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Story - Venture
Word Prompt: Venture
Plot Generator—Idea Completion: Too much of a good thing.
Rosalie gave me another small shove. "Go on, now. You'll be fine!"
I tried to ignore the way her voice wavered there at the end, afraid that if I acknowledged it, I'd tear up too. "I'm going, I'm going..."
"Just...call when you stop."
"I'll call before then..."
"It's almost eleven," she laughed. "The other passengers'll probably be trying to sleep."
I finally looked up at her. Her blonde hair was up in a loose bun, golden wisps escaping around her flushed face. Only Rosalie could be beautiful in a bus station, soft and sweet amongst chaos.
"Then I'll text you," I said, swallowing.
Her face twisted in to a grimace-y smile, and she threw her arms around me. "'kay," she whispered. Her sweet pea scent engulfed me, and I closed my eyes, breathing deep for memory's sake. Behind my eyelids I saw summertime: the sandy inside of her jeep, busted a/c allowing for open windows and beachy air. Lotion applied to sunburnt skin, homemade rocky road milkshakes, her dainty little pink bubbler...
"Go," she whispered now.
"Love you." I smiled, snatching up my bags as I backed away.
I could feel her watching me as I stood in line to board the bus, so I turned around to wave. She took a picture of me with her phone, sticking out her tongue as I rolled my eyes and grinned. I waited until I'd found a seat by a window, about three quarters of the way back, and then I took one of her. Only, it made me feel more like crying than laughing, her solemn face gazing back up at me, hands clasped beneath her chin like I was leaving her behind.
And I was. Only, she at least had Emmett. A job, a calico named Fiasco, and an apartment. Siblings two hours north and parents half an hour east.
I had forty dollars and a backpack. A phone, a journal.
And a bus ticket to Seattle, Washington.
As much as I'd liked Florida, it had always been an in-between sort of deal.
After a year of college in New York, there was no more financial aid to carry me, and neither of my parents had the funds to keep me there. I probably could have toughed it out a little longer, scraped by, but it wouldn't have done much. It would have kept me in New York, sure, but not at school. It was just too much, and I had too little.
Rose and I had grown up together in Forks, a tiny Washington town. In junior high, her father got a job near West Palm Beach, and they'd moved, breaking our hearts in the process. Over the years, though, she and I'd managed to stay close, managing to visit each other during summers and spring breaks. When my college plans fell through after that first year, she invited me to come and stay with her. She was going to community college during the year, but it was summer now, and she was just really loving life.
So I went. My frequent flyer miles afforded me one plane ticket, and I used it to get to her. We spent sundrenched days and breezy nights at the beach, working at this little boutique right across from the water. It was amazing...but I couldn't do it forever. Too much of a good thing could easily turn bad, as I'd seen from the numerous beach bum types littering the beach, stoners and party kids who'd never really matured past high school. And anyway, Rose would be returning to school come August. I needed to figure out how I was going to get back to that myself.
I couldn't bring myself to return to Forks. I loved it, and it would always be home, but everyone else had left for college, or in some cases, the navy or to travel the world. Going back after just one year would be depressing, like I'd failed. So when Alice, the best friend who'd gone just as far as Seattle, called to say her roommate had taken off, I took it as a sign. I'd be close to home, but not too close, and could qualify for residency, which would enable me to return to school.
My phone buzzed. I glanced down with a start, realizing I'd actually nodded off. It was Rose.
Hope all's well. No smelly old men right?
Chuffing quietly, I glanced around at the darkened bus. It was barely half full, and so the seat beside me was empty. For now, anyway.
Nope. Not too crowded. All's well.
k. going to sleep now. Miss u already
miss u too. Xoxo
Blinking back tears, I pocketed my phone and stared out the window, in to the black beyond. It was hard to get comfortable, but I had to at least try. My journey would take just over three days of nearly non-stop driving, stopping only to stretch, grab food, or switch drivers and buses.
Yawning, I shut my eyes and tried to rest.
I jolted awake, looking around. Outside, dawn had just barely begun to break, soft oranges and blues painting the horizon. I stared at the emptiness, somewhat soothed by its quiet. There was nothing around, nothing but grass and road and us. I didn't even know if we were still in Florida, or what time it was. I supposed maybe six, if the sun was about to come up.
So I'd been able to sleep, after all. I couldn't say I felt all that rested, but I felt okay. I'd dozed on and off for the first few hours before finally succumbing, but it was better than nothing.
The driver announced that we'd just entered Alabama, where we'd be stopping shortly. I shifted in my seat, anxious at the thought of de-boarding in a random little town. Stretching my legs and using a non-bus bathroom sounded great, though, so I'd just have to deal.
Daylight brightened slowly, illuminating the bus and making it feel a little warmer. I texted Rose once we'd stopped and I'd ventured outside, making sure to take a couple of kitschy photos of things, both for her and for me. They'd make great additions to my journal.
Any hot guys?
Snorting, I typed back, try married, old and cowboy hat wearing. One guy's reading Harlequins.
Lol. Well it's only day 1.
Smiling, I shook my head. The chances of me finding someone between here and Seattle were so slim they were practically invisible.
this'll be a shorty, just enough to carry us through the end of june.
also, with regard to the news about my mom: you guys have touched and overwhelmed me with your love, tweets, reviews, messages, prayers, everything. so much love back at you. so much gratitude. truly. i'm humbled and so grateful.