My best friend didn’t have the best childhood either. Over the course of a week, she and I planned our escape. We decided to run away together. We decided on a night to run off and we packed our backpacks with food, clothes and spare change and waited for our parents to fall asleep. We thought we had it all planned out. We would travel by night and sleep during the daytime. Our destination was Pennsylvania to live with her real father—except he did not know we were coming.
When my mother fell asleep on the living room couch, I grabbed my backpack and snuck out the front door. I walked a half-mile to our agreed upon meeting place half-way between our homes and at an elementary school playground and waited and watched for her. I couldn’t find my friend and the older boys loitering in the parking lot frightened me, so after almost an hour of waiting, I walked back home. Later, we discovered we had missed each other by a few minutes.
About a month later, I had enough. My mother was absent from home nearly all the time as she was either being courted by a boyfriend or working. Since my mother seemed to be away most of the time, I did not feel wanted and cared about by her. There was no food in the house and I had been left to care for my little brother which was not my idea at the time of what a teenager should have to do at fifteen. I hated living with my mother and I sought a way out. I still wanted someone to love me and I thought perhaps I could make my stepfather love me.
I called my stepdad collect and told him my version of what was going on.
The very next morning he was at my house. I had taken several large black trash bags and filled mine and my brother’s belongings inside them. My stepdad began loading them into his truck. I skipped school that day and my little brother was already at school. My mother was at work.
The property manager was at work. She saw my stepdad packing up our stuff after my stepdad had checked my little brother out of school. My stepdad had custody of my little brother as my mother had given him up during the divorce. So, when he arrived at my home, the first thing he did was take the custodial papers out of my mother’s file cabinet so he could withdraw his son.
The property manager called my mother and my mother called her mother, my grandmother. That’s when my grandmother arrived and began yelling at my stepdad and then me. Then she told me after I refused to go with her, “If you do this and leave with him, you are not my granddaughter any longer.” I didn’t care. I never really liked my grandmother anyways.
Someone called the cops. I could hear the sirens becoming louder and louder.
I began to freak out and a million thoughts immediately bombarded my mind. I thought I was going to pass out I was so terrified. I was petrified, my stomach curled into a tiny one-hundred pound ball. Then, without even thinking, I began walking as quickly away as I could, keeping my head turned, and trying desperately to not look suspicious. My only thought was that I did not want to live with my mother.
I walked a mile without getting picked up by the police. The only place I could think to run to was my best friend’s apartment. I arrived and I was crying. I told them everything that had happened. I thought for sure my stepdad was already on his way out of town and had left me trying to run from the cops. That’s when the phone rang.
It was my stepdad. Apparently, I had left my journal inside his truck. My journal had my best friend’s phone number written in it. My best friend’s mother gave my stepdad directions to her apartment and he came and picked me up. We left for Indiana, fearful of getting pulled over.
That’s how I ended up at the State Home in Indiana two months later.
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