She revved the engine and looked out into the night. The tangle of neon-lit streets spreading out before her seemed to gather at the end of her vision into one single, brilliant point. Finally, she thought, I’ll make it there.
All her life inside the city walls she had been waiting for her keys, for her car, for the ruler who people said was in charge to say, “Go!” But he had never said that word to her; he had never spoken to her at all. So she had decided to find a way out herself, going throughout the confines of the kingdom to barter for a car, to forge its keys, to take one step closer to the outer perimeter, and then another, to see how far she could go before the ruler interfered. She had gotten everything she needed, and he had never tried to stop her. She took that to mean he did not mind much if she left.
Now she sat facing the darkness outside the kingdom, waiting for her own voice to say, “Go.” She reapplied her red lipstick. She secured her seatbelt. She lifted her hand to her heart and felt its steady beating beneath her skin. She was there with herself, the one person she was certain was watching her exit.
She reached down to the stereo dial and felt her courage lit by the first note that burst out. And then she, like the music, burst out into the night.
She took the road that went straight ahead, ignoring the side streets that wound around the city. It was the first time she was out of bounds; she would see just how far she could leave those bounds behind.
Good-bye, Kingdom, she thought as the rearview mirror showed it diminishing behind her. Good-bye, ruler who never spoke my name.
She was finally completely gone, heading towards the gathering light.