For five hours I’ve been sitting on the bed staring at my suitcase. It’s still open but everything I have is inside it. Not much, but it’s mine. My life packed into this one object. The suitcase isn’t the problem though. The problem is whether I want to close it or not. Close it, pick it up and walk out the door. Leaving everything that I’ve known for most of my life.
I always thought when this day actually came I would have the courage. I’d be happy even though I was leaving all my friends. Most wouldn’t know, I was just going to leave and not tell them. I didn’t want them to be able to find me. It would be too risky, this is a new life for me and a new life means I have to break all my connections. I couldn’t even say thank you, I love them, but now I don’t need them anymore.
I’ve been thinking about making the change for a few years. When you tell people about the problems you’ve had and are having they think it would be an easy decision to make. I think sometimes people don’t realise it’s not easy to let go of something or someone even if it has been bad. I try to persuade myself that it has been good, but really it hasn’t. I’m sitting here now telling myself that it is all I know, I can’t leave.
There are no pictures on walls or desks to remind me of what I am walking away from. The sounds of arguments ring inside my head. Constant shouting and violence. Things I won’t miss. You don’t think about the things you won’t miss though do you? Or if you do you manage to twist it in your mind so that it becomes a good thing. No matter how bad it is, when you want to let go, your mind will twist it to the opposite of what you want.
Last night I went for one last walk. Walking around the quiet streets, thoughtful. My mind conflicted. Seeing families enjoying the warm summer’s evening, happy. My envy of them turning into a sadness of what I might never have. People sitting outside in pub gardens laughing, enjoying each others company. More envy, even contempt for these people who had no worries. Conflict, constant conflict in my mind.
All that I want, the things that I envy and hate these people for are now within my grasp. Both literally and metaphorically. All I have to do is pick up the suitcase, walk out the door and I know I won’t stop. A change of life, but still the old one holds on to me. Holding me down in place. If I walked out with no suitcase it would be over, I’d never get another chance to make my escape.
Most people would think it was the easiest decision in the world. I’d been living on the streets for years. Recently I moved into hostel and now I have been offered my own house. And I am scared to leave my old life behind. I have the chance to be one of those families walking on summer evenings or laughing and joking outside in a pub garden. There is still pull from the only life I know though. It is not letting me go easily.
I’ve closed the suitcase and placed it by the door. And still I sit here staring at it. Undecided.
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