Sometimes you need to get up and run away.
Run away, from everything that held you back,
Runaway from everything that will hold you down.
Runaway, so that you can be the strong woman you were meant to be and break this silence.
One year ago.
“Don’t worry, Lucy. She’ll be fine with me.”
“Do take care of her Amanda.” My aunt smiled at my lawyer who had come to wish me birthday. “I had something planned for her in the evening, but, its okay. I’ll get more chances to celebrate with her. You won’t.” Liar, you don’t even remember it’s my birthday today.
“I’ll be fine, Aunt Lucy.” I smiled at her, gathering my little purse, stuffing my pocket money and phone. To be honest, I can’t wait to escape, even though it’s only for a few hours.
“Take care, Scarlet.” I turned back to see Adrian standing on my doorframe, smirking my way.
“Y-yes.” I mumbled as I left the room with Amanda. Amanda is, was, my parent’s lawyer when they were alive, so after they were- I mean, they died, she handled their trust finance and everything else related to me being under Lucy’s guidance.
“Come on.” Amanda said with a little smile as I let out a sigh on leaving the house. I jumped inside her black convertible, and soon we were speeding towards the nearest mall. I knew Amanda won’t do this until it was something really important. She always had a cold business attitude, only being to the point and getting over with the hard stuff fast. Feelings? She had none and that is why she was one of the best lawyers of New York City.
“What do you want to talk about?” I asked her, coming straight to the point as she liked it.
“A simple thing. Your trust is bound to donate a 1000 dollars on every thanksgiving to any one orphan which you get to decide until you’re 18. After that, it’s up to you to donate or not.” She spoke.
“But you already told me this and I agreed-”
“This is what you’ll tell Lucy if she asks you. I told you about this on the phone and I hope you haven’t told her yet.” No, I hadn’t. Amanda had told me about it last night and Lucy had come back home a few hours ago. But, I don’t get it. This is what I’ll tell her?
“I will. But-” I asked, confused.
“I want to talk to you about something you’ll never discuss with anyone. Not even your Best friend. You’ll practically never talk about it to anyone.”
“I don’t have a best-”
“I don’t care. It is very important for no one to know about this and if, suppose, you never do this, you’ll forget about it as soon as you turn 18.” She told me very sternly, only making me wonder what it could be.
“Okay.” I silently nodded as we pulled in at Starbucks. I got out of her car, as she gathered some papers, asking me to order something for herself. I went in, ordered my favourite oreo shake and a java chip for her, as she sat at one of the booths, going through a big, fat, black file which looked all business.
I got her the coffee, which she paid for and sat in front of her.
“What’s the thing you really want to talk to me about?” I asked, taking a sip of my shake.
“Your parents wanted me to tell you something, if they weren’t there on your fifteenth birthday.” She said slowly, looking up from her file.
“Tell me one thing, Amanda.” I said, leaning in. I am pissed right now at everything she has ever told me, But a little glad that Adrian isn’t beating me today and there’s no pain to bear during this talk. “Did my parents know that their death was coming?”
“All in time, Scarlet. But for now, you know how much you know and that is, what I told you last year. Your father was involved in a very high profile business which required him to have back up plans. You cannot tell anyone about whatever you assume and researching will only cause you trouble.” She always said this and because of her saying this again and again, I never searched my parents up on the internet.
“What is the little information you are providing me today?” I folded my arms and cocked my eyebrows. I don’t care if I am being a brat, she is hiding my own family’s information, which I should know.
“I am going to explain you...” She stopped whatever she was going to say and then turned to me. “Will you ever escape, Scarlet?” She asked, eyeing my arm. I looked down, realising that my sleeves had folded upwards, showing the bruises Adrian had caused a few days back. I had specially worn this t-shirt to hide them all the day from my aunt Lucy and Amanda but somehow during paying for the shakes and bringing them, it had gone up.
“Yes. I will.” I said, little tears filling my eyes but I wiped them before they would fall down. Through my life, I learned to be honest to only one person which was my lawyer. She knew my family, she says. My father and her worked together for years before he died and I know she can be trusted.
“Okay, then. You must listen to me very carefully. I am not unknown to the abuse Adrian causes you every other day.” I looked at her with a shocked expression, my coffee almost falling from my hands.
