He drove like a lunatic, trying to make it to the airport. He glanced nervously at his wife in the next seat, holding their small son tightly to her chest. She glances behind them, as if she’s looking for someone. At another glance from her husband, she shakes her head.
The airport is crowded, and they have to make this plane. They press through the people, her clutching the small purse to her, clinging to the babe for dear life. They make it through the security, then the gates and onto the plane. His muscles are still tense, and they both look around them warily.
He takes her hand in his, trying to assure her that it will be alright, even though he didn’t know himself. Finally, it’s time for takeoff. The flight attendant stands and makes the announcements, but the couple doesn’t really listen. They fasten their belts and are taken high into the air.
After a couple hours, while the ocean is beneath them, the man tells the woman to sleep, and soon enough she does. She’s not able to sleep long, though, and wakes within an hour. The rest of the flight is spent in quiet whispers, making sure their plans are firm.
They make it to the new country, going through customs and all the hassles entering the country presence. He finds a job, and they buy a house in the western part of the country, with open skies and plenty of deserted land. They change their names, assuming new identities. Hopefully, this would make them harder to find. If they are found, it means disaster, death, or something worse.
After a year, they become citizens of the country, abandoning everything they had left behind. This was their new home. This place was safe.
The infant grew, and soon began walking and speaking. They could see their soon growing up here happily. They were happy, and began to relax. Surely, if they hadn’t been found in a year, they wouldn’t be found at all. Their little family was happy.
As fate would have it, they didn’t remain in this happy state long. The ones they had fled from their home country had chased them here, and found them. They moved, but they were found again in three months. So they moved again, and he made his decision. They argued and screamed, she cried rivers and he nearly tore his hair out, but it was the best thing they could do.
They parted unwillingly. He held her close, murmuring reassurances in her ear. He would find them when it was safe, he promised. He would make sure his family, his wife and son, were safe. He wouldn’t be able to live if something happened to them. He forced himself to break their embrace; she wasn’t strong enough to do it, after everything that had happened. With a parting kiss, a whisper of love, and a promise to return, he walked away. He looked over his shoulder many times, to see her watching is departure every time, until she was no longer visible. It was then he let the moisture flood his eyes.
He went East and she went South. However, she never felt safe, so she and the child moved constantly, not staying more than a year in any one place.
The child asked about his father, but was never given much response. The subject pained the mother, so he didn’t bring it up that much. She would never tell him her fears, that his father had died trying to protect them. That despite his promises, he wasn’t coming back. That she would never see him again. That he would never know his father, never know the brave man who loved him so.
The child hated moving. He hated always leaving his friends, so he stopped making them. He thought he must have moved more than any one person in the world. He told his mother he didn’t like it, but she said it was for his own good, it was better this way.
The child grew more, and he started school. It had been years, and it seemed they were safe. It was the father, after all, they were after. Finally, after nearly eleven years of moving, they settle in to the one place. They both agreed it was a great place to live, and the mother thought it would be a great hiding place.
He made friends. He made friends easily. Of course, when your new, it’s great. He did the things he could never do before. He got close to these people, even had a best friend.
Of course, friendships change, and when he made friends with someone his best friend didn’t like, they grew apart. His new friends welcomed him, though. They were great, just as close as he and his other friends had been.
That’s what he thought, anyway. They weren’t really, though. One ‘friend’ found out he didn’t have much money, and made fun of him. So what if his mom was his only support, she was trying, wasn’t she? Who cared? His other friends hadn’t.
He wanted out of his group of friends. He wanted people who liked him for him, not for what he had. People who cared. With his current group, it was all a show. Money, or the appearance of it. It made him sick to realize what he’d become. He wasn’t happy, he was ready to move. He’d hurt his best friend, and he knew she hated him. He just wanted out, he’d always just left before. Something stopped him from telling his mom, though. She seemed happier now that they were in this place.
He wanted to quite the show, and began slowly unraveling the friendships he had so carefully crafted. He was tired of the posing, he wanted to be himself. He wanted to uncage his true nature, to reveal the person he was inside.
His mother often talked about letting himself be free, not to worry about what others thought. She was right, and he was seeing this. He was who he was, and he had decided to quit fighting it. He wasn’t this heartless person he projected. He didn’t hold the beliefs his ‘friends’ tried to force on him. He was letting himself be himself. If people didn’t like him that was fine. Who care’s what other people think. He was tired of the monster he felt he was.
He didn’t want to be a monster.