today is the last day before she leaves, and instead of finishing her packing of re-checking last minute details, she is here, here in her beloved secret hide-out, her hidden escape that she is leaving behind forever.
she is surrounded by one hundred colored balloons that she has carefully inscribed with careful cursive script - one hundred memories, inside jokes, dreams, and wishes from her childhood.
here in her special corner of the forest behind her house, in her favorite dress with a dearly beloved stuffed animal, she watches as the gentle wind sways the colorful sea of balloons to and fro, a single tear trickling down her face.
a pastel yellow one passes by - '1/26/01: met best friend katie' and then a red - 'summer of 2009: road trip to california'...one after another, she sits surrounded by everything that defines her life.
she picks up a final [violet] balloon and writes on it 'despite everything, i would do it all again in a heartbeat' and releasing it as she gets up to leave, she is filled with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia.