jueves, 13 de septiembre de 2012

Jueves de cuento: Home away from home

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Getting on the plane is the easy part. It’s the stepping out, the becoming someone else that comes with the conscious decision of living somewhere other than where she’s always lived that she dreads. She does it anyway, only because she can’t camp out in the plane forever, they won’t let her. 

She packs light, which is ironic, considering she’s moving out for at least two years, maybe forever. She had no appropriate clothes, so she resigned herself to buying most of what she needed. Once she gets there she finds herself shivering all the way to the apartment she’d secured through an internet site and wasn’t quite sure existed till she rang the doorbell and found herself face to face with her new roommate.

The first few weeks will be the best and worst. She’ll get lost more times than she can count, till she final understands the complex and yet fairly simple metro/bus/tram system and how to jump from one to the other. She’ll get overwhelmed by the smells and will eat too much in her eagerness to take it all in. Soon enough, she’ll get better at doings things one at a time. 

When she finally takes in the sights, she won’t feel like a tourist anymore. She won’t carry a map, or a single metro ticket, but a monthly one. She won’t stand in line to see the Sagrada Familia, but will instead wait for another day, for she has time, and the line is too long. 

By that time she will have already traded her clingy tank tops and flats for ballerinas and cardigans. It’s not exactly cold outside, but for an LA girl like her, it’s still a bit too chilly, so the ballerinas are the perfect choice. She never thought it would happen, but she’s gotten used to walking everywhere, and she’s sworn off high heels. Maybe because of all the walking, and the total absence of junk food in her life, she’s lost those pesky five pounds she’s been trying to loose for the past two years and is now the person she’s always wanted to be.

She’s reinvented herself to such an extent she’s not surprised to see that her friends don’t recognize her when they come to visit. She shows them the city, takes them shopping and smiles all through the visit, but when they’re gone, she can’t help but be a little relieved. She’s now free to be herself again. 

*This story was third runner-up in the IT.A.CA Contest, sponsored by Pentales.

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