Runaway

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|ONE|

~14 years later~


I FELT AN ODD PRESENCE, as if someone was watching me. A cold breeze flew in, but I was sure I had closed the window. Confused, I turned over in my bed to find her, sitting in the windowsill, her left knee bent while her right dangled casually against my wall, her left arm draped over her knee and her head turned, facing me. “Took you long enough,” She said, smirking. “You comin’?”

Her black hair flew back in the cool summer breeze, revealing her beautiful eyes. Her right one being ice blue, her left being ocean blue, the one that was typically covered by her bangs. I noticed that she was wearing black leggings along with a black hoodie. Two bags sat next to the window sill, inside my room. I realized what she meant and why she was here. Not questioning how exactly she knew where I lived, I quickly jumped out of bed and pulled a black T-shirt over my previously bare chest. I had worn a pair of black drawstring sweatpants to bed and decided they’d be fine to wear now. I pulled a random dark hoodie on over my T-shirt in case it got cold later.
" ’Already packed you a bag. Brought food too,” She said. I nodded but then grabbed a piece of paper, writing a quick note. “I just want to make sure my mom doesn’t think I was kidnapped and send out police or something, ya’know?” I explained after seeing her confused expression. She just simply nodded. Once I had finished and swung my backpack over my shoulder, I started to follow her lead, climbing out the window.

“We’re really doing this, huh?” She turned at smiled, showing her teeth. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen her smile. “I warned you. No turning back.” She began running, me not far behind.

I had walked into a classroom to grab my lunchbox after school one day to find her making an escape plan. I knew that her name was Hunter, but I didn't really know much about her. She was a quiet kid and didn't talk to anyone. She didn't have any friends and no one knew anything about her. I was the opposite, yet the same, in a way. I was a popular kid, known by everyone. I smiled a lot and was nice to everyone. I was on the basketball and football team, and quite athletic. But no one really knew anything about me, either.

She was writing down bus ticket costs, bus and train routes, ways to start a fire, everything. I told her that I wouldn’t tell anyone if she let me come when she decided to leave. She seemed surprised, then responded with, “No.” I was a little shocked at first but then tried to be more persistent in her letting me come.

“Give me one good reason why I should let you come,” She said. I thought for a second, then replied with, “I’ve taken lots of survival classes so I can tie strong knots, start fires quickly, filter water, and build a shelter.” I flashed a big smile at her and said, “Plus, my great looks might just help us out someday.” She rolled her eyes and packed up her stuff.

“You missed lunch,” was all she said as she walked out. I looked back at the desk and noticed a small piece of paper she must’ve left. Turning back to the door I called out, “Oh, you left someth-” only to realize she already left. I picked up the paper and read a phone number next to the words,

Be ready.

I smiled my famous bright smile and tucked the paper into my pocket. This is going to be interesting.

***

I heard the screeching of a train starting and as we got closer, I saw it moving slowly but it was gaining speed by the second. By the time we got there, it was fairly fast. She started running to the side, lining up with a slightly open cart. “I’m gonna go first. You can do it, right?” She asked, looking back at me. I nodded. “Don’t chicken out now,” She said as she took a step back and leaped onto the cart. Since it wasn’t already open, she had to grab the handle and was now hanging off the edge. I was still running, trying to keep up with the now faster train. From the weight of her on the handle, the door slid open with her still on it.

She stifled a small scream at the sudden movement, but quickly regained herself and swung her body in the cart. She set her bag down and looked back at me. I ran faster, trying to keep up. She held onto the edge of the door and leaned out, reaching her hand out. I stretched my hand out too, trying to get to hers. She leaned forward more, the entire upper half of her body leaning out. If she wasn't still holding onto the edge of the door, she would have fallen. I swung my hand to try and reach hers but missed. I was getting nervous now. The train was a lot faster by now and I might not be able to keep up for long.

Trying again, I reached my hand out, swinging it towards hers. My tan hand connected with her pale one as she latched her hand tightly on mine. I leaped forward as she pulled me in. I rolled in and ended up laying on my back and sighed in relief. I made it.

"It's one a.m. right now, and the next stop should be in a few hours. You can rest now if you want." I turned and looked at her. She was leaning on the door, sitting with her left leg out and right leg bent, resting her right arm on her bent knee. I sat up and faced her. "Uh, there's no way I'm going to be able to fall asleep after that." She shrugged but then replied, "Yeah, me neither."

We sat in silence after that, neither of us having anything to say. It wasn't an awkward silence though, just a comfortable kind. After a while, she spoke up and asked, "So tell me, why exactly would someone like you, popular and loved by everyone, want to run away?" I tensed up a little at the question, and I think she noticed.

"Many people may think they know me, but in all honesty, no one knows anything about me."

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