Dana sat back in the oversized chair at the car dealer lot in the office, the car guy checking over the papers to finalize the sale of her truck and camper rig, a Ford and pop-up camper attached. She had decided on that after considerable research, and chose the latter, being the most efficient for off-road travels to places she wanted to see. Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, where ever her heart desired. She had been planning and waiting a long time now to follow her dreams. Open highways, new people, sights of nature and canyons. Not to mention warm weather - after enduring cold winters in Canada, she wanted to take the journey and follow her heart.
"Okey dokey, now all we need is your name here, here, and here, and this baby is all yours." Ronnie said into the paperwork, as he then handed her with sweaty palms the package. He had his Subway off to the far side of his desk, which she could smell the onions and sweet sauce, his large diet coke beside that half slurped away. She happily signed her life away, literally, and he then gave her the keys to her new rig.
"I cant' believe I own this, I can go wherever I want, nothing to hold me back now." She said as he walked her across the lot, this baby was all hers. The car guy waddled to show her the final details, his forehead bearing droplets of sweat in the July heat, it was early still, the sun was beating down on the pavement underneath their feet. It took Dana two weeks to find this deal, she was proud as hell, grinning like the Chershire cat ear to ear.
... Three months earlier
"Are you sure you want to do this? Your the best copy writer we ever had, I hate to see you go." Jason told her on her last day at work.
"I am sorry, but after 20 years I need to get out, life is so short and precious, I can't sit at a desk all day any longer, and besides, I need to feel warm during winter now." She laughed softly as her boss watched her face, hoping for one little bit of maybe she could change her mind?
Nope, not a chance, she was a strong willed young woman, and he knew that someday she would leave them, today was that day. The little going away party they held for her was emotion felt, the staff was saddened, hugs were generously doled out and affectionately taken from their colleague.
"We want to wish you all the best and we look forward to your new adventures, we will keep an eye out on your podcasts." Said Janie, her dear friend and secretary for the small group. They were close knit and a family, looking out for each other, sharing the love.
Janie couldn't imagine what it will be like when she left, but such is life, things change, people move on like cotton in the wind.
"I am really going to miss you too my dear friend, your like a sister to me. We will stay in touch, text and talk, I can send you pics." But the excitement in her voice was non-compliant with her feelings, she would leave that instant if she had her rig right then, she knew it - nothing was going to hold her back, the voice unspoken to anyone right here, right now stayed in her heart.
"I wanted to give you this, so you don't forget about us." John handed her a parcel wrapped in brown paper and tied with string. She opened a nice photo, of everybody together from the last Christmas party. Dana felt a tear stinging in the corner of her eye.
Did saying goodbye and change have to be so friggin hard? She might have for a second or two been talked into staying, these people she worked with were so kind, such a wonderful little group, no one could ask for more than that in a job.
Dana drove the truck out of the parking lot, deciding to drive down some local country road areas to get used to the vehicle and its power, the all terrain tires feeling levelled, as she fiddled with the stereo to find some music, settling on oldies that she loved. She turned the a/c on, as the day promised some hot sunny skies, then she would go back to her apartment to pack and get ready to leave behind the life she was comfortable with. 'How things changed, in less than a month' she breathed the idea, making it happen as a fly weaves a web to secure sustenance. First the decision, then the research, and now, here she was, in control of her own destiny, the cliche but a reality now too. Her cell phone was fully loaded, the GPS and the tracker so she could be found if need be were all up and running smoothly.
In ten days she would be in Arizona, her first stop, and from there the sky was the limit.
She had to make some stops, first to Walmart, stocked up on groceries, then she had to say a few more goodbyes along the way. Once the tiny fridge and cupboards were fully loaded, she was almost ready to leave. She texted her boss, letting John know that was almost done here in town, that she was so excited she could bust from happiness. She thought about the last 20 years, hell, she thought about the last 23 days, from ending her tenancy at the apartment she was renting to deciding on what rig to get herself set up with, she felt filled with satisfaction at the accomplishment she completed. Now, her new journey was about to be embraced, the highways were hers to own, she was here.
"Ok, full tank of gas, check, grocery haul, check, papers, check, all I have to do is drive." She told herself, and climbed up into the driver's seat, breathing in the smell of a new vehicle, leather and chrome beneath her bear legs. She turned the ignition, listened to the purr of the new engine, and never looked back.