-They were gone

“I wandered for days, but no-one came for me. At
one point, I even had myself hoping that they would take
me too.”
“Hadn’t you been fighting to escape?”
“I know, but after finally relieving my loneliness, I couldn’t be
alone. That feeling fills me with dread, even now. I can’t
really explain it. I just needed someone, anyone, with me. Even
If that meant sacrificing my freedom.”
“So you turned yourself in?”
“I couldn’t bear talking to myself any longer. I needed help.”
“There’s no shame in asking for help once in a while.
So, you handed yourself in to social services. And
did they find you a home?”
“Yes. Despite the hope that I would see any of my friends again, I had to
settle with yet another family of strangers. They were eerily pleasant
at first, but at ‘home’, I was ignored. I could have been a
piece of the furniture. I know that in these situations, kids can

But I didn’t. I really didn’t.”

I managed to slip out of the house without being noticed, but that wasn’t too surprising. They never paid any attention to me, and I generally stayed out of their way. It was Paul I was worried about.
I dumped my school bag in the garden bushes,  and headed for the local park. I spent most of the afternoon walking around, and enjoying being outside. I then sat on top of the climbing frame, and watched the cars go by. I was alerted by a noise behind me, but when I turned around, a young boy was stood there. He had a great look of triumph on his face, as he waved to his friends.
“I did it!” He cried.
Others tried to follow him, but to no avail. Despite this, they didn’t give up. They were determined to achieve it. Thing is, they actually can give up. I have no choice but to keep fighting.
They all look so happy. They have their whole lives ahead of them. I’m not quite sure what I have to look forward to.
I jumped down, and gave a young girl a leg-up, allowing her to reach the top before everyone else.
“Thank You!” I loved that feeling. I felt useful, for once in my life. Instead of looking out for myself, I had helped another achieve their goal.
My eyes widened as I noticed school-children walking past: school was over, and I was late.
Rounding the corner, I was winded as I fell against a group of girls in the year above me. It was just my luck, really. These girls were partly the reason that I skipped school, and here I was, at their feet.
One of them gripped the material around my collar, and lifted me from the ground.
“How dare you” She threatened through her teeth, spraying spit across my face.
“What do you mean? This is a public footpath, and it’s obvious that I didn’t mean to….”
I exhaled as I was dropped to the floor. Before I could even think about getting up, she heavily stood her foot on top of my arm. As she spoke, she drilled her heel in harder.
“If you ever, touch me, again, I will personally, book you a room, at intensive care.” At this point I’m groaning in pain, but at last she removed her foot. As I tended to my arm, she  pulled my face to hers by my chin.
“Understand?” she whispered. I reluctantly nodded, with the aid of her hand nodding it for me.
“Good girl” She slapped my cheek patronizingly. I picked myself up and headed home, followed by a chorus of threats and insults behind me. Their laughs rang in my ears, causing my cheeks to  burn a deep red. I held my head low and grabbed my bag from the garden, whilst I tried to clean myself up. Even though I wasn’t planning on talking to anyone, there was the chance that I might run into someone on my way upstairs. I gently eased the handle, and slipped inside. Unfortunately, the door closed loudly, earning me a sharp invitation into the living room.
With a sigh, I dropped my bag, and stepped into the room.
I said nothing as I slumped down into the nearest armchair, and reached her absent gaze. We both remained silent, basking in the tension that surrounded us. Finally, it became too much to bear.
“Why did you call me?”
Her eyes snapped to mine, and narrowed.
“You didn’t go to school.”
“So what, are you going to walk me there every day? Tell me that I’m throwing my life away?”
“I’m not your mother.” She lit up a cigarette, encasing her in a shroud of smoke.
“Don’t I know that.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“I think you know exactly what it means.” Despite the danger warnings, for once I decided to challenge her. Besides, it wasn’t often that I was given this much attention. She lowered her head.
“I took you in when you had no-one else. I fed you, you have your own room, and a good education. What am I missing?”
“You think that by giving me a home, you’ve solved all of my problems? Just so you know, I was happy where I was, before I had ever met you!”
“Then how did you end up at the home? You handed yourself in, I was told. You were lonely, right? I took pity on you, and decided to give you that company you so desperately craved.”
“As long as I’ve been here, you’ve spoken to me four times, this conversation included. You call that company? I don’t need your pity, and I sure as hell don’t need you!”
“Then what do you need?”
“I don’t know!”
She snorted loudly, and snubbed out her cigarette.
“That’s very helpful. If you don’t know what you need, then how do you know that you actually need anything?”
“Because, well, because I just know. I was happy once, and that enables me to realise that something isn’t right anymore.
“If you gave my home a chance, you would be happy. You’ve been nothing but negative since you got here, refusing to smile, locking yourself in your room, and to tell the truth I’m sick of it. We never wanted children, but you were such a pathetic creature that I begged my husband to take you in. Have you shown any gratitude?”
“I was ready for a new life, but here I’m either ignored, or forced to take care of your home. I’m not considered as your child, I’m seen as your maid! Isn’t that why your husband agreed? ‘Extra help around the house’, you said. Well that’s fine. Now you both have more time to drink what little troubles you have away!”
The force of her slap had me thrown from the chair. I felt the red hot skin, and looked at her in disbelief. She showed no remorse, just the same, blank look in her eyes, and the expression of disgust that always reached my gaze. She stumbled drunkly out of the room, leaving me to clamber upstairs.
I slammed my bedroom door, and pushed a cabinet in front.
My life is just a vicious cycle of loneliness. Every small amount of happiness and company that I manage to muster, is ripped to shreds, and I return once again to being by myself. Do all people live this way? I don’t think so, at least not everyone. Most people live in big families, and then they move out, get married, and have a family of their own. They grow old with their partners, never alone. The majority of their lives is spent with loved ones. My fraction so far was minor in comparison.
I sat on the floor, and for the first time since my parents’ funeral, I cried.

The End

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