Here's to Tomorrow
Tonight was the night. Tonight I had everything ready. My large dark blue camping backpack was filled up with all the necessities; but still light enough for long travel. I had it hidden in my closet, underneath Kenny's big old denim jacket. Everything was going just as planned.
Tonight was the night of the big Halloween party my parents did every year since I can remember and then some. Everyone would be in costume, and I'm not talking a sheet thrown over to be a ghost, these costumes were excessive. Everyone wanted their costume to be the best, the brightest, and the most expensive or intricate. They also wanted them to be a secret, so no one knew who the person next to them really was. This was my mother's idea, something like the Masquerades of the Victorian Age.
She liked getting to decorate the whole house up like some haunted mansion, though it was the same every year. What she really loved was coming up with new foods for the party. I swear, all year she was thinking about ways to make creepy Halloween food that was more creative, tastier, and cost more than the year before.
It was fun for a while; but then I started to have my own ideas for costumes, and mother never did approve of these choices. For years I was one stupid little princess after another. I would have rather been the Pauper. But what I really wanted to be was a monster like Frankenstein's Creature or Count Dracula. Or be a hero like Robin Hood or King Arthur. Not Cinderella or Snow White.
When I finally reached my rebellious teenage years my only rebellion was my costumes. I decided my own costumes and stuck to them. No more stupid, frilly, pink dresses; except that one year I was a Prom Queen Zombie, that was a good year. Tonight was going to be the best year yet.
This year, tonight, I would be a super hero – Ghost Girl, with the power of Invisibility and Flight.
All the guests had arrived; everyone who was anyone was out mingling in the "Ballroom" munching on creepy treats and sipping from goblets. With all of the recent super hero movies the room was full of heroes and villains, making it look like a small Comic-Con. Especially when I saw a bright yellow Bumblebee Transformer that could actually fold into a mini version of the newest, and in my opinion not so good-looking, Camaro. Then there was the bright green of Kermit the Frog, a giant orange pumpkin, and a gold pharaoh being followed by a scantily clad concubine in purple silk.
I saw some really good looking Civil War soldiers clad in their blue or grey cotton, North and South respectively. Batman snuck up behind me at one point; he almost got a punch in the face when he yelled "Where's Rachel?" right next to my ear, his costume was cool though. The Queen of Hearts was in attendance, a few ninjas were seen with throwing stars, an Avatar alien in a loin cloth almost got kicked out, an 8-armed Hindu god was chasing a crying child that looked like a piece of sushi, and running after them was a woman dressed as a bottle of soy sauce.
Tonight's party was forecasted to last until 3 A.M., starting at 9 P.M., the best part of the night would be happening right at Midnight. November 1st would be my 22nd birthday. I'd already graduated from college with a B.S. in Legal Studies with a Minor in Criminal Justice. My parents were making me take a year off between undergrad and law school, they said I needed to have fun. I, however; thought otherwise, though there was no arguing with them and I did not wish to upset and disrespect them.
I do not want to be a lawyer, so I don't plan on going to law school. I also don't plan on sitting around having "fun" or going on European cruises with my parents. Sure it'd be fun, but it's not what I want to do. That's why tonight is such a big night. At midnight I will thank everyone for their birthday wishes and then my "super powers" will come into effect. Invisibility and Flight. I will disappear in the swarm of partyers and fly on out.
The past week has been a quiet chaotic mess for me. From organizing what I need to take with me to emptying out my bank account. I've even secretly sold my car. They may have lots of money and the means to find me under normal circumstances, but they won't have a clue as to where I've gone. I've taken every precaution. I'm not heartless; I am leaving them a note.
Dear Mom and Dad,
Don't worry. I'm just taking some time off on my own. I'll be back in a few months, or at least tell you where I am. I just need some time to myself. A bit of fun and adventure just for me, since college was rushed. But don't worry; I'm not going to go all crazy and irresponsible. You know that's not me and not how you raised me. I just need the time to…find myself. Some free time, away from home and family. I've already got…a little job lined up for me…like an internship.
Don't try to follow me or track me down. My car's already sold and gone, so don't look for me that way. My phone's going to be on my pillow with this note. My debit card and checks are going to be there too, my money's already withdrawn. I will send you letters though, so don't worry you will hear from me. And no Dad, you won't find a return address on them or be able to follow them, they'll be sent out from somewhere else.
I love you guys and I will keep in touch, I promise.
Your little girl, Katherine DuPont
The old grandfather clock in the parlor started chiming the tolls for Midnight. Everyone started cheering as I walked over to where my parents stood; they were dressed up as Popeye and Olive Oil. Which I think is so much better than Superman and Wonder Woman from last year; I mean my parents look nice, but no one their age should be in spandex tights. What has been seen cannot be unseen.
So everyone sang Happy Birthday to me and did some cheering. Only a few real friends were here, so I made sure to give them big long hugs and say Ghost Girl was about to use her powers. So they all knew something was going to happen – none guessed close to the truth though – except for the one who was in on the whole thing.
