It’s that time again. Time for a teaser of Last Chance.
Riley Hamilton sat on her couch looking around her living room at all the boxes neatly stacked and labeled. Time to move on. Time to leave this place that never felt like a home to begin with.
The movers would be arriving in a few hours with exact instructions, just like the packers had yesterday. The plan was set in motion.
She took a deep breath, stood up, and walked over to her kitchen counter, sliding her new cell phone into her purse and putting her old one in the pocket of her blazer. She knew precisely where that was going to end up.
No doubt, she’d rather be in a T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers today, but instead she was dressed like she was going to work. Gray trousers, cream and gray shirt, a teal blazer, and gray and teal flats. She couldn’t raise any suspicions. She had to look like she did every morning, five days a week. She didn’t want questions or comments. Nothing. She’d made up her mind.
One more deep breath. She hitched her new purse on her shoulder, grabbed her briefcase filled with her laptop and all her important legal documents, then made her way out the door and toward the subway at exactly eight a.m., just like every other day of the workweek.
But today was Friday and today was different, and no one was supposed to know.
Arrangements with a friend had her SUV parked for the night in a secure location one stop earlier than her regular exit. The routine of leaving the subway, then hailing a taxi to her office was going to be interrupted today.
It’s not like she was hiding. Not like she was escaping to a faraway land where no one could ever find her. But she was leaving. She was starting fresh. Looking for the life she always wanted. The life she was going to finally have.
With her earbuds in her ears, she listened to seventies rock during her twenty-minute commute. When Stevie Nicks’s “Landslide” came on, she knew she was making the right choice. Not that she doubted herself, not really. But that song said it all. Time made her bolder and time made her stronger. She was her father’s daughter and she was moving on. He understood she needed to leave; so did her mother. They supported her, but they didn’t understand it all. She couldn’t tell them. Not everything.
The truth of what had pushed this decision so fast—and so out of left field in their eyes—had to remain a secret.
But it wasn’t abrupt in her eyes. She’d seen this for years. Seen this change and knew it was time. Time to grab the dream and make it hers.
So lost in the raspy voice of Stevie, she almost missed her stop. Jumping up fast, she turned sideways and slid through the doors before they could shut on her. Then she made the two-minute walk to her vehicle, climbed in, and proceeded on with her plans.
Ten minutes later, she was pulling in behind her office complex next to the dumpster. She hit the button and waited for her window to roll down, then tossed her old cell phone in. Throwing away everything she could at this point. It was better this way. Out with the old.
She looked over at her office, said a tiny goodbye to the place that gave her the experience she needed. Told herself she’d call and say goodbye to all the staff, keep in touch with all her friends, but knew in her heart she wouldn’t. Time to leave. Time to run.
Even if it was only from herself and the only life she’d ever known.