She applied her foot gently on the brake as she approached the split in the road. It was time to make a decision. If she went left it was an unknown route, towards places she’s never been, to people she’s never met. But if she turned right, she’d be heading back towards home, to the people she knew everything about and back to the continuous heartache she knew that was waiting for her.

She had a bag packed a couple days worth of things her toothbrush, hairbrush, a couple pairs of underwear and socks. She had her favourite book and a notebook to write in; enough cash in her bank account to last a week. The only thing she didn’t have was her phone – she felt naked without it, but tonight she needed to be with her thoughts.

She had come to a full stop now. It was late, approaching 1 A.M. She glanced into her rearview mirror even though it was a quiet dirt road and no one would be around. “Safety first,” she thought. The voice within her that she desperately tried to keep quiet spoke up “Why bother with safety? Just sit here until you get hit by another car.” She watched her wipers flick the drops of rain that had accumulated on the windshield. She envied the peacefulness of the rain. She hated how calm the scenery was all around her, no wind, no noises.

It was the cold harsh fall rain that made you want to curl under the sheets and never wake up. It was a struggle to get out of bed lately. The voice in her head told her to stay in bed, that no one would want to see her that day anyway. Every morning she managed to find some strength to get up, shower and head into work. Work had become her distraction. It was a sure way to silence the doubt in her head. Her heart on the other hand, it wasn’t so easy to silence.

Even now the two fought with each other over which way to turn. She never realized how big of a moment this was for her. Who knew 1 A.M. on a Tuesday night would be so important. She couldn’t know how much this single turn would impact the rest of her life.

It was time for her to decide. She could choose a fresh start or choose loyalty to those she loved.

She listened to her heart; it wanted to turn right and head home. To her bed, call the one she longed for and apologize, to make it work again. Doubt chimed in and told her to turn left, that this man did not feel the same. Doubt told her it was over between them, there was no hope to make it work. Her sensible self agreed, time to move on, he wasn’t worth the time, she deserved better it told her. Her mind replayed the number of times he let her down. Watching the history reel of the countless disappointments in her head made her punch the inside of the car door. She cursed.

Checking her rearview mirror again, she caught sight of her eyes. They were puffy and red. Her hair messy, dark circles were forming under her eyes. She really had to figure this out. The stress, anxiety and depression weren’t good for her. She was stronger than this, but her emotions have been getting the best of her. This man, this relationship was taxing and she needed to leave. It was the right choice. Turn left and forget all the heartache. Forget him. Forget her absent friends. Forget her childish family. Create a new life. Find new love. Make new friends. “They won’t even notice you’re gone,” her doubt told her. “Only work would notice after a couple days, they wouldn’t have a clue.”

But she was addicted to the pain. She had tried to leave before, but his name resounded in her head every time she went on new dates, ate at a new restaurant, tried a new wine or heard a new song. Everything was connected to him. He was her everything. It wasn’t the kind of love she could forget easily no matter how many changes she made.

She sat at that fork in the road for a long time. Watching her wipers splash the access rain off the sides. She checked for cars but no one came. Usually she played loud music to help her mind settle. Tonight it was quiet in the car; nothing but her thoughts to be heard.

It was time to make a decision.

She reached for her indictor and gave it a flick. Added pressure to the gas and released the clutch, turning her wheel she headed down the path she knew she had to take.

She made a choice.

 

Photo by Sandeep Swarnkar on Unsplash