The pot-holed driveway stretched before me. I could hardly wait to get in the house and into a warm bed. It seemed like an eternity since I left the comfort and safety of my friend’s house. In reality it was only about half an hour, but walking alone down that dirt road, nothing but bush on both sides, and a sliver of moon making the shadows look ominous; I thought I would never make it. I should be getting used to this by now.
It had all started a few months ago when I arrived home from school one Friday to find a note left by my parents. It said, “Gone away, feed the dogs.” It didn’t tell me where they had gone or when they would be back. The first weekend was the worst. What were the rules? Could I stay up all night, eat what I want, or go out with my friends all weekend? For the first few hours I thought it was great until I realized that this house was really a prison for a 13-year-old child left alone. Three miles from the local town, the weather beaten farm house sat almost half a mile off the main road and the nearest neighbors almost a mile away. The only way to get anywhere was to walk and leave for home before it got dark to spend a lonely evening home or risk the long walk in the dark. My freedom had quickly turned to boredom and loneliness. This weekend I decided to take the chance and visit a friend.
The driveway loomed ahead of me and I was feeling more nervous. On the left side of the drive was an unused pasture with tall grass. Every step I took on that driveway I was convinced that someone or something was following me. Trying to talk myself out of this nonsense I told myself over and over again that it was just the wind or maybe some deer feasting on the rich grass in the pasture to my left. Still my heart was beating hard as I kept telling myself over and over again, “Just a few more steps”, once past the pasture I could not hear the rustling so much and I began to relax and chastised myself for being such a baby. My eyes spotted the old rusted
The rising sun woke me. Stiff and sore from my night on the floor I anxiously searched the forest looking for the light I had seen the night before. Frightened, but buoyed by the daylight I made my way cautiously down the driveway to where I had seen the light. I began to laugh as much from relief as from my stupidity. Last night, tired and frightened I had totally forgotten about the pump house at the edge of the forest and the light my father had just installed there.