Jul 14
essay challenge: Freedom

The best kind of freedom

I suppose the best kind of freedom can be found in listening to old records, sitting alone in your room, a cool drink in hand, book open in your lap. You take a long sip of your drink, savoring the burn of carbonation as it goes down your throat, resting, dormant, in your stomach. The book is subsequently propped against your bare knees, pages flipping against your fingertips as you regain your place. The words, as they come, pull you in, (it's quite good, really) and before you know it, you've finished, and the light outside is waning, the moon gliding into view, taking the place of the sun. 

The best kind of freedom is waiting – watching as dusk bleeds into dark, and the world stills, settling down for the night – waiting for the newness of the coming morning. The best kind of freedom is feeling the breeze whistle through the windows, cooling the back of your neck as you brush your teeth, braid your hair. It pushes your fringe back, winds through your T-shirt, sends goosebumps up your thighs. You stand in the bathroom, breathing with yourself, eyes closed against the stillness. Peaceful, listening. 

The best kind of freedom is tucking yourself in: clean linens, smelling of detergent, the tang of summer air through your open window, fingers curled into your palms in the calmness of the dark. Your eyes close, finally, and you lie in silence until sleep takes your hand. 

The best kind of freedom is waking in the new morning, waking slowly, no alarm to capture your attention. Breakfast is a hunt – you've got to fend for yourself, your parents are at work – but it tastes so much better with your knowledge of the new brightness of summer, the things you've got planned. You're thinking about taking a walk – possibly down to the edge of town. Finding a hill, possibly, and sitting back, eyes closed against the sun. You could let it tan your face, let it paint your skin a shade darker, mixing the original pigment with sunrays. 

The best kind of freedom is returning home, seeing the ones you love and the way they smile, the way they move. You speak, now, in hushed tones, in the mid-afternoon, and dinner is served while gentle music plays. Chattering voices and clattering spoons echo through the kitchen, and you watch everything with a smile. The best kind of freedom is served in the form of bright, white ice cream, dripping and sweet. 

The best kind of freedom is going back to bed, smiling against the dark, and doing it all again. 

The best kind of freedom is a luxury – not everyone is allowed it, and you are grateful.

The best kind of freedom, to you, is the happiness of home.
About the Author: infinitelyinfinite3
Brown person, LGBTQIA+ member, overthinker, and book and music lover. I am not afraid of the Oxford comma, and you shouldn't be, either. ;)