Five teenagers run away from home and meet up in the city of London. They manage to rough it for a few nights before a couple who ran away a few years ago find them. They all move into a squat and their adventures and survival are all recorded here. Who will survive the cold and flourish?
Roxie - Broken Assets
My life has never been perfect, but it's as far away from perfect now than it has ever been.
My mum is a drunk. She lies on the couch all day, slogging the bottled poison, awaiting my arrival home from either school, or my part time job at a little tea room in town. Each day, my father expects her to wash up, cook, clean and wash the clothes.
That's where I come in.
As my mum has always been lying on the couch all day, from the second I open the door she begs in a slurred voice for me to do all her work before dad gets home from the office. She uses the line "I'm afraid of him love. He hits me if I don't do things. Please just do a bit while I have a little lie down. Ehh hun?"
So I never get a moments peace.
Then when dad comes in, everything just gets worse. By this time, my mum's decided that to mask the smell of the booze, it would be a good idea to drench herself in perfume. Anyone could tell that she was still completely drunk.
That's when I try to sneak off. It doesn't always work, and if I haven't got away from the arguments, I get the recieving end of the force from my dad.
Try going into school with bruises across your face and have to come up with a new lie each time. "I fell down the stairs" gets old really quickly.
School doesn't get much better either. I don't fit in anywhere; I'm an outsider. I don't have any friends, and the teachers try to ignore me the best they can.
Today, I finally made my mind up about the decision that would change my life for the better - it couldn't get much worse.
I'm running away.
* * * *
I check my bag one last time. It has all the things I'll need to survive for at least a month. I've got some food, a few debit cards of my mum's and dad's to get some money, blankets and other basic stuff.
I glance over my shoulder at my dressing room table. The note is still there, just like it was when I wrote it last night.
"Mum and Dad, my life isn't worth living with you. I'm running away. Don't try to stop me, or look for me. I'll be a lot better than I ever was here. Your daughter, no: former daughter, Roxie."
* * * *
It's near to midnight as I creep out of the house and along the barely lit streets towards the train station. With my bag on my shoulder and money in my pocket, I buy a ticket at the station.