Nova Francia

In the morning I sit on the bed, legs crossed, hair tumbling over my chest. A small smile floats across my face. I face the wall of the bedroom, which is plastered with wallpaper. Four walls of black and white maps of the world enclose me. I feels safe here. It’s a little like home. The maps are styled to look old, as though a painter dipped his quill in ink and dripped countries and grids across the walls. Parts of it are intentionally faded. The words are scripted in Olde English, French, and Latin, with mountains and rivers strewn across Africa, Evropa, Terra Avstralis, and Arabia. I trace a finger along Nova Francia. A surge of excitement, mingled with guilt bubbles up inside me. Family and friends are all behind me, miles away, and the phone calls haven’t been enough to do them justice. How is it that a person who is so tied to their roots, can travel so far from them? How is a person ever to feel wholly comfortable with an amassing distance between here and home? Am I really so Midwestern that I already miss home, only a few states into my adventure?

I watch the sun as it continues to rise and absentmindedly connect the countries with my fingers. A glance at the clock tells me it’s too early to make a phone call to where my parents are still in bed. Later, I tell myself, as I dress for the day.

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