Prompt: stranger in a city // Letters to September – 15

When the sun rises and the soft light of the morning sun peaks through the curtains Elizabeth crawls out of bed. She grabs her robe and makes her way down to the kitchen. She can still not believe she can call this house her home. With two bedrooms – one of them she turned into her pottery studio, the other comfortably fitting her queen size bed with room to spare for a cozy reading nook – the open plan living room with the kitchen looking out into the fields in front of her house. The deck that stretches across the full width of the back of the house, overlooking her garden that is only separated by a low wooden fence from the meadow beyond it. Her house isn’t big but it’s not small either, the perfect combination of space and comfort. The nearest neighbor is but a small spec of a house at the end of the road, not yet disappearing behind the horizon.

Downstairs in the kitchen she brews her coffee, waiting patiently for the steaming water to drip through the ground coffee beans, perfectly roasted to create the full and smooth aroma she remembers so well from how her grandma made coffee every Sunday when they came to visit. Elizabeth didn’t always appreciate the silence in the mornings you can only find in the outskirts of town, where time seems to move slower and more meticulously than in the city. She had been saving up for this dream to come true ever since college where her friends used to call her Beth. A nickname not because it suited her she realized much later, but simply a shorter version of her name because life on campus had no time to form each syllable with the care and love her mother had meant for her.

It’s only fair that she now only answers when others speak her full name – Elizabeth. Outside of the city and away from busy roads people seem to finally have time for each other, to get to know who you are and where you’re from. Elizabeth grew up in the city, had always lived there but never felt at peace. She felt rushed, out of place like she didn’t really belong there. Between the chaos and never stopping noises of cars passing by, never a moment of rest enjoying the sun from a balcony. There was always something going and Elizabeth grew to dislike the way it made her feel. The only moments of true rest she could find was at 3 am when the city slept and she had stayed up late waiting for the silence to return. Only so she could sit on her balcony with a blanket wrapped around her and a steaming mug of tea in her hands, taking in the stillness of the world around her and reveling in pure bliss.

Now years later, Elizabeth enjoys the slow and still mornings of waiting for her coffee while she looks outside. Seeing the sun rise above the trees to warm up the grass that stretches for miles. She is finally where she was always meant to be, in the house she calls her home at the edge of the meadow on the outskirts of town. Elizabeth had always been a stranger in a city but it just took her some time to finally escape and get out.

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