I ran away four times, the first time, I was away for eight months, I went with Matt, I simply packed a duffel bag, put in his car, sat in the passenger seat and begged him to take me, I offered him sex. I offered him everything. When he knew that I was going with or without him, he took me with him, taking me under his care. The second time was from the cops when they tried to put me in the police car after I had seen Matt, I went to Elliot, his friend, and got to his apartment for a little while before the rapture ended.
I knocked crazily on the door, and when he answered, he was stoned, only in his boxers, some Mardi gras beads, and I didn’t even bother with the What the Fucks? I was facing the biggest What the Fuck ever.
“What the fuck, little girl?” Why is everyone calling me that? I’m not little, just because I’m facing something totally and undeniably bigger than me, I’m not that little. I’m five seven, I’m skinny as a stick, but I can bring things to life.
If only I could bring Matt back one last time.
All I want to do is hold him.
“He’s dead,” I kept on mumbling, “he’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead. He’s dead!” I broke out, and I was going crazy, if I wasn’t already.
“Lucy,” Elliot said, taking hold of my shoulders, shaking me. “Lucy, what’s going on? Who is dead? What is going on? What are you on?”
“Matt!” I cried my eyes wide as I flailed my arms in the air, and then took hold of Elliot’s hands. “Matt’s dead,” I sobbed. “He’s gone – he’s not with me anymore, he- he’s not here, he just – left. How could he do this? How could he OD?” I asked him as I stepped in closer and laid my head on his chest, but Elliot was awkward, didn’t know what to do.
So he called his narc friend.
I ran away a third time, from the dumbass cops on the way to Michigan, I was being escorted, I was being carried away like trash, and to them I was, to them I was some damaged little girl in some little big world. To them I didn’t know shit. To me, they were shitheads waiting for an excuse to slip up. We were at some diner, cracker barrel, I know of it because my mother used to love it, and then she got tired of us, or we got tired of her, or maybe it was mutual. I can’t remember now, all I think about is Matt.
I slipped out the back, I knew the place, and I wanted out, before all that I thought they were joking about sending me home, that I had all of my shit in case I found a better place to be, and trust me, that shady, run down, drug dealing apartment was better. We were close to my house, and that was attempt number three.
Number four was when I was actually home again, and I was walking under the night stars, with my jacket on, and my bag slung over my shoulders, I had taken all of the cash that was in the house and a debit card, I would use an ATM somewhere and get away fast. Real fast.
If only my brother wasn’t a ninja, he followed me that night, and I had gotten all the way to the bus stop before he showed himself.
He had changed since I had last seen him, he’d gotten taller, he was my height, and two years younger than me, with the same shade of blond hair, and dark brown eyes, he looked good, he looked like Connor, but I don’t know who that is anymore, so I can’t say.
“What do you want?” I asked him, not looking at him, keeping my eyes on the street, on an escape.
“An older sister would be nice,” he told me, as if it’s supposed to hurt. Everyone wants an older sister, someone to go to for advice and a place to crash, someone who would understand all faults and desires, anything at all, a sister to help stand up for yourself. Too bad I’m not her, because I would like to be her.
“Too fucking badly,” I told him, taking a drag out of my cigarette. “Connor, go away.”
“Lucy, don’t come back.”
I actually looked at him this time, and he looked so desperate, like he was in despair and agony, but this calm assurance was melting all of that underneath the surface.
“For the past eight months… It would have been better if you were dead, but now we – mom and dad and all, they’ll all going to feel like it’s their fault, like they’re bad parents, if you were dead, we could blame someone else, but now we have… they have their selves to blame, and that’s not nice, Luce,” he tells me, and starts to walk away.
I walked back home that night.
It wasn’t anyone’s fault.
It was just… me, what I needed, what I wanted. Real air to breathe, real choices to make, a decision for myself, not for anyone else. At the time I hated everything, everyone, and I needed to know why, I wanted answers to questions I didn’t know, and questions I wasn’t ready to pull up until then. I wanted to be ahead, to say, ha ha, you’re all still in high school, well, look who has a tattoo, a belly button ring, and prostitution experience, ha ha, I’m so cool.