Raelyn never felt the need to run away, and if she did, she never thought she’d be drawn to the sea.
She found it quite frustrating that no matter how carefully she walked, sand maneuvered its way into every thread of her clothes and piled at the heels in her converse. As well as, the constant teasing from her friends calling her a “shoobie” on the beach was pretty unfavorable too.
Yet, today was different. It was the routine that stifled Raelyn. This morning was just as mundane as the others, and that was exactly the problem. So, as she followed her daily rituals: took a shower, brushed her teeth, and drove to school. She watched each face rush by, wondering if they too, were as tired as she felt.
She cursed silently to herself as she half jogged to class. Why did she think this morning class would be any different than the others? She’s shown up 15 minutes late everyday this week, and it was getting harder and harder to dodge Professor Hazlet’s impatient glares. Especially, when she attempts to slink away into her seat at the back of the class.
“Rae, what is it that makes you so inherently late every morning?”, asked her professor accusingly, stopping mid - lecture therefore giving everyone else in the room an excuse to look back and watch the show.
“Uh oh. Here we go”, Raelyn thought to herself. She knew it was only a matter of time before she was tied to the stake.
“Honestly professor, it was my alarm. My phone died in the middle of the night.”, she muttered sheepishly, flushed slightly red with embarrassment in her cheeks.
It was a weak attempt to justify her laziness. Good one, because he hasn’t heard that one a million times. Unwilling to admit to herself, like so many other mornings, she couldn't muster strength to get out of bed. That maybe, just maybe, those extra minutes spent in beneath the sheets would grant her the willpower to get through the day, but no. In reality, it really meant another morning running to class with her hair half brushed and a coffee stain on her jeans.
“So”, she thought, “Go ahead and set fire beneath that stake, at least it'll mark the end of this wretched 8am class”.
But, Raelyn reminded herself that she's not a witch, and this wasn't the dark ages.
As she sat through class, she couldn't shake the same itching feeling that she felt when she woke. She was all too aware of her heel tapping against the floor, and her pencil twirling in her fingers. Rae tried not to watch the clock, but her futile attempts failed, and when she was finally dismissed, she darted out the door. Last in first out, like a claustrophobic who was scared that the walls might fall in, leaving her trapped in a classroom tomb. She shuddered.
So, doing what every super responsible young adult would do in her given situation - she ditched.
She accepted the nagging feeling, the one that had proved itself as nothing but a distraction, was only going to grow stronger and along with that realization - she drove.
“Where to?”, Rae mumbled to herself. “The possibilities are endless”, she thought. She could drive to the Grand Canyon, but then again..how grand is a big hole in the ground? She shook her head.
“Oh! Well maybe, I could run to the mountains.” She could breathe in the fresh crisp air of Yosemite and try to wrap her arms around the thousand year old redwood trunks.
She sighed. There was only one place she knew she could go. I mean afterall, she didn’t really want to run away, just get away. There was a difference right?
The beach. Close enough to home, but far enough to feel just out of reach. Raelyn inhaled the salty air. She walked slowly through the sand, allowing her feet sink into the soft earth, taking each step with care, as if she was walking on glass. She pulled her jacket close, tucked her hands inside her pockets, and started her trek up a small dune. Once she reached the top Rae plopped herself down, the spot she chose worthy of queen.
.... to be continued