As people went back to dancing and talking I slowly made my way out of the Ballroom, shaking hands here, saying some thanks there, and making my way towards the back of the house. When I got to the foot of the stairs I fell over, having tripped on some fake cobwebs that had fallen from their rightful place. Annoyed, I threw them over the railing only to see them land on Superman and watch him react as if it were Kryptonite. I ran up the stairs to my room, looked around, and seeing no one, snuck in, closing and locking my door behind me.
I hurriedly changed out of the blue and silver costume into my more comfortable light blue jeans and black T-shirt. I put my denim jacket on, stuffed my costume into my backpack, and placed my letter on my pillow. With quiet black sneakers I walked back to my door, unlocked it, and walked to my window.
Once I was outside I headed north, about a quarter of a mile up the road a car waited for me. I had slept in late today so I'd have plenty of energy tonight. In the darkness ahead I could see the red tail lights of my getaway car.
It was pretty rough around the edges but it was beautiful, a 1980 Berlinetta Camaro. It was a light steel blue in need of a paint job, but for $4K I wasn't complaining. About a week ago we had gone up to Beaumont and paid for it in cash. It was waiting for me on the side of the road, a slight purr coming from beneath the hood. I walked up as the passenger side window rolled down, "Hey there Mister, looking for a good time," I joked. We both had a good laugh about it as I hopped into the car and we headed for the interstate.
3 A.M. We're on the road, I love this car! We're driving to Shreveport, LA. I'll sleep a few hours there and then continue my adventure around dinner time. Then I'll be headed to Knoxville, TN, an 11 hour trip from Shreveport, then another leg of the journey being almost 8 hours to D.C., well the Quantico, VA area.
That's right, I'm going to Quantico! And I wasn't lying to my parents when I said I had a job or an internship lined up. I've got an unpaid internship at the Washington Navy Yard! Now the only reason I didn't tell my parents about it, besides it not being the break they wanted me to have, is because I'm not there for an internship having to do with law school. I've got an internship at the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in the criminal investigations and criminal intelligence departments.
I won't be a lawyer sitting in the court room lying and telling someone to lie to get them out of deserved punishment. I want to be someone who helps find and catch enemies of the State. I want to help NCIS in its mission of investigating and defeating criminal intelligence threats to the United States Marines and Navy.
It's what Kenny would have wanted me to do. He'd be driving this car now instead of Robert if he were still here.
On the drive to Quantico I found out that though my car was really great, it was impossible to sleep well in the seats. So we got a cheap double room just outside of Knoxville to sleep a few hours. We arrived in the Quantico area on November 3rd around noon. I've been looking for an apartment for a few hours now. I've found a few in the Dale City and Lake Ridge area. One of them is really reasonably priced and it's not too small.
It's not ready to move into for a about a week, which is fine with me. I don't have to report in for my internship until the 15th. So I put a down payment on the apartment and found a cheap Holiday Inn to stay at until then. The apartment is slightly furnished, so I'll need to find a few more things to finish it – which shouldn't take me long. I mean, I don't want the place cluttered and I'm not much of a decorator. Decorating has always been my mother's job.
Robert helped me get my stuff situated and stayed with me for my first few nights at the hotel. But then he had to report back to base. He and Kenny joined the Marine Corps together; heck they'd done everything together since I could remember. Ever since Kenny was taken from us we had stuck together. He said he'd always be there for me and my family if we needed him – and he had.
So I've been driving around familiarizing myself with the area while looking for furniture and some more clothes, mostly things on the keeping-you-from-freezing side. Since the weather and driving around here are a lot different than in Texas. It's crazy up here! From around the apartment to HQ is only about 13 miles as the crow flies, but it's about 16 to drive there and it takes a good 30 minutes when the roads aren't busy. Anyway, I figure it'll take some getting used to before I've got it all figured out.
I could always just take the public transportation to get to work, but I've always loved driving. And with my little Camaro I plan on driving everywhere, not to mention I'll probably need it for work at some point.
I decided I should probably get started on a letter home. I'm planning on putting the letters in one envelope addressed to my parents and then that inside another envelope to a friend of mine from college. She lives in Oregon. She owes me big time for keeping her out of trouble when I was her RA, so she won't tell them where I'm sending the letters from. Plus, my parents know I've always wanted to go to Alaska; so they'll just assume I'm on my way there.
Tomorrow I start my internship. I'll be getting an Intern ID/Pass and then I and a handful of other interns will be shown around the Russell-Knox Building. The excitement I've got building within me is almost enough to make me call home and tell them all about it. Almost. But I know they'd end up flying up here and trying to take me home. Or at the very least they'd buy me some big townhouse that I don't need or want. So I have to keep my excitement to myself and to this word document.
Here's to tomorrow – may it be as exciting as I hope, and continue to be that way for a long time to come.