I held the hoodie down covering my face as I stepped out of the hospital as Mike and Brandy held me close walking trying to keep me from the large crowd of paparazzi and news castors. I ignored all of their yelling questions as they blended together. I just kept the hood over my head to keep from flashing lights and cameras in my face. My head pounding I was thankful to see the black SUV and Brandy opened the door letting me jump in. Mike and Brandy ran to the front seats as I pushed my hoodie back only to see someone I never wanted to see again sit beside me.
"Phoebe Everly Clover..." I pushed myself closer to the door watching as we pulled off the side of the road making our way out of the hospital parking lot. I took deep breaths careful as my ribs still hurt. "You look different," My head snapped back looking back at the tall, slender, blond Lucy.
She didn't stand out from a group of other blonds here in LA but somehow she grabbed my father's eye. As for my eye, she never caught a good glance. Not unless I had to. Looking at her now, the idea of hurting her was greater. I might hit her if my body allowed it.
"That was the point." I played with the end of the cast on my wrist. I want to be out of the car. Out of the city. Out of the country. I need to be anywhere but here. I need to be home. Home with my real family. With the people I love and who've cared for me.
"Don't speak to me like that," Lucy demanded.
"I'm not your kid," I said. Lucy has been more than a thorn in my heal since I was ten. Not but eleven years older than me she acted worse than me. I kept my mouth quiet because only one thing mattered to my father more than his image. Sending me away doesn't look good. I could never speak up before but I've been gone too long for her hold to keep my voice down. "You aren't my mother. You're just the whore my father married."
"Shut your mouth before I smack you." I put my hand on the handle and unlocked the door with the other. Opening the door I let the sound of beeping cars rush in hearing Mike and Brandy yell. "What the hell!" Lucy yelled grabbing at me.
"I will jump," I warned. She let go of my shirt and sat back. I closed the door. I was thankful she didn't say anything. Brandy just looked at me from the front seat with a smirk. I kept my eyes locked on the world outside the car. Everything rush by as I held my breath. I never wanted to be back here at least not when it wasn't on my own terms. Every second that passes I want to run until I can't anymore. Only I wouldn't get far since my injures are bounding me to just walking. The silence only making my anger and pain grow. Literally and figuratively.
As we reached the tall modern building I rolled my eyes. My father's large home screamed money. The latest technology-filled every room. White walls, unscratched tile floors, maids and butlers, and most important secrets. This isn't my home. I didn't even grow up here. This is my prison. It's all been a prison since the day my mother died.
I looked as my father stepped out watching as Mike parked the car and I listened as Lucy jumped out walking around meeting my father kissing him on the cheek then spitting out another lie to him. I stayed seated in the back just locking the doors. "Phoebe?"
"Let's go." The confusion and anger rested on my father's face as they drove off. I could hear his yells demanding we return. Mike and Brandy are my guys. They've helped me get away many times. Before leaving the hospital Mike said to just give the signal. So how much clearer could I get?
"Would you like to tell us your plan?" Brandy turned to look at me.
"I'm not spending one second alone with them. That's as far as I got. I've got an upper hand now. Just get me to the lawyer." I said. He didn't ask any further just nodded his head. As they drove I dug into my pocket and pulled out the picture I'd kept hidden from everyone. The explanation for my disappearance. What was just supposed to be a few days turned into a few weeks. Then from a month to nearly a year. I looked at the smiling boy. The boy who took my small withered heart and made it full and happy. The boy who changed me and made me see things in a different way.
I brought the picture to my lips and kissed it. As I shoved it back in my pocket I looked back outside at the city passing question everything, myself mainly but maybe the world too.
How did I end up here?