A Writer's 21st Century Memoir.

Oregon Or Bust (Part 4)

I met one of my other best friends back in a kindergarten classroom on the outskirts of the small town where I grew up. Sadly, I ended up switching schools the next year, but by an incredible twist of fate, we ended up meeting again at the school where I had already met my first best friend in the second grade.

My friend from kindergarten and I didn’t really become close until we went off to separate high schools. We spoke more and deepened our bond with the writer/peer-critic relationship that I initiated after sending her some of my fictional pieces. As we connected and shared our stories, I noticed it was then that I began to realize how strict her parents really were.

It was as if she was doing time under house arrest. Her parents, devoutly religious individuals, never let her leave the house. She was home schooled during her high school years, and even though she’ll never blatantly come out and admit it, I know for a fact that she hated it.

She was stuck in an awful rut that prevented her from moving away. Without a completed college degree, no job experience due to her parents intentions to keep her from working, and an extremely over protective brother and father, who along with her stay at home mother, tagged along with her everywhere she went, she didn’t really even have a fair chance.

So naturally when I suddenly decided to take a road trip to Oregon instead of our bi-annual weekend sleepover, there were many problems faced. At the rightful age of 20 years old, a full weekend away from her family was already pushing the boundaries. A weeklong trip across state lines didn’t even seem like an option.

“I really want her to go,” said my best friend from second grade. “She never gets to go anywhere and this trip seems like it would be really fun…I came up with a plan, but it involves some tricky business though.”

“What is it?” I said.

“Well one of us will have to deliberately lie to her parents’ faces—and then we have to kidnap her.”

I was totally for this plan. If we got caught we would have to make up something to weasel our way out of the ditch we dug for ourselves, but it seemed do-able. I eventually told my best friend that I met in college about the situation.

“I don’t approve of lying,” she said. “She’s over 18 and can make her own decisions if she wants to. I’ll take it to court if there is an issue.”

At that moment my thoughts shot back to reality. I didn’t know how everything would work out, or better yet, if we were even going to make it to Oregon. We were low on funds, not every parent wanted their kid to go on this trip, and there weren’t any guaranteed happy endings.

I understood the setbacks, but being my usually incredibly stubborn self, I was going to make this trip happen. I was going to drive, we set aside a week in August that seemed reasonable for everyone’s schedules, we planned on kidnapping and working odd jobs in between classes for cash, but we were going to Oregon damn it!

To read the journey from the beginning click here.

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