train was there, wasn’t it? Though people told her that it would not come it was here and she was standing on it!
She did not know what the future held if she stayed on that train but she was for certain what it would mean if she got off. Though unpredictable, the future that lay ahead of her looked much more promising. She would have to work and she would have to roll up her sleeves and fight, but she was beginning to understand that success and happiness did not come easy- only failure and misery did!
“Ma’am, are you ready to leave, the train needs to pull out”? “Yes, sir”, Maylee responded for the last time. She ascended the remaining three stairs, paid her fare and took her seat. And as the train pulled off, Maylee knew that she was finally free.