His dark voice floated on the evening air, mixing with the sounds of the evening. It was strong enough to mask the mosquitoes and nearby traffic, even the cicadas. He had stopped just to say hello and catch-up on the last six hours, to make sure I hadn’t run yet. My gypsy soul had been awakened in the last two months and it was hard for me to stay in one place for too long. If I was going to make it through the next year at this school, I had to get away. My mind raced with images of European capitols and small country towns. I would have to settle with Nashville, or Columbus, or Shreveport. Though these are nowhere near my dreams of Lisbon, Madrid, or Paris, they would have to be good enough for now.
I planted the seed of reckless abandon, but his responsibilities were keeping him tied down. I get to be the crazy wild one while he had to forgo his freedom for two a days and forced team bonding. He was angry at those who were keeping him tied down. Like a wild stallion chomping at a bit he couldn’t be released from, he ranted and raved, threw some obscene gestures then settled back into the chair beside me to listen to the chorus of bugs serenading the night.
I was already free, at least for the time being, to travel into the setting sun. I could cave into the addictions of my new gypsy soul. Live my life without anyone steering. He saw that and inside resented it. I made a mental note to not bring it up again, until I was ready to go.
He stood up abruptly and turned sharply to take his leave. As hastily as he made his decision to leave he turned around and asked when I was leaving. “whenever I want” I responded. He tossed his head in response and I kicked myself for bringing up his responsibilities.
His blonde hair glistened in the setting sun as he jumped over the banister into the knee-high grass beside the dilapidated front porch. He glanced back and flashed a forced toothy grin before strutting off around the house where his red truck waited to carry him away, back to his responsibilities.