I am standing in the middle of the hallway hospital gown half fastened to my body. I feel cold, he’s standing a few feet away from me. He is breathing heavily half bent over. I feel numb. I have no feeling left in the world. He turns around and looks at me with those dark grey eyes of his it’s quiet now an unsettling quiet we are just looking at each other for what seems like an eternity, it’s dark but I can see his eyes bright as day his gown is also half fastened we were in the shower hall when it happened. The sirens went off and the nurses started surrounding us we weren't naked yet because we were late coming from the dining hall but everyone else was. They pepper sprayed most of us but somehow I was left unscathed. He found the space where the nurses hadn’t seemed to block yet so he grabbed my hand and started running. We ran down dark empty hallways until we found ourselves here lost and out of breath and near a window. It's a full moon tonight and it's beautiful, hardly a cloud in the sky.
An alarm immediately starts blaring and we hear nurses running down the hallway. I jump out and Abe follows, we run towards the road and hear people running after us. I don’t turn back. I'm scared of how close they are. I keep running once I reach the road Abe runs ahead of me but he keeps looking back to make sure I'm with him. I finally look back. I don’t see anyone behind us. I call out to Abe “ Abe, they're gone let’s stop running at the next gas station and use the bathroom and stuff”. He nods and we get about half a mile down the road when we see a gas station. We slow down and walk to the gas station so we can catch our breath so it doesn't look like we’ve been running. Once we’ve calmed our breathing we walk inside. I walk towards the cashier and their name tag says Allie. I ask “where is your bathroom?” Allie says “uh hi to your right down that aisle” Abe pipes in and says “Thanks” before i can even take a breath. He grabs my hand and leads me down the aisle to the bathroom. We go to the door that says men and I walk to a stall Kai whispers “I saw the hospital’s van stop outside and some nurses came out”. I whisper back “are you serious? This is bad, we need to change our appearances, we can’t go back, we can’t Abe”. I finish up and walk out of the stall. He nods and hugs me “ok we need scissors and maybe some hair dye, I will peek out the door and if the nurses aren’t in here I will go ask the cashier for scissors”. Abe nods. I walk to the door and take a big breath in and out. I suddenly feel nauseous which is the most common symptom of my anxiety. But I can get through it. I slowly open the door so as to not make any noise I don’t see anyone but the cashier, and the van from outside seems to be gone. I walk out and to the cashier and my nauseousness gets worse I breath in and out and say “hey your name is Allie right?” she says “uh yeah what do you need” I give her the best smile I can and say “you got any scissors? And do you have any hair dye in the store?” She gave me a knowing smile. I'd say she was about my age 16. She says “yeah I have scissors and the hair dye is in the back, are you running away from someone by any chance ,an abusive relationship with your parents?”.
I grimace at her last question and say “ugh yeah we are running away we escaped from the mental hospital a couple miles back, don’t worry we aren't psychopaths or anything I just have really bad anxiety and my friend has high functioning depression, so yeah but it’s hell in there we are drugged into submission and anything we do wrong gets met with being sent to solitary or being pepper-sprayed in the face”. She nods and points to the back of the store and says “the hair dyes on me here's the scissors by the way” I grab the scissors and say “thanks” and walk to the hair dye. I chose a green for me and a blue for Abe. I walk back to the bathroom and we dye our hair. It turned out good. We cut my hair from being super long to being short on the sides and being about to my ears on the top. I always wanted my hair to be this short. My parents are just really transphobic and couldn't accept that I was a guy. We walk out of the bathroom and Allie says “you guys look great mind if I come with you my home life ain’t great and I’ve been looking for an adventure”, I say “sure” and Abe just shrugs she grins and walk back behind the counter and opens the register and grabs all the money in there then grabs her bag and says “well this is my final day here there are camping bags down that aisle grab all the water, nonperishable food, snacks and anything we will need and put it in the bags everyone gets two or three bags how much you can carry” we nod and rush to get everything ready we meet back at the door in twenty minutes. I ask “Where is the nearest train station with freight trains?” Allie thinks for a second and says “about five miles down the road they go slow and there’s a lot of covered hoppers that go through there, there's a compartment in them that you can hide in”. I smile and say “perfect lets go you got a car.?” Allie frowns and says “no sorry”.
Allie found walkie talkies in the back of the gas station for us to use so we can communicate with one another while we are riding the train because there is only enough room in each little cubbyhole in the covered hoppers for one person and the two bags.
Around two a.m we hear a freight coming through and it’s going at a pretty slow pace we spot three covered hoppers at the back all in a line so we run to them. Allie gets in the first swinging the bags onto the little landing next to the hidey hole and then hops on, Abe does the same as Allie hauling the heavy bag on first, then it’s my turn I swing the heavy bag on first then the lighter one finally swinging myself onto the step ladder on the side of the car and climbing into the little landing. I shove the bags into the hidey hole there is like a middle section then two more holes on the left and right which each lead to a small hiding space I shove one my bags into the left hole and climb into the right i drag the lighter bag into the middle hiding space and grab the walkie talkie out of the left pocket. “Hey you guys ok” Abe replies with a “yeah getting on was a bit tricky tho” Allie says “yeah im good” I nod not realizing that i'm alone once I realize I laugh at myself I look back at the walkie talkie and sigh an “im a bit tired im gonna take a little nap for a bit” Abe and Allie almost in unison say “ok”. I use my pack as a headrest and almost immediately I’m asleep. I wake up around sunrise and climb out of the wagon onto the little platform outside the hole and sit I’m at the back of the whole entire train so I can see the forest and the way we came zoom bye it’s a beautiful warm spring morning. I’m basking in the small amount of sunlight coming in from the slowly rising sun when all of a sudden over the walkie talkie I hear Abe through it say “guys i think we are going to have to hop off now i saw police a couple miles ahead and im starting to feel the train slow down”. I instinctively look around the side I see cop cars and a van on the right but I see nothing on the left. The cop cars are about a mile down the tracks. I hurriedly say through the walkie “ok guys we are going to hop off on the left side and run as fast as we can into the woods dont look back its only a couple yards and we are on the left side of the tracks so we shouldnt be seen if we run as fast as we can get your stuff ready and as soon as the train slows down enough throw your stuff of then hop off and run” they both say “k” I quickly grab my bags from the hole and get into position by the rate that the train is slowing down it should be slow enough in about ten seconds I start counting in my head 10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3 at three I throw the heavy bag 2..1 I jump I soar through the air for whats seems like a minute but its really only a few seconds I grab the heavy bag and run I reach the trees and look back it doesn't seem like anyone saw me and the other two are running to the woods covered by my wagon I jumped early cause I knew I wouldn't have much cover with no wagon behind mine.
I make my why towards Abe and Allie and they walk towards me. Abe asks “ so whats the plan we are at a new station do we hop on a new train or walk into town?” I reply “look they have caught on that we were on that train they are probably going to search it and they will find no one they will check it off as searched and since me and you Abe escaped from a mental Asylum they will probably check every single train so we keep track of the train we hopped off of and hop on when it starts to leave hopefully at night”. They nod and I add “I think we should head to the front of the station and just note the number on the locomotive and like five of the wagons so we can make sure it’s the right one see if we can find a train heading out that has the same wagons we came in on”. They nod and I start forward on to the next adventure I guess
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