“Y-you knew? Why don’t you try to-” I tried to ask her, feeling more helpless than ever before.
“I can’t help you, Scarlet. Firstly, if we expose Adrian, you’ll still live with Lucy and school will continue to be hell. Secondly, your aunt has enough money to get Adrian back. And trust me, she will.” I nodded at her, fully understanding whatever she had said because whole thinking everything through myself I had realised that no matter how much Lucy might have cared for me, Adrian was her number one priority and complaining about hi would only lead her to Lucy being territorial regarding her son and either not helping me or worse, being against me.
I know there is no escape from this. It won’t ever happen. I am going to live with-
“But don’t worry, your parents had thought and discussed a particular plan with me, should you be caught up in such a situation. I am sure your father won’t have expected any problem to come from his own sister’s side...” She trailed as a ray of hope entered my ruptured heart.
When Amanda had told me that my aunt wanted to take me, I knew my father won’t have ever expected that. His sister and he were distant and both were doing well with their professions.
“What’s the plan?” I asked her, suddenly interested.
“Okay. It’s very simple only if you listen to me well. I will provide you with an address and a phone number to your godparents.”
“Yes, they’re alive. But your father wanted you to be given to them if worst to worst came. They were our only option after your aunt and even foster care.”
“Okay. So you want me to escape to them?”
“Yes.. But you must do it very systematically because if exposed, it’ll be dangerous for you and them as well. And this plan is only for the time you want to escape before you turn 18.” She explained in her business tone.
“After 18, it won’t be illegal for me to run and no one will want to bring me back. The police won’t help.” I nodded. “What do you want me to do?” I asked her, my eyes burning with curiosity. I had to know this and drop my helpless girl act. This is my last chance.
“Firstly, I need you to write a letter stating that you’re running to your grandmother’s house to find something your parents had left you, I will handle after that but you will not reach her place. You’ll never reach New York...”
I turned around after having crushed my phone in small pieces. The sim card had stopped working in Summerville itself.
The only contact was out now. I had no social media account, no email ID, now that I had deleted it too, nothing. The phone was the last contact they had of me. I had already called Amanda before switching my phone off. When the police would contact her, she would say I said that, I was going to New York to my late grandmother’s house. Aunt Lucy knew my birthday made me emotional enough to leave like this and the fact that she had forgotten it, would only make my sweet, little aunt more guilty.
I took out the real number plate of my car and changed it. Yes, I was using a fake one all along. You don’t know anything about me, wait and watch .I picked up the small bag Amanda had gifted me on my birthday. What I needed was in there. A wig, some makeup, a new passport, a new name and most importantly, new clothes. The name’s not entirely new, it was just “Scarlett Taylor.” with another t in Scarlet and I was using my mother’s maiden surname. I knew exactly where I was going, and that place was Miami. Yes, I am going in the opposite direction from New York.
I had three hours to kill before I would reach Miami. It would almost be 6 in the morning by the time I would reach. Amanda’s agent was meeting me on the outskirts of the airport with a ticket to Seattle and then Port Angeles. I stuffed my new phone in my bag, and began to drive as the sky began to lose its black color.
About an hour or so later, I found it safe enough to stop at a gas station to fill my tank and by that time, change my look. After filling enough gas for another two hours, I locked my car and went to the washroom, just to wince at my pathetic condition. There was no way they would allow me inside the airport like this, rather let me take a flight, halfway across the country. I took out my spare clothes which consisted of a pair of tight black jeans, which thankfully fit me with a black and white stripped crop top, which covered my sleeves and most of my neck. My Vans, which I didn’t change were already on my feet as I struggled with the wig before I would dispose my jeans. While removing my older tights, I realized a small piece of glass from Adrian’s beer bottle had found its way to my stomach. When I removed it, covering my mouth to stop the scream from calling out people, blood started pouring out. Panicked to my core, I looked around for a first aid kit. I couldn’t possibly stain my new jeans and then invite attention. Even though they were black, I was scared to stain something else.
