I couldnt believe this was really happening. It was just past eleven, the night air thick and dark around me. My bags were packed, resting at my feet. I'd only grabbed the absolute essentials: some clothes and my eyeliner, money and the last note Kelsey had ever passed me in class.
It had been a quiet day in Literature as Art. We were supposed to be reading and analyzing Sophocles' tragedy Antigone. Kelsey was too busy drawing in her sketchbook to be bothered with the tale of the princess. Everytime she tried to talk to me, Mr. Farner would shush her and give her a nasty look.
Hate this place. Cant wait to get out, Kelsey had written, and I'd been so sure she'd meant graduation. I didnt know she meant that she'd be taking the one-way express lane. No, how could I have known that? Even if she'd been screaming at me all along. All the signs had been there, and I'd just let her die.
I was crying when Tony's car pulled up to the curb. The others were already there, piled into the back. Tony came over and lifted my bag for me, ruffled my hair a little. "Hold in there," he murmured, words meant only for me to hear. I didnt let him see the way his gesture lit up my eyes.
"You get shotgun," Tony informed me, so I slid into the seat and closed the door with a dull thud. "You're in charge now, Odette. This is all you."
I couldnt help but smile at that. After so long living in Kelsey's shadow, trying so hard to prove that I could be as great as her, that I was good enough to stand in her shadow, now I was the one callig the shots. It felt so wonderful to stand in the limelight, even if only for a moment.
"Drive," I said quietly, and so he did. We drove until we'd crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, with the radio blaring out some alternative shit that Tony liked.
"My mom's gunna kill me," Freya said eventually with a shaky laugh. "I have a piano recital in the morning."
"Just dont think about that," Tony told her, turning the music down a little so we could talk. I could already tell that he was going to be the one holding us all together, giving us strength. I turned my gaze out the window, hoping he wouldnt notice the way I was blushing.
It must have been hours that we drove on into the darkness, with no real idea where we were going, or what was awaiting us along the way. All the while my heart was pounding, and I swore I could feel Kelsey's smiling presence beside me.
"We're coming," I told her. "Dont worry, Kelsey. We'll be there soon."