Nicole's Great Escape

“I’ve found a house.â€?

The words sent Nicole’s heart to the bottom of her stomach. She put on a feeble smile and feigned excitement as she had been taught to do by the women before her. She listened with reverent silence to her mother’s excited rambling about lots sizes, property taxes and light fixtures while anxiety made an amusement park of her insides.

Three years ago, she left Harlem for a quiet suburban southern life. Anywhere would do. Nicole never had the desire to be the caretaker for the Wilson family. The Wilsons somehow failed to notice. She found Atlanta and reinvented herself in the image of something personally more desirable. Masterminding the great escape, she felt a slow parole from her past unfold.

Now, as she listened to her mother continue on about the planning that needed to be done, she wondered if it was too early to begin packing. Her future would depend on her ability to redesign her life again. Trying to escape a second time would not be easy. The Wilsons were running too.

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