Driving in the newly painted VW, I felt like we attracted attention wherever we went. People turned their heads as we rolled through small towns and cars beeped their horns as we cruised down the highway. I didn’t feel self conscious about it; I soaked it in.
Maybe some of the adults back home thought I was a hippie before I left, but if we drove through Forestville in the VW now, there would have been no question, and it wasn’t just because of the new paint job.
I’d been a little embarrassed standing in the ice cream shop, but now that seemed silly. I was who I was. I liked how my favorite skirt hung on my hips and drifted in the wind as I walked. Back home, I never went a day without brushing my hair morning and night. Now, I could hardly even remember where my brush was. My hair was longer than it had ever been. Putting tiny braids into it gave me something to do on long stretches of highway, and Emmie sometimes did the same while we sat by the fire at night, feeding strands of hair into little beads and then entwining them in braids. More beads hung around my neck and wrapped around my wrists on thin leather laces.
I’d taken a thin wire from a broken necklace and carefully wrapped it around the piece of glass that Emmie had given back to me. A piece of leather fed through a loop in the wire turned it into a necklace, and it now hung from my neck. Emmie was right; it did have a weight to it that couldn’t just be thrown away. But its smooth edges were comforting against my skin.
Spring had turned into summer while we were on the road, and I left my window rolled down most of the time. I’d wave to passing cars that beeped and then stretch my arm out the window holding a peace sign high above for them to see. Not all the cars that beeped were happy to see us. Sometimes my peace sign met with angry faces, shouts, or hand gestures that were not peaceful at all. But most of the time people smiled and flashed back peace signs of their own.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish