I packed the last of the clothes in the duffel bag. The ones I had worn for years and that had seen me through many seasons. They were faded and worn, but they were mine. I folded them carefully, as if they were precious relics. I did not know if I would ever wear them again.
I moved on to the fragile items. The ceramic cookie monster that my mother had given me. The framed photos of my family and friends. The ceramic tree-bowl from my “brother-in-law’. I wrapped them in newspaper and bubble wrap, trying to protect them from the inevitable bumps and jolts of the journey. I placed them in a cardboard box and taped it shut. I labeled it with a marker: FRAGILE. HANDLE WITH CARE.
I looked around the room. It was empty and silent, except for the echo of my footsteps. I felt a pang of nostalgia and sadness, that was then overshadowed with enthusiasm for the future. This had been my home for so long. I had made so many memories here. But now it was time to leave. To start a new life in a new place with my family.
I picked up the duffel bag and the box and headed for the door. I did not look back. I did not say goodbye. I just walked out into the bright sun and the dusty road. I did not know what awaited me ahead, but I knew it was finally time to go.