This story is by Anna Suanco and was part of our 2017 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the Spring Writing Contest stories here.
How can a bird learn to fly when the moment its feathers grew in its wings, it was put in a cage. A golden cage. She didn’t need to hunt for food, for food will always be within inches of her beak. All she needed to do was sing to please her owner. Her owner. How could he even think that a golden cage and all the food and nice things would keep her happy? She’s a bird, for God’s sakes, she should fly… so she did.
Andrea did it. There’s no reason for her to stay in a marriage that could choke her to death. Leaving the luxurious Tribeca penthouse tore inside her. She can’t believe that after ten years, she was actually walking out of it, never to return. All she carried was a medium-sized suitcase and a purse. No phone, no credit cards, and no idea what to do. She hoped the $625 in her purse could take her far away and long enough to start a new life.
Her plan was simple. Leave Frank, leave New York, find a job, an apartment, and live happily ever after. The thought of finding a job made her head spin. She never had to work before.
It doesn’t matter. I’ll wait on tables— I’ll learn. She rolled her suitcase to 36th Street near 12th Avenue and hopped on the bus to Boston.
The cab crawled along Charlestown’s Chestnut Street as Andrea searched for the familiar brownstone apartment building. The only thing she could call her own, an inheritance from her mother.
“There it is! The one with the phoenix door knocker”, she cried, almost jumping out of her seat. She thanked the driver and paid the fare. I’m home.
She took out a ring of keys from her purse and unlocked the door. The stale air promised to choke her in seconds, so she drew the curtains and opened the windows.
Light poured in and so did memories.
Memories of a time spent with her mother. The only family she had, the only person who could have understood what she was going through. Three years ago, she died of an anguish that crushed her heart till it stopped beating. An anguish caused by seeing her daughter’s bruises when Frank beat her in a jealous rage— and more anguish when Andrea decided to stay and say nothing of the abuse.
“I finally did it, mom.” She whispered. Her cheeks wet with tears.
Andrea tidied and straightened up the house, removed the cobwebs of the cold winter, and made it brighter for the spring of a new beginning.