I Am The Highway

I Am The Highway

A Story by ClimbingTheWall

This one's for you, Hayley Owen. B***h.


On the long-winding highway of Route 66, my arm dangles out the window, riding through desert winds gusting around my car, the other wrapped securely around the steering wheel. My hair whips about my face, but I am unperturbed. On the radio, "I Am The Highway" blares. My lips upturn into a smile.

If only for a few hours, my mind is unfettered. It wanders back to last year.

I was miserable, then. Each day, I dragged myself out of bed and through the worst year of my life, if only to see my then "friends." They were little more than insecure bullies, and I was the subject of their ridicule �" a fly struggling in a web of dirty manipulations one friend in particular had spun. I frequently experienced bed-ridden depression, bitter self-loathing, and utter isolation.

Up until then, I was lonely. I felt that my best friend had abandoned me. I did not have many close friends. Neither did she. We both suffered from post-abandonment when we met, and soon hit it off.

Nearly every day of the summer, we hung out. We would drive for miles, visit antique shops, paint. She took me under her wing, introduced me to the social life I previously lacked. I began making "friends."

But I was not happy �" I was merely placated.

When school began, the veil over my eyes fell. In unfounded tirades, she berated me

before my peers. If we argued, she refused to speak to me for weeks on end. When I skipped a social outing with her, she humiliated me. For nearly a year, I kept quiet, afraid I was only over reacting. I have since learned to trust my gut. But realization did not come quickly. At my lowest point, I lay in bed for two days, dragged under by the last wave of an emotional storm and struggling just to breathe. It was in those two days that I slowly began clawing my way back to the surface. The only way to stop this personal hell, I found, was to accept myself. Not only was I not good enough for her, but I was not good enough for myself.

I am not your rolling wheels - I am the highway

When I returned to school, I dropped the act. I threw my makeup away. I quit engaging in conversation with my bully and her circle of "friends." For weeks, I endured dirty looks, finger-pointing, and inevitable hostility when I sat elsewhere at lunch. My phone exploded with angry text messages. Yet, I persevered. I was me, and nobody had the right to suppress that, not even the one I considered my closest friend. As a result of my actions, I accepted the ultimate consequence �" ostracism. 

I am not your carpet ride - I am the sky.

But I would not allow that ostracism to drag me back down into the murky depths of self-loathing; that tidal wave once drowning me receded, and I anchored myself, even as she put me through hell.

I am not your blowing wind - I am the lightning

I don't hate her for it. I thank her for it. She taught me what friendship is not. She taught me unerring confidence I now proudly display. But most important, she taught me how to make a stand for myself.

I am not your autumn moon - I am the sky

I know now that no matter the miles stretched out before me, the hills my tires endlessly climb, or the twisting road I follow, I will prevail.

I am the highway.

© 2011 ClimbingTheWall

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Added on September 29, 2011
Last Updated on September 29, 2011