Mattie, a young girl who sleep walks, decides to run away. She runs into a town crazy, police catch her, she goes to live with a friend and afterwards things happen to her that make her teenage thought process perceive her situation at home a little different. This is a twisted plot with many turns. The plot gets deep into the narrators head, and drags out every thought.
I sleepwalk. It doesn't frighten me. My family used to tell stories and make fun of me for it until they started to having put locks on the doors. That's when it became no longer amusing. 1am, wonder outside, across the street. That’s as far as I have ever gotten. Until the very last Monday in November when I was pissed to the point of leaving… I just wanted some damn peace. That's all I wanted. I was so angry with my parents that they would never leave me alone, all the bloody screaming they felt that they had to do, and that nothing was ever enough. It seems everything I did meant shit. So I packed and ran. Like, ran away from home, went to a friend’s house, and spent the night. Mom went to check on me around midnight i'm guessing and I wasn't there. I can see her in shocked, looking all over the house, and completely mortified when I'm not found. I don't think either of us will forget the year 2015.
I could hear the night crawling in my ears. The darkness slid onto my skin and swallowed my pride as I stepped out the door. Engulfing me in a rush rage of shivers, of goose bumps and of complete terror of the dark night that dared me to swim in it.
As I talk to myself, “light poles, bad neighborhood, broken up street, alice street just past the abandoned church. I won't forget it,” I remember. Guided by light poles my way down the street. All my sins were added up as the night stared me down. I didn't even feel the icy cold wind that was blowing through my ripped jeans. I was overtaken by my fears, by my thoughts, by my emotions. They were grabbing at me sticking their razor sharp thoughts into me ripping me apart sin by sin.
I'm the kind of person to get mad easily so they should have known better. Of course I’m not just going to let yelling at me go. There's no way in hell! Are they stupid? Were the not thinking? There's so many things that demand to be said, but that privilege has been revoked by my overtaking decision to run.
Her and my dad left my sisters at home and drove to my best friend’s house in tears, terrified it seemed asking if they knew where I was. I was, missing, lost, stolen, dead, gone, finished, whatever they call it, so they resorted to calling the police. It's the last thing they could do, so they did it. Probably thinking I was kidnapped from discovering my way into the street, when actually, I had ran away.
Sitting at the end of my street, the wig lady. All crippled, very fragile looking, slumped over like the tree that sat behind her. She was done up though. Late at night too.‘What was she doing,’ I wondered.
“What are you doing?” I asked. As I walked on by her she asked my name. As I kept walking she asked again. I headed down the street, turned the corner. Once I was about a block away. I heard her. Riding her bike in my direction. She got up to me closer and faster than I expected. “
Stay on that bike, Don't come any closer!”
“I just wanna talk,” she begs. Her eyes as deep in as my problems are.“That's all, can I ride beside you?” The wind blew her smoky voice away. A silence passes as the lady says, “ you remind me of my daughter. I can hardly remember her face. She gone now.” Was that a compliment? I don't know.
“Great,” I say in response thinking maybe she’d leave if she got something out of me. That would have been too easy though. Even though I only looked in her direction enough to see her hair was as black as the time of night, she continued to talk about her daughter and how she loved her. Told me her life story basically about how her husband beat her, and once she got away she started wearing wigs to disguise herself, and then once her daughter died at at young age how that sent her over the top. She explained to me how she always hated that black beard he never shaved and how his hands were always rough from working till dark. I think she might have mentioned how tall he was as well, but I didn't care. Although it was weird, yes it was interesting to know the truth instead of stories.
“So what are you doing out?” she continues. She followed me all the way staying close by. I just wanted her to go away. But then she stopped once the house came into view not daring to go a step closer. And her verbal train of thoughts seemed to dwindle. I kept walking without saying another word, just glad she was done following me. I walked to a house with three stairs, and a normal white base glowing in the street lights. She stood and watched me till I stepped in the door and it closed.
There is not a way to explain the way I felt, about all of what happened that night. My hot head emotions sent my thoughts into a complete hatred of my life. Almost like all the good things were blurred out, and the bad parts were picked out piece by piece, showing themselves to me just how bad they were. My anxiety skyrocketed from all the yelling and looking at myself be looked down to with everyone sticking up there nose as I walked by, It infuriated me. It was like I couldn't breath or make sense of any decision. That's how I was here talking to some creepy lady on a bike. And it would have been an understatement to say that my emotions were as sketchy as a rollercoaster. I needed help. Just like the wig lady. I was on the road to my immaculate doom.
The next day the police were at my school, and they took me in. They asked a lot of questions like,
“Why would a 15 year old in a good home with good grades wanna run away?” the police with the name tag Danny, Maverick I think asks.
