The first thing I noticed about New York was the noise. The city that never slept also never shut up. Growing up outside of Canyon, Texas didn’t prepare me for this. As I closed the door to my apartment, better known as a large closet by most standards, I again wondered why I had left my beloved small town life behind.
The job offer was decent and the lure of the big city was great, but really, if I was honest, I had left to follow a man. My feminist side howled in protest but it was true. Ryan was perfect. Tall, dark, and handsome plus a gentleman to boot. Or so I thought.
After three months here in New York, he decided to “move on” and kicked me out of our apartment. The breakup was messy but I couldn’t find it in me to care about the things I said. He deserved even more, especially after I found him with the blond bombshell while getting the last of my things.
I looked up at the sound of children’s voices raised in joy. I was approaching our park–an empty lot between two run-down buildings that housed an ancient swing set. The swings were long since lost but the slide was still functional and the neighborhood kids loved it.
Today a game of tag was being played on, under, and around it. I gasped as a little boy jumped from the top of the slide to the top bar of the swing set. His hands were just able to grasp it, keeping him from a nasty fall. He swung his legs up and hung sloth, taunting the person who was it. I laughed as he nimbly swung down and landed in the dirt. There is nothing like the fearlessness of youth.
I had been contemplating returning to Canyon with my tail between my legs, telling my parents that they were right, but now something had changed. Seeing that little boy’s leap of faith, confident he would make it, had stirred something in my soul.
I liked my job here. My apartment was tiny and nearly in a slum, but it was mine. I needed to stop dwelling on the past and move forward. Take a fearless leap of faith into the future, confident in my ability to make it, instead of doubting myself.
I tried to catch one last glimpse of the little boy that changed everything but he was already gone, moving on to some new adventure. I would do the same.
Writing prompts: New York, Texas, Slide