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 The Runaway

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Cosmic Wanderer

Posts : 3527
Join date : 2012-10-21
Age : 21
Location : The Moon

The Runaway Empty
PostSubject: The Runaway   The Runaway EmptySun Jun 30, 2013 10:15 pm

Chapter One

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When people ask me why I ran away all those times, why I abandoned that life for the life of a traveling beach bum, I always laugh. They never get an answer, because if you had to ask me why I left a stuffy old house on a hill for a life of laying on the beach and feeling the sweet, cool feel of the waves lapping at my toes, you don’t deserve an answer. The truth was, that I was tired of being held down all my life; the perfect daughter of the congressman; the genius child of the award-winning science writer. It was all just bullshit, and so I decided to live my own life.

I grew up the only daughter of a wealthy lawyer who fancied himself a politician, and a mother who was a genetics professor at University of Maryland. I went to a fake rich kid school with fake friends who only stayed my friends because mommy and daddy were rich and famous. I lived in a fake mansion with five bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, two butlers, and the single ugliest cat to ever live. It was one of those big puffy ones with bright white fur and beady eyes and a nose that was always upturned towards the ceiling, as if it were scoffing at the world. When my parents were around, I acted happy and content with this life of superfluous luxury, but when no one was around, I was miserable. I hated all the pomp and pamper, and finally, when I got older, I couldn’t take it anymore.

I first ran away when I was fourteen, and it caused the single biggest cluster in the history of the United States. Every television from Baltimore to Philadelphia to D.C. was flashing the “Missing child” alert across the bottom of the screen and the cover story on the news was always the same; “Last night, Lacey Petros, the daughter of Maryland Congressman Michael Petros and University of Maryland professor Dr.Amy Petros, disappeared from her room! The authorities are calling the suspected kidnapping a tragedy, and police are trying their hardest to find the little girl and bring her back home!” Pathetic. I wasn’t a little girl anymore; I was fourteen, and in my mind, I was infallible. I ran north to Pennsylvania, and after three bus rides and a couple taxis, found myself penniless in an abandoned barn just north of the Mason-Dixon line. I had no food, no water, no money, and no way to get home. I loved it.

For three days I lived in that rotted old barn and lived off of the Mercy of God. I ate what I could find, and the rest of the time, I relaxed in a hammock I had made out of old grain sacks and watched the world around me. The isolation would have killed any other teenaged girl; there was no cellphone reception whatsoever and no wifi. That was a drag at first, but I figured it was better than living a life planned for me in a house where I had to be the perfect daughter. I remember the first night I spent there, I sat in the window at the top of the barn, my feet hanging off of the edge, spitting every curse word I could think of into the tranquil night. I said every word my father ever told me not to, and it was ecstasy. In my mind’s eye I was sitting there for hours, screaming curses at the top of my lungs and pleasantly listening as they reverberated around the barn and back to my ears. For the first time in my life, I could do whatever I wanted, with no parents to shove me into that little girl body so they could show me to the world. That night, I decided to cut my hair.

The idea came to me when I saw a rusty razor laying in the corner of the barn next to a pile of broken needles and syringes. At the time, I was too innocent to know what those needles’ purposes were. The razor was dented and orange with rust, but when I tried to pick it up, I let out a dog-like yelp as it cut my finger. Naturally, I cursed again, and that gave me an idea. My hair was long and light blonde, almost a toehead color, as it is called. I had always liked my hair, but it got too long and my mother refused to let me cut it. Apparently, not getting your hair cut was some kind of rich person status symbol, and over the years it had grown down to the small of my back. The hair was tied in a tight single braid so tight and thick that you could have used it to help a prince climb the side of a tower like Rapunzel. I picked the razor blade up from the opposite side, careful not to cut my fingers once more, and gripped the blade with my fingertips. All of a sudden, I loathed that hair for all that it was and all that it meant. To me, that hair meant enslavement. It was a chain holding me back, so I decided to free myself. With one hand at the base of the braid and the razor in the other, I prepared myself. I knew it would be hard, but it was something I felt that I had to do. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and slowly exhaled as I brought the razor down upon my hair. It took quite a bit of sawing, but finally, the locks surrendered, now nothing but dead rope in my hand. I walked to the window at the top of the barn and threw the rope of hair out, where it crashed into a shallow rocky brook with a satisfying splash. It was finished.

I went to sleep that night in the hammock, the soothing zephyrs of the warm dry wind and the amber glow of the fireflies lulling me to sleep. It was my first time sleeping away from home, yet I could sleep better than I had ever before. This new feeling of freedom distilled in me, and I closed my drowsy eyes to a night filled with the glow of stars and the tinkling of fireflies.

"How strange it is to be anything at all." -In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel

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