I set a mental alarm to wake me up at midnight, and I woke at 11:43.
Everyone was asleep by now; I could hear five different sets of snores, and one person breathing quietly.
I slid gingerly out of bed, and opened the drawer with my clothes in it. My duffel bag was sitting there, clothes spewing out the top. I stuffed the clothes in and went to the kitchen, careful not to wake up any of the sleeping boys that lay around the bus. I packed away a bit of food and money from the can we keep in the compartment under the microwave. I picked up my guitar case, the one I’ve had forever, and flung it over my shoulder.
Harry was lying on one of the couches, the only one not snoring. He looked so young, and the creases in his forehead had vanished. I suddenly felt I couldn’t just leave him with no explanation.
I grabbed a piece of paper, feeling stupid for even writing this, and scribbled down a message. i folded it in half and set in on the middle of the floor. As a last minute decision, I picked up my laptop, stuffing it and the charger into my guitar case with the guitar.
I sighed, looking around the bus one last time, then turned, and slid out the door, making my way into the night.
It was early, like three a.m. early. I had no idea why I was awake. I felt like something was off, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.
I happened to glance at the floor, and saw a perfectly folded piece of paper, standing like a tent. Something was written on the front, but in the dim light of the moon, I couldn’t make it out.
I groaned, pulling my upper body off the couch so I could reach the paper. I grabbed it and pulled myself back up on the couch.
Harry, was written on the front.
I felt my eyebrows fold together as I unfolded the paper. It was a small note, written in small squiggly handwriting.
Harry, I’m leaving. I’m done with the band. I’m done with everything. It’s my fault that everything happened the way it did and I don’t want anyone else getting hurt because of me. I’m a bad-luck charm in a band named after a good-luck charm. I know you won’t look for me, so there’s no point in begging you not to, and for that I’m grateful.
I’m a fan of your band; I would like you to know.
I feel like I owe you something. I know it won’t make up for it, but I’d like to tell you why I’m like this. Why I’m so broken. My dad blamed me for my mother’s death. She died when I was born, and he started to drink after that. I guess that really is my fault, isn’t it? I seem to hurt everyone.
I ran away from him, after he hurt me. That’s why I limp. I tried to sneak out, but he attacked me with a knife. I made it, though. My ability to walk normally was just another casualty of the bad luck that seems to hang around me.
Once I was on the streets, I was only there for three days before I nearly died. But a man saved me, Harry. He kidnapped me, although I didn’t think of it as that at the time. I grew to love him. Now I realize I had Stockholm’s Syndrome. He did bad things to me there, but I loved him because that was all I could do about it. It was like that for a year before the terrible things started to happen. He tried to kill me. That’s why I’m so skittish around people who are intoxicated. That’s why I was originally so scared of you.
But I got away. I made it, Harry. And the girls took me in.
The only reason I’m telling you is because I know I will never see you again. Or at least, you will never see me. I want to thank you, for being there. I think I want you to know that I’m okay. I will be fine, out here, on the streets. I’m trying to leave my life all my previous lives behind. I want to start fresh. And I will. Right back on a random street corner.
Please tell the girls to forget about me. They already hate me. I’m begging you. Please do anything you can to get Quarra and Crow to be okay again. I know it’s too much to ask but please. I’m begging you here. Tell her I’m sorry. And tell Crow that he is the father figure I wish I could have had growing up. Last of all, forget me. Don’t let anyone look for me.
I’ll be fine. I always am.
A single teardrop warped the paper, smearing the last words.