My life hasn’t turned out how I wanted it to.
I had dreams. I was going to be someone. I studied hard, worked long hours training to be the best. I was the youngest of my family to ever attend the University. I was the only of my line to complete the long coursework. But I wanted more than that.
I wanted love.
I wanted love in the cliche way that young girls dream about. I wanted to come home to my dinners made fresh, with a handsome face smiling at me as if I was the only person in the world. I wanted his strong arms to wrap around me, holding me every time like it was the first and last time he would hold me. I wanted that spark, that romance to last deep into the years we would spend together. I wanted a sweet proposal, a full-tilt wedding, a house on a hill and bundles of joy.
But it wasn’t to be. That’s ok, I told myself. One can still live a full life, while dreams live on in the places where we hide them. So, I continued my training far past the time where I had mastered it, striving to make some other meaning out of my life. Perhaps it just wasn’t the right time, I said. It will happen. But days turned into years, and in one swift sword strike my life changed.
I’d become one of the Hunted.
All I wanted was to have a normal birthday party. With balloons, and cake. Maybe some wine. And no one crashing through the window shooting at me.
“Duck!” I shouted, smearing Mom to the ground. I landed hard on her boney hip, the one that was replaced and is now quite literally hard as steel. A small “oof” escaped in the silence between shots, the gunman either reloading or listening to see if the first round reached its target. I put a finger in front of my lips, hoping Mom took the hint. She gave a small nod, and I slowly reached behind to pull out my gun.
The shots had come from the front of my tiny abode, blasting out my front window. Unfortunately for me, the tall shrub I had growing out there covered any trace of the shooter. Crouching down, I slide over to the wall where there was a bit of cover from my side table, the one that would have held the cake if the cake was still in one piece instead of dropped as the shots were fired.
Thirty is going to be a great year.
“It has good bones.” That phrase stuck in Xandra’s head, rolling around in the corners with the cobwebs. Looking up at the small house sitting back from the road, with it’s trees covering the front windows and the 1-car garage’s roof pealing up, she wondered how far down she’d have to dig before she got to these bones. The bricks were good, red and grey interspersed with ivy growing up the side. The railing that lead to the tiny alcove leaned to the left and the porch itself wouldn’t save anyone from the rain. The walk was cracked, tiny weeds sprouting out of the concrete like yellowed zits. And speaking of weeds, Xandra took in the knee-high grass covering the entire 2-acre property. I should just buy a goat.
Walking towards the front door, Xandra climbed the three steps to the front door, hoping that the lock wasn’t rusted or the wooden frame swollen, making it harder to gain entry. Setting her travel bag down, she dug out the ancient-looking key from her pocket. Note to self, get a locksmith. Sliding the key into the lock, she shoved her weight against the door. Though her build was slight and lean, she did keep in shape, but no amount of slamming her shoulder into the door would make it move.
Xandra sighed. Good bones, my ass.