My eyes directly went to a small white box with a red cross hung on the wall and I sighed in delight. But to my utter disappointment, there was nothing except a few sanitary pads in there. I growled, snatching one of them and tearing the cover. I placed it, face up on my wound, praying that they wouldn’t stain my blood as I attached the sticky side to my jeans. The pad stuck to my wound, absorbing the blood with ease as I moved to my makeup. Unlike ever before, I applied enough make-up which consisted of a concealer, a thick eyeliner and blood red lipstick. It won’t look much to anyone but for Scarlet Winter, it was too much, I thought, disposing my jeans and t-shirt after using a pair of scissors to castrate them.
In a sweet red lipped smile and a black bob haircut, I stepped out in the cool air, wearing a black coat I had kept hidden in my car.
There was a slight possibility that they might catch me, but if everything was well thought out by Amanda and I, nothing would follow me after I reached Seattle.
The only thing I could hope for now was that my godparents had answers to my countless questions about my parents.
I really need some answers.
To be honest, it hurt a little to leave my new car with Amanda’s agent who looked more like a badass bodyguard, who also, scared me a little. But Amanda promised me that I would have it back within a week’s time of reaching Port Angeles, painted in black, not silver and a little more changes.
I got on the plane, without any problems, as Scarlett Taylor and slept soon.
Hours later, I was standing in front of Port Angeles airport, with her address in my hand. I had contacted Amanda from her parent’s house in Seattle, where I had stopped for an hour before catching the small plane to Port Angeles.
It was almost evening by the by time the taxi pulled into a lane which was full of huge mansions, in front of the harbor. The houses were absolutely nothing compared to my Aunt’s. They were... Huge, making me wonder who lived in a place as small as Port Angeles with so much money. These weren’t houses; these were even bigger than a mansion would be.
"Jonathans and Winters.”
The board of the address confused me, as I paid the taxi driver. Before he left, I confirmed whether this was the place I was really supposed to be dropped at. After he left, I stood in front of the metal gates, my wig and spectacles long gone back into my bag as I let my brown curls open. I looked around for a guard or a bell. The whole property couldn’t be left unguarded I thought just before a man in his late forties, in a black suit came walking from the concrete driveway, adorned by small white lights on either sides. I looked up and noticed three cameras staring my way.
Am I at the right place? Was Amanda right about this?
For a minute, I thought it was wrong to trust Amanda and that I was really really screwed. Fear began to fill me as the man neared me as every second passed and finally went behind the gate, to open it. The metal doors made a sound and automatically opened themselves, as the bodyguard asked me who I was. I debate whether I was supposed to tell him my real name or the fake one but the board forced me to say, “Scarlet Winters.”
He looked shocked for a second, but soon shrugged it off and greeted me with a smile which didn’t suite a man like him. He looked.. pleased and happy. “I am Steven, Ma’am. Mrs Jonathan is expecting you.” He said, in a rather cheerful tone.
“Oh. Okay.” I nodded, and beginning to walk behind him.
The house was beautiful and it was impossible to believe that only a small family lived here. It was a goddamn mansion with a huge garden and a fountain. Even though it was night, I could smell the roses, orange blossoms, daisies, lilac and freesia. My nose lingered on a distinct smell of lavender that greeted me. It drew me to itself as the man continued to walk and I studied the garden. It was trimmed so perfectly, every detail in order.My eyes went ahead to the real house, which was designed like a mansion. With old styled archways, like any other house on the street, which were more modern, the house was adorned with small lights and large windows as well. I could see the soothing golden lighting as we neared. I was already imagining the house to be more of cream and wooden from inside. Huge glass doors separated us from the foyer and Steven held the door open for me. By the time we were face to face with the sitting area, I couldn’t even imagine what these people did, and why my surname was hung on the board.
I gulped before taking a deep breath and clutching my bag harder. I had not allowed Steven to hold it, not wanting to take help from the big, badass, looking bodyguard.
I stepped in, my instincts telling me it was the right thing to do, right now.
“It’s good to have you back, Miss Winters.” Steven smiled, closing the glass doors behind him.
What have you done, Scarlet?
This is turning out to be the most dumbest idea ever.
Told you, idiot. What were you trying to prove? A 16 year old can run?!
“S-Scar. Baby, is that.. really you?”