The Runaway

Published: Monday, 27 December 2010 Written by Danila Paul

Runaway

Prologue

A young girl sat on a lonely park bench staring up at the full moon surrounded by many stars. She often thought of what it would be like to be the moon and loved by so many stars; she'd give anything just to be loved by someone. A cold wind blew causing her to shiver slightly. It was late and she should have been at home but with all that had happened she couldn't stand being in her house.

Memories of the day flooded back to her mind, forcing her to remember who she was; a teenage girl who was too imperfect to be loved by anyone. Before she could stop herself, tears began to fall quickly. She bowed her head so that anyone who passed wouldn't see her. Not that it really made a difference whether or not people saw her cry; they'd still ignore her like she didn't even exist.

"Why are you crying?" She looked up suddenly, only to be meet by a pair of dazzling sea green eyes.

"What?" She asked after a moment.

"Why are you crying?" The stranger questioned once more.

She couldn't answer; not because she didn't know the answer but because she was shocked. She was shocked that anyone would stop to take notice of her, shocked that anyone would inquire about her feeling, shocked that anyone would care enough to reach out.

"You don't really care." She said this more to herself, trying to convince herself that this person didn't really care and was merely curious.

What the stranger did next surprised her more than his question did. He reached out and wiped the single tear which was sliding down her face. He then took a seat next to her and pulled her into an embrace.

"Yes I do; more than you know, actually." He said as he softly stroked her light brown hair.


The teenage girl knew that she probably should have broken free of the embrace and maybe even make a run for it. But she'd never been shown so much love in all her fifteen years and it felt good. The stranger’s body provided warmth against the night air and his gentle strokes filled her with peace. She felt safe in this stranger's arms.

She let herself go; took a moment to forget and enjoy the moment. Sleep tugged at her playfully. Soon she had drifted into a peaceful slumber.

*
What seemed like moments later but was actually hours later, the brown haired teen awoke to feel the cold of the wind and to see an empty space beside her. She looked around frantically; no one was around.

She sighed; it must have been a dream. She got up, deciding it was time to head home.

Unknown to her, she was being watched by the same kind stranger. He had been very reluctant to leave her side but it wasn't the time; truthfully, he wasn't supposed to even talk to her yet. He wanted to follow her to make sure she would stay safe but he decided against it. He waited until she disappeared out of sight before he began his own journey home.

 

Runaway

Chapter One

“Verdana, get up you lazy child!”  A familiar voice commanded.

My slumber was roughly disturbed by my mother who was violently shaking me awake. I looked at her with sleepy, slightly annoyed eyes. I’d stayed up after I came home; thinking about the strange dream I had at the park.

“Honestly, do you expect to spend the whole day asleep?” She stepped back to give me a chance to get up. “I don’t pay for you to not go to school.”

I rolled my eyes at her. She ignored it and left my room. I turned to the little clock beside my bed. It was six o’ clock and the school gates didn’t even open till eight! This woman was impossible! I would have gone back to sleep but I knew better. She most likely had some chores for me to do before I left for school.

Reluctantly I got out of bed. After I made my bed – which was mandatory for me – I went to the bathroom to wash my face. On my way to the bathroom, I passed my step sister’s room. The baby -blue door was opened, and so I could see that my step sister, Rachel, was still sound asleep. She was older than me and yet she was treated as if she was my baby sister; she slept as long as she liked, did what she wanted and rarely had any chores to do. Sighing, I continued my walk to the bathroom.

*

I was breathing deeply as I ran down the empty hallway. I checked my watch; I was already ten minutes late. I felt relief flow through me as I reached the brown door of my first period class. Quickly I opened the door and entered. Everyone turned to look at me as soon as I entered.

“Miss Lewis, I see you’re late again.” Mr. Grimmer, my English teacher said sternly. I gave him an apologetic look. He knew the usual excuse already; my mom and step dad. “Miss Lewis, I understand that you have a lot of  home responsibilities,” a faint scoff was heard, “but please try to be more early. One more tardy entrance and you’ve got a detention.”

