My mother didn't say anything to me when we ran down the stairs of the fire escape, both of us armed with two heavy pieces of luggage. There really wasn't anything to say. My actions had spoken volumes, and my mother had been deafened by them.
I had no idea why we were doing this Bonnie-and-Clyde-esque escape from the police. My mother had made no previous attempts to protect me from the hands of the police force. Once she'd called the police- when I was fourteen, I got into a fight with a gang from my estate. They'd started it. They'd been fucking around with a bonfire on Guy Fawke's Night, throwing flipping fireworks right past houses in the estate. So I told them to stop, and they wouldn't. To describe the incident simply, it ended with the ends of my trousers and hair getting singed, along with the collar of my t-shirt getting burnt and the back of my neck getting blistered. This was before reform school, before I'd been straightened out. I jumped on top of the leader of the gang, broke his nose and split his lip. All I can remember was the heat of that fire, knotting the ends of my hair and my fists pummelling his face. And my mum screaming. And the police tearing me away from him.
"What are we doing?" I said, as Mum hurried down the stairs, while I struggled with my suitcase. I could hear rattling further down the steps. We were sharing the stairs with the police.
"Oh God. OK, Buffy, see that fire escape?"
"Uh huh," I could feel my chest tighten.
"Push it open."
I paused for a moment.
"It's-it's- we have to jump!"
"Pull your hoodie up, Buffy," she muttered, and I did as she told me so, pulling the strings especially tight so my face was hardly visible.
"What do we do-"
Mum pushed open the door of the fire escape. Our small, battered car was parked outside, on its own. The wail of the police cars could still be heard.
"Buffy, come on. Come on, Buffy, get in the car!" Mum hissed. For most of the day it had been dry and cloudy, yet the second we walked outside it began to hail viciously.
"For fuck's sake," Mum groaned, getting into the car.
As I made my way to the passenger seat, she pushed me back, gesturing to the back seat.
"Lie down and make sure they don't see you," She ordered.
Running over to the car, I opened up the boot and threw the suitcase in, before hopping into the back seat.
"Lie down!" She snapped, and I did as she told me to, not even daring to peek out the window.
My mother did not stop driving for an hour. She didn't talk or express her feelings in any way.
"Talk to me," I mumbled, half-asleep in the back seat, my stringy blonde hair covering my mouth and muffling my speech.
She didn't. Her eyes remained on the road, staring out onto the pavement striped with yellow. Her eyes were bloodshot and unblinking, purely focused on what was in front of her. If her eyes were glass, they would have been bulletproof.
"Talk to me!" I commanded. I sat up, and when I saw myself in the mirror, that was when the situation really began to feel like a horror movie. My stringy, dirty-blonde hair, covered some of my face, covered some of it, but not all of it.
The blood on my knuckles had been transferred to my cheeks. Christine's Reccorn's blood was on my hands, and my face, and I couldn't escape it, no matter how far we drove.
My mother started crying. And I didn't know what to do.
She kept driving.