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Breaking Free

Maria Fletcher; December 20, 2007

PERSONAL ACTION:

Maria opened her eyes with a start, as though waking up from a horrible dream. She couldn't remember it, of course - she hardly remembered any of her dreams these nights. Glancing over at the clock, she smiled sadly. Still a few minutes until Anastasia would be up. Perfect.

She slid out of bed as silently as possible, tiptoeing nimbly across the floor of the apartment to the closet, which she slid slowly open. Maria reached for the small pile of folded clothing - shirt, jeans, jacket, underthings - lying on top of her ratty little suitcase. She had had that case since college, and even though it looked a mess, it still held just as much as she needed it to. In this case, it was stuffed with a few pairs of pants, some t-shirts, one nicer button-down shirt, and various undergarments, especially socks.

Careful not to wake Anastasia, Maria stripped off her pajamas and tugged on the pre-prepared clothes, eyes flickering around the room to make sure Chaplin was safely barricaded into the kitchen. She had made sure not to let him into the bedroom the morning before, knowing that he would work better than any alarm clock when it came to waking up her sleeping Sire. After pulling on her socks, she carefully maneuvered the suitcase out of the closet and rested it on the floor. Before sliding the door closed, she reached for a small envelope sitting where the suitcase had been. "ANASTASIA" was written on the front, and the envelope appeared to have a single sheet of paper inside. Maria sighed silently. It was time.

She crept across the room again to place the envelope on her pillow, gently laying the Tiffany's fish necklace that Anastasia had given her on top. Maria smoothed out the covers, frowning the slightest bit, and walked stealthily back to her suitcase. She lifted it easily and stepped toward the bedroom door. With a final look back, she saw Anastasia's sleeping figure lying peacefully on her bed. Another sigh, this one a mixture of regret and relief, escaped her lips. Maria knew that it wasn't too late to turn back, to shred the letter and unpack the suitcase, to try to keep her life with her Sire going for a few more nights.

She also knew that she couldn't take it any more.

Maria walked through the door and closed it gently behind her. Pausing only for a moment to scratch the drowsy Chaplin under the chin, she crossed the kitchen to the door of their apartment, opened it, and walked out of her old unlife and into what she hoped would be a better future.

* * *

An hour later, as her train pulled away from Penn Station and began to accelerate on its way toward the nation’s capital, Maria leaned her head against the window and watched the scenery flicker by in the dark. Even the Amtrak logos littering the train were almost invisible - they had most of the lights off inside, as if to encourage sleep. She thought to herself, "Anastasia must have opened the letter by now?" She wondered what her Sire's reaction was. And yet, somewhere in the back of her mind, she really didn't care.

Her life was hers now, and it was her turn to live it.

Influence Response:

You head to DC and out of Anastasia's life and the general affairs of New York. Whatever transpires there is yours to dictate.

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