“Yes sir.” I said as I went to take my seat. I glanced at my step sister at the back who was snickering to herself. I really disliked her.

English went by as usual and I was early for my other classes. Finally the time came for lunch, one of the loneliest times for me at school. I usually brought my own snack to school and so I could avoid the cafeteria line and go straight to one of the empty lunch tables.

As usual, my thoughts drifted to my life. I was usually late for school, not because it was my fault but my mother’s. She made no sense. First, she’d wake me up way earlier than I had to and then she’d have me do things like cook breakfast, vacuum the carpets or do laundry and I’d be doing these things till I missed the school bus, leaving me to walk. My mother wasn’t always this mean. She was really nice until my father left when I was a few months old. She was so broken down that she began to blame me and become more of a tyrant. Things took a turn for the worse when she met my step dad, Brian and his bratty little ‘princess’, Rachel. Brian never liked me – which I believe was thanks to Rachel – and so my mom began to dislike me more. My thoughts went back to the time when Brian and Rachel first came. My thoughts were interrupted when I felt something wet on my head.

I reached up and touched my hair and instead of feeling my hair I felt something cold and watery. The stuff slid down my hair into my face. It smelled like yogurt. Laughter soon ensued and I looked around to see Rachel and her friend’s laughing at me. Beside their table, a guy with glasses was getting up off the floor with a look of horror on his face. I rolled my eyes, knowing well that Rachel had tripped him so that would happen. I reached for the napkin I always brought with my lunches and began to wipe my face. I got up and then made my way to the bathroom.

The rest of the school day was pretty much uneventful except for when Rachel tripped me in biology and I ended up breaking some bottles, and then I was locked into one of the bathroom stalls. Being used to it, I was able to get out of the stall myself.

Why was Rachel so mean to me? Because I posed a threat, or so she thought, to her getting everything she wanted, and so she tried all she could to make me fear her. I did at first but I soon realized that she was just a cowardly spoiled brat and I just ignored her as best I could. With my luck, I wasn’t able to escape quickly enough and I missed the bus and so once again I had to walk home. I wasn’t in any rush to go home and so I took the long way through the park.

*

I wasn’t close to home and yet I could hear clearly the voices of my mother and Brian yelling. I didn’t really care since their arguing had become a constant thing lately. I greeted them – which was also obligatory of me – as I usually did.

“You, this is your fault!” Brian said accusingly turning to me. I gave him a confused look. “Don’t act like you have no idea what you did to my poor little princess.”

“What are you talking about, sir.” Brian didn’t want me to call him dad or Brian and so I was forced to call him, sir.

“Rachel was attacked by this boy…Erick.” My mother said explaining.

I was about to ask what that had to do with me when Brian suddenly grabbed my shoulders and began to shake me violently.

“You did this! You sent that boy after my Rachel, didn’t you?”

“Brian, let her go.” My mother said. I was a bit surprised that she’d stand up for me. “You know how you are when you’re upset. You might hurt her and then end up in jail.” My surprise immediately died.

Brian reluctantly let me go.

“Listen, sir,” I wanted to call him a lot more than ‘sir’ but restrained, “The Erick that ‘attacked’ Rachel was her boyfriend.”

“My little Rachel doesn’t get involved with boys.” Brian said looking at me with disgust.

“You’re ‘little’ Rachel is seventeen. Of course she has boyfriends. She had two others while dating Erick. No wonder he-”

I didn’t finish my sentence as I was slapped – hard – across the face by Brian. I could taste blood in my mouth and I could feel the tears welling in my eyes. I stared shocked at the man looking at me with pure rage.

“Verdana, it’s best if you go to your room.” My mother said as she tried to calm down Brian.

I didn’t wait for her to finish before I ran to my room as tears began to flow. I jumped onto my bed and sobbed into my pillow. No one’s life should be like this. I don’t know if I can take living with these people anymore. And just like that it came to me – the idea to run away.

The entire weekend I thought about running away. I kept telling myself it was stupid and that I wouldn’t survive on my own, but something inside of me told me that leaving was what I had to do, was what I was supposed to do. And so it was decided; I was going to run away.

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