Author's Note: I'm not sure what to call this. I was inspired by an event that might someday take place. So I wanted to capture it before it escaped me. Please interpret this in any way you'd like.
Somedays...it feels like nothing's real. The world is a beautiful illusion, and I am trapped within it. All the sights, sounds, and smells are just a figment of my vivid imagination. Even the people I involve myself with. I feel like I created them for my own use.
But that's foolish. I rested my forehead again the cold glass of the window and sighed. It was all too real, and maybe I just wasn't ready to step out of my comfort zone. Regardless, here I was.
The bus bumped along on the highway, speeding up north to cross the border between the U.S. and Canada. That wasn't the only line being crossed here. I was taking a big risk. For the sake of adventure, I told myself, but was it worth it?
All my fears were collecting in the pit of my stomach. I felt nauseous. In a few hours, there would be no turning back. I'd have to go through with it. It occurred to me that I could die this week. That I could come home a changed person. That I could decide not to come home at all. It was all open.
I think that's what scared me the most. What was I expecting? I didn't really know.
The sky grew darker as we sped along. The ominous cloud hanging over my head was slowly growing darker as well. My mp3 player blasted out some alternative rock tune and I hummed absently along with it. I ignored the occasional stares from other passengers.
This was my first trip out of the country. Granted, I wasn't leaving the continent, but it was still a big deal to me. Even worse, I was leaving alone. I felt like an exile, a runaway, an outcast from the very society that had sheltered me for so many years.
At the same time, this was an escape. I was leaving myself and my whole world behind. I needed to get away from it all. This proved to be a perfect opportunity.
The maple and oak trees eventually gave way to pine and spruce. We passed by the boundary waters of the Mississippi river and International Falls. I'd never been this far up before. Most of this was Native American territory. I knew there were a lot reservations up here. Probably a wildlife refuge or something too.
But none of that really interested me.
My cell phone sat on my lap, silent. I was tempted to pick it up, dial his number, and tell him I wasn't coming. That I wasn't ready for this. That I was a coward.
I could imagine he'd be disappointed. How long had we been planning on meeting? I know, its stupid really, to care about someone you met online. But sometimes...you just find someone you connect with. These are people worth hanging onto. These are the kind of people I'd like that have in my life.
He was an amazing person. I knew that without meeting him. But what if he didn't find me to be so amazing? What was I going to do?
The sick feeling came back, just as the bus jolted over a few ruts in the road. I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths. I'd be ok. I had to be ok.
At about 10:30 pm we reached the PORT: Point of No Return. That was Canada. I had still had a long way to go...but this was the first big step.
We made a stop not too long after that. I got up to stretch my legs and actually breathe. It felt so nice just to stand there and exist. That dark cloud lifted and I felt so much more free.
Yeah...it'd be ok.
Like I said, I still had a long way to go. But reality was waiting for me somewhere up there. I wasn't about to let it down.