Trees brushed past us as we drove on the narrow dirt road. Sitting shotgun, I peered beyond the veil of dirty streaks on the window and saw seas of gold. The lush fields of wheat stretched beyond the horizon, never fading nor thinning. White picket fences lined squares of land, penning in farm animals and marking front yards. The cows mooed at us, the beaten, brown sedan a foreign object speeding by. My best friend leaned back lazily, one hand on the worn steering wheel, obviously unaware of the high speed of which we were traveling. He didn't care, I didn't care — we were leaving. We didn't know where we were going, we didn't know why; we were taking a risk to explore the country, to get out of the small town we grew up in and to see the world for ourselves.

We drove by endless stalks of wheat, each brushing by the dented car doors. Bumps in the earth made our car to jump slightly, making us both laugh. The sun was rising steadily; we left at around four in the morning, and we'd been driving two hours since. For those few hours, the low rumble of a car engine filled my ears, the only noise made in the early morning while the rest of the world was asleep. Watching the sky transition from black to deep orange, I rolled the window down and leaned my arm on the ledge, feeling the swift breeze rush by. Short, round trees appeared occasionally on the golden fields, their branches reaching out to us as if we were old friends leaving. I waved goodbye.

Goodbye, Alabama.

The rich farmland slowly transitioned into a suburban town, small buildings appearing one by one. As I looked at the sky, I realized it was bright blue, clear with no clouds in sight. Caisen relieved the gas pedal of its agony and slowed the speed down. Sidewalks lined the black asphalt and the yellow wheat was replaced by pale pink houses with green lawns. Born in the countryside, Caisen and I weren't accustomed to the straight, linear organization of the streets. Our small town was all we knew our whole lives. The neatly arranged trees growing in front of the plaster houses were trimmed into geometric shapes, each a round bulb or a square box on a slim trunk. People in this town walked leisurely, relaxing as the day went by. Perhaps they had a good family, a good job, a good life — cookie-cutter people. We weren't so blessed.