“Peyton-Stop-What’s going on?” Peyton ran around my room she pulled out a duffle bag and a used back pack from last years trip to panels. “Peyton-”
“Runaway.” She stopped throwing the bags on the bed. “Runaway and stay away until you can get a lawyer, get your own place, and come back. Be normal, have fun, be away from this train wreck of a family.”
“I can’t do that. I have responsibilities, the studio-”
“They’ll be fine.“Peyton pulled me to the bed. “They’ll do what they need to but you need to do this. You need to get away and disappear until you can come back. Until you can come back and be away from all of this. Just listen to me.”
She had a plan as if she’d been figuring it out for months and not just thinking about it in the last half hour. I’d pack some clothes, as little things as possible. I’d change my hair, she’d send me some colored contacts once I find where I’m going. She had a family friend who wasn’t exactly on the straight and narrow who could get me a fake ID. I could get enough cash between her and myself to sustain for a little bit.
Outrageous and honestly unbelievable but it would work. I could be out of LA. I could forget about schedules and deadlines. I don’t have to worry about people following me with cameras. I’m an actress if I change enough about myself no one would recognize me. No one has ever seen me without my intense blond hair. Dress differently and wear my makeup different enough no one would notice. Especially in a small town.
Sitting on my bed I looked at my best friend. She was more than serious. She was eager to it for me just as I was eager to do it. The more she talked the more my heart longed to escape. “I want to, but what if I’m made?”
“You won’t. Have a back story good enough and you’re an award-winning actress at sixteen. No one will ever figure it out. We can do this. You can do this. You can come back free of them.”
I looked around my room. A room that at times was really a prison. Locked away when my dad or Lucy was mad. Where I’ve cried myself to sleep on more than one occasion. The room that held all my secrets and lies. I can leave. I can change my life until I can take control.
“Do this for yourself.“I stopped looking around my room and to my friend. I nodded my head.
Peyton leaned forward bringing me into a hug. She held me as tight as she could before grabbing her stuff and my keys to grab what we needed to change my look. I looked through my closet finding the simplest of clothes. Skipping over many of the clothes I’ve taken from sets ‘by accident’ and grabbed the pair of boots I was able to keep and converse. I put what could in one of the two bags before I sat back down on my bed looking for small towns.
Deciding which one was the trick I’ve been in the LA sun my whole life and the few times I’ve left it’s been to other sunny locations. I wanted to see something more than the beach or farmland. I never have seen snow in person. Or mountains. Both seemed nice.
I looked at the states that had the rocky mountains. Once I saw Colorado I remembered a friend from set saying The Colorado rocky mountains had some of the best views he could have ever seen. A quick search for small towns I found Ouray. Just under a thousand is was a small town but definitely not the smallest. Close by was a hot spring which makes it a bit of a tourist place. It’s gorgeous.
A town between the mountains. Buildings old, very few new. Seeing all the pictures of the town and what it looked like throughout the seasons only made me want to go that much more.
“I’m back!” I looked up at Peyton who held up bags and bags of things. “Hair first.” Dropping the bags I stood and followed her to the bathroom. I sat on the stool as she looked at me, my hair.
“Cut it,” I said reading her mind. She gave me a small nod and grabbed the scissors from my desk. I kept my eyes closed as she cut my hair and distracted myself by telling her about the town I found. Telling her about the snow and the mountains. She of course loved the idea after looking at the pictures. Peyton continued on to dying my hair as I looked up the map. I have to leave behind my phone meaning no GPS.
Taking my car also means risking getting tracked. Peyton’s ‘friend’ could take care of that much faster than he could the ID and everything else. She let him know and he agreed to drop everything he could off by morning. Giving us pleanty of time to get me ready.
“Promise to keep me in the loop,” Peyton said. “I’m the gatekeeper of secrets and can never be broken.”
“I guess that makes playing a teen detective easy,” I teased her previous movie role. She pinched me after scrunching her nose at me. I got off the chair and onto the floor bending back into the tub as she brought the shower head down and started to rinse out the dye.
“I’m not kidding. Once you get there, settle down, call me. Let me know you’re okay. If you can stay low long enough I’ll come for Christmas and spend time with you on your break. I’ll keep people off your tail.” I looked up at her as her beautiful and soft features avoided my eyes.
“You’re the most best of friends a girl could as for,” I said. ”Hermanas de memoria,"
"I know." She said finally looking at me. Once we finished rinsing out the dye she blowdried my hair. She clipped it back my hair, so she could now test out ways for me to change my make up. She gave me darker eyeliner, more dark shades of eyeshadow. A deep red velvet lip. I defiantly looked different.
I was looking at myself in the mirror and saw someone else. It wasn't me but it was nice and simple enough that with blue contact covering my brown beauties no one would know. No one could tell that I'm myself. Peyton packed what she could to help me keep up my appearance and extra for when I wanted to feel like myself. She then packed the few things of clothes she was able to get. Just a couple of simple t-shirts and jeans.
"He'll be here soon," She put her phone down then grabbed her bag. "Here's about nine grand in cash," My mouth dropped and she pulled out an envelope.
"This was going towards your birthday present anyway. Take the cash and survive there. You still need to stop by an ATM or something and pull what you can out. You get to start fresh, not many people get that." She stepped up to me grabbing my hands. "Just don't shut people out in fear. Let people in, make friends, maybe even lovers." I rolled my eyes as she set me down. "Just don't shut people out. Promise me."
"I promise," She wrapped me in her arms tighter than usual. "You'll see me eventually." I reminded her.
"I know. You're my best friend and you're going somewhere without me. I don't like it." Peyton's phone beeped so she stood. I stayed in my place knowing that the house cameras would catch my new look if I left my room. I had to wait until I could cover everything. I waited as she brought a man maybe in his mid-twenties into my room. A hoodie and sunglasses covered his face but removed them once my door was closed.
"I've got new license plates for you, I found some contact but you're going to need new ones in one month,"
"Nice to meet you too," I said standing.
"I'm not big on introductions." She dropped the small grocery bag on the floor. "It's best I don't know much considering who you are. Now, I'll get the IDs and other things to Peyton who'll mail them to you. I need a name though, something you'll respond too."
"Briana," Peyton said. I've been called Briana for several years now there was no way I couldn't respond. I nodded in approval. "I don't think last name matters."
"Good. Be careful, I'll keep your secret, you keep mine." Peyton handed him some cash so he walked off putting his hoodie and sunglasses back on and let himself out of the house. Peyton walked back over to me handing me the bag from the floor.
"You ready for this?"
"There's only one way for this to stop. Only one way for me to stop hurting. It's because of you Peyton. You've made this possible. Thankyou." She kissed my cheek and brought me into another hug. I held her tight as I wouldn't see her for months. I'm going to be free and if I return can take care of making sure my father or stepmother ever has a hold of me again.
I love acting and telling stories but I can't pretend anymore. Everyday, everytime I'm hurt by them it gets harder to hide. I'm going to be free and someone else.