Ten Years Later
My older sister was always late in the mornings, and every day I waited on the couch next to the door, counting the hundreds of seconds until she was ready. I waited, dressed, with my bright pink backpack secured, my shoes tied, and my coat zipped. I watched her run around the house, looking for a last minute snack, or sometimes finishing her homework. It puzzled me that no matter how early she woke up, she was still always late. Finally, she would open the door, and together we would sprint down the street to the bus stop, where we would be the last two kids on the bus. I resented her for making me sit in the front row, and I was determined to convince my parents that I was old enough to go by myself. They didn't give in for two years, until I reached second grade.
For the first week, my sister walked with me. It wasn't intentional, but by the time I reached the end of the driveway, she caught up to me and we would walk side by side. The following week, when Lana abandoned her resolution to be on time, I left my house alone. As I turned the corner, I confirmed her absence, and began my walk in solitude. It wasn't far, not more than a quarter of a mile, and there was plenty of time to spare. Yet I walked briskly at first, and then I began to run. Afraid of looking behind me, I dashed to the end of the street. Sobbing, I stood alone, until the others gradually found their way to the bus stop.
I refused at first to admit that I didn't know what to do with my newfound liberty. I wished that it would...