“Maybe that's just what her 15 year old mind is wanting her to do,” said the other with the name tag Austin Ravidson. “The parents Darrell and Faith of Mattie Ryan's may come in now,” said Ravidson on his radio. As they came in with an agonized look there was nothing for me to say. The police explained it all. All but my feelings. I couldn't even do that. When my parents found out what really happened to me there was legitimately no reaction. They just sent me away. No questions, no concerns, just utter betrayal of their daughter left them the role of absence to care. It was explained that the police thought it would be better to put me in a home. I obviously didn’t want to be where I was anyway.
But who were they to decide! Why? Why didn't they ask questions like, ‘are you okay? How are you feeling? Are you in any pain? What do you feel about the situation?’ That was obviously unimportant. I saw that they didn't care. So they had nothing. They didn't know what to do, they couldn't have. I wish they would have asked better questions.
So I was in a home. I hated it there. All i was opened to was what seemed like troubled kids and supervisors being short. There was little privacy and the rooms small. The standards high, but no one seemed to care and the unwillingness to try to understand showed its absence in the hallways filled with screams and fights. Just in the weeks after when I thought I was gonna lose it, I was adopted by my friends mom. How in hell they came up with the objective that they wanted me I had a few ideas, maybe money. But I didn't have a alternative. So I went to live with them and life was life. Until I really met her dad. It was around 2 am. Time for her dad to get of work from his night job. When he came home he was staggering around making a chaotic mess every time he stepped. That's when I woke up. I have sleeping difficulties anyway. I could smell how stoned he was. I went to see what was up, to tell him to quiet down, but dear god I wish I hadn't.
“Get me my alcohol,” he slurred through his outgrown black beard that was swimming in smoke.
As he followed me downstairs, I hushed, “ just keep that noise down!” I choked through the musty air in the house. The room so cramped my voice traveled up as I walked down. I always had to talk up to the guy. His size made me feel like I was an infant. I tripped over something. The carpet I barely see. Before I could even catch myself or get to the alcohol and have the awareness on what was happening I was attacked. Refusing to open my eyes my last feeling was cold and rough, his hands. The goose bumps rose on my skin. And a sound of terror came out of me. The rest of the night had gone up in smoke and all the way down to hell.
The next day that was all that was on my mind, so once again I decided to run, but this time back to my original home. I had decided that screaming, yelling and never being left alone was better than what happened that night. I showed up at my parents house in shock and petrified from running all night, dodging from cars, dodging from police and wandering into strange, unfamiliar, dark, and ominous places in my mind.
I'm insecure. This wasn't easy for me. I don't feel okay because I'm not. Going back, groveling for my parents forgiveness. I feel like this is just what they want. I was sent away because of them. I was hurt because of them. Maybe that's just what my 15 year old mind is saying to me. Because of them. I knew they would, I knew they would take this attitude about it. But now I was just making assumptions. I overthink things way too much, way to often. I just need to stop thinking and do what I need to do.
My parents opened the door and all at once looked intent, concerned, confused, afraid, and startled, they let me in immediately.
“Oh my god! Are you okay? Gracious,” they pleaded. As they asked what was wrong, where I’d came from, and why I was there, I sat on the couch. The couch that was no longer mine. I remembered the contentment, the ease, and relaxation of it and it made me strangely pleased and delighted. But as the questions kept coming I could taste my humility as it ran down my face and onto my mouth. I was completely demolished, shattered and had hit rock bottom.
“I was pissed! Is that not clear enough? I could smell desperation as I leaped into high gear. Nothing was ever enough for you two!” I sparked.
This is what was left, so I opened up to them and told them everything. After my outburst of emotion I went to bed. Tried to sleep and felt alone. Felt so alone. No one understood, but I came to the conclusion I wasn't. The wig lady, my friend, my parents, they let me back in. God, I don't know. Maybe? I came to the realization that no matter how alone I might have felt, I really wasn't. My reason for running away was so I could be left alone and now all I want is the opposite.
After some thoughtful thinking, and praying I moved back in with my real family, in my real home, and things reworked themselves and changed for the better. I was in peace with my life. Myself not so much, but I was getting there. Me and my parents were closer, I'm good friends with my sisters and we are all together as we were before, untroubled, and light hearted. I am intimate with god now like I never was before. And he's happy with me, I hope. I pray to always have security in the people around me. Running away didn't get rid of the nightmares, the headaches, and the obstacles, but just gave them to someone else. I now spend every day doing my best to make up for my mistake. Trying to regain trust and trying to repair what I tore apart.
A couple weeks later I heard rumors that the wig lady had passed. Only then had I started to think about the little she told to me. Only then did I realize who he was to her or who he was to me. Our harsh handed, tall, black faced demon. And time took its sweet time erasing him. It still hasn't. No body knows to this day what he did or is still doing. That thoughts traps me in a corner some nights.
I wonder what happens next time. Next time their yelling. Next time their fighting. Next time I get looked down to. Next time I have a decision to make. I don't think running away was particularly smart decision and neither do my parents, but I didn't do it for them. I did it for me. Will I run again? I don't know. They'll find out, the next time I get tired of all the bullshit.