Looking Back on the Road Ahead
by Missy Vinson
The clouds were woven like lace as the sun rose below; a brightening sky peeking through the threads. Ella thought cloudy-on-the-verge-of-clearing was far more perfect than your standard bright-and-cheerful. It hinted of mystery.
Ella was hopeful that Ash would not disappoint her with the usual tardiness, anxious to spend the next year more than a thousand miles from parents and sisters. Ash’s parents owned a two-bedroom rental near A&M, so Ella would pay less than the dorm and even have her own bathroom! Texas was not her first choice for school, but Far Away certainly was.
The SUV pulled up hesitantly, the rear-passenger door flying open instantly. Ash bounded out carrying more than she could lift almost falling into Ella’s open hatchback. Ash’s mom hopped out, puffy eyes revealing her heartbreak. Ella ran up to greet her with a big hug, while Ash continued to unload bags. Mrs. Collins shuddered, and tears began to flow. Would her mother be as heartbroken?
With perfect timing, Ella’s family spilled out of their house to say goodbye. Her mom and dad were dry-eyed and stoic, while her sisters were beyond tears long before today. Ella suspected her mom would join Mrs. Collins soon after they drove away.
After hugs and goodbyes, Ella took a deep breath and hit the gas. The waving crowd behind her shrank quickly to nothing as the cloudy veil above pulled away to reveal the road ahead. The mystery of leaving home no longer seemed so enticing.