A Short Story: running free

 Harper looked out over the glowing sky, shining like bright orange sorbet in the morning light. The quietness and occasional chirping of birds was calming and made her feel safe.

But today, she had bigger and better things on her mind. Harper was going to leave the small town she loved so dearly and move to the city. Her best friend Beatrice had won her over with her, “come on Harpy, it’ll be great”, and, “nothing ever happens in the middle of nowhere, you have to leave that place so you can spread your wings”. At first, Harper had been hesitant. Having just finished high school, she was used to the small community she had grown up in, and where her family owned a small farm on the outskirts of town. However, Beatrice had been persistent, and had eventually persuaded Harper to move out.

They planned to find a small apartment and work at a nearby restaurant, where Beatrice was already working. They both had dreams and of more education and a successful career. As Harper gathered her belongings together and headed out onto the front porch, her father hugged her. “Take care of yourself, and don’t forget about home”, he said gruffly. Harper smiled and promised she wouldn’t. She then quickly jumped into her little car and sped away.

Several months had went by. Harper was alone in her room when a feeling that had been in the pit of her stomach since she left came boiling to the surface. She felt caged in. Like an animal caught in a trap. Ever since moving, she had been nervous. She never felt comfortable, and she couldn’t remember the last time she had seen a sunrise. Don’t forget about home… home…home…

Her father’s word kept coming back to her. Haunting her, reminding her. As she pushed through the days, everything kept closing in around her. Was this really what she wanted? This is what Beatrice said was the thing to do. Harper knew this was the way to be successful, to get an education and then get a good job. But why did she feel like this? So lost. So forlorn? Don’t forget about home… home…home…

Beatrice noticed it too. “Harpy, what’s wrong? You aren’t the same. You seem sad”.

“It’s nothing”, Harper reassured her, “just missing home, that’s all”.

“Well maybe you should go home this weekend and see your parents, might be nice”, Beatrice advised.

Harper’s heart started pounding in excitement as she thought of going back. To the wide open spaces, and the quiet beauty. Yes, she would go for a visit, or maybe she would just stay there… for good. It’s where she belonged.

Follow what your heart tells you… that’s what Harper did.

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