The day started as any other day. I got up and went to high school in the morning and went home to my best friend’s home to hang out. Dee and I had met each other a couple months earlier–it was my sophomore year in high school and her junior year. We usually hung out at her apartment after school and talked about boys, food, and shopping. We loved going on walks together to the store or to the jogging park a mile away. Sometimes we rode the bus home, sometimes she drove her mother’s red Geo.
It was a cold, wintry day that late November afternoon. Dee and I had decided that we wanted to hang out some more and walk to the shopping center several blocks down the street. Hanging out with my best friend, Dee, was my only retreat from my step dad’s hateful and unapproving wife. She was always critical of me, telling me I didn’t have any friends and telling school officials I took drugs when I did not. So, the plan was that I was to go home and ask if Dee and I could hang out for a couple more hours.
I had never been told no before, so this was going to be easy, I thought.
When I got home that afternoon, there was an uneasy feeling in the air. This was not anything unusual, but today it was different. I don’t remember who I asked, but the response was, “Not tonight, we are going out as a family to the movies.”
Going to the movies as a family? Wow, that was something so unusual and far out that I almost couldn’t believe my ears! In that one moment, I was so happy to finally get the chance to be like a normal family and do something together like “other” families did. I called Dee up and let her know what was going on–I was going to the movies and I’d see her in the morning.
My step-father’s wife then left with my younger brother to the store to get some candy for the movies…or at least that is what I thought.
I was standing in the dining room, looking out the back sliding glass doors, when I saw the reflection of a man standing behind me. Then I heard the words, “Are you Allie?” and the sound of a radio. That’s when I knew something awful was happening. I turned around and in the next few minutes, my life was changed forever.
Apparently, my step dad’s wife had gone to the nearest payphone and called the police to report me as a runaway. The fact is that I hadn’t done anything wrong–the fact is that she hated me. For reasons unknown to me, other than she was jealous that my step dad loved someone else other than her and her children, I had finally upset her.
The officer sent me upstairs to fill a backpack with some personal items.
To be continued…