A young woman steps heavily off of an old school bus, trying to hold her breath against the cloud of dust, and the smell of unclean bodies. Disapproval seeming to engulf her small but sturdy frame as the bus drives away. She walks forward becoming herself once again, letting the metaphysical mask peel away with each step. It felt good to be herself after a long day of pretending and trying to live up to the expectations that modern society deemed normal. She finally lets herself feel the ache of having her long blond hair tight in a ponytail, the way her back muscles cramped to be straight under the load of an over laden backpack, and her feet itching to feel the rich earth beneath her soles.
She sighs, sitting down in the grassy ditch to the side of the road, shedding her backbreaking load before taking off her shoes and socks and rolling up her dusty, threadbare jeans. She arches, slowly and far, trying to stretch - laughing as the wind blows across her skin when her shirt lifted up. She sat for a moment, or perhaps an hour, unnoticed and unnoticing in the passage of time, staring, glazed eyes watching something, a dream perhaps, off in the distance.
Something awakens her with a start, and she looked quite perplexed at her surroundings for a moment before smiling down at her bare feet, pushing them down on the cool moist grass. She stood up. Slowly flexing the thick muscles of her tan legs, checking her balance and looking around in awe at the open field she stood on the edge of. Her wide wondering eyes seeming to take in everything as if for the first time. The small butterflies dancing lightly above the grass. The blue tailed lizards sunning themselves lazily on the large brown rocks that seemed to spot haphazardly around the field. The way the wind blew across the small hills making it look like waves of gold and green.
Her childish grin grew, and she started to run. Not to any place in particular, and yet to the ends of everywhere it seemed, shedding her stifling shirt to relish the feel of the growing breeze on her hot skin. The air-cooling and the day's sweat evaporating. The smell of disappointment, anger, shame, fear, and the thousands of cosmetics found in a high school being swept away.
The wind filling her lungs with clean air, filling her to the brim with an elite energy. One might call it an adrenaline rush, or a high, but if it was, as those things seem it was so much more. It felt bright like a sort of liquid light. Pouring into her body, filling her, pouring in through her skin and shooting through her veines, through her bones, soaking into her tired body till it over flowed out her mouth as she ran. Laughing and yelling with the pure unadulterated joy of running free through a grassy field. Running free of her restraint, of her conscience, of her shame. Free of the fear that someone would see her. That someone would judge her and condemn her. Shun her for her lack of humility, for her lack of shame at the scars and imperfection of her body. At the moment it didn’t matter, nothing did.
She thought of little as she spun in circles before falling, laughing and breathless, to the ground. Forgetting if only for a little while, that life was going to continue. That the next day the sun would rise, and she would have to walk down that dusty road and again board the bus back to the choking restrictions of an excepted social life.