I feel my life shattering into pieces as she says it. You may think you know how it feels when you're betrayed by a family member. But you don't. Not when they're a criminal.
Whenever I hear his name now I feel like punching a wall. I feel like rooting myself on the spot and refusing to leave just so I can face him. Just so I can kill him. Why is he after us? I don't know. Maybe we did something. Maybe Mum did something. Lies string out behind us, and perhaps they lay uncovered ahead, but at the moment all I can think about is following my Mother's lead. I'll give her time to explain it. If time is what she needs.
"Mia! Quick!" She shouts from the living room as I shove all my belongings in a suitcase.
He won't get here that quickly, I think to myself. But there's still that risk.
"I'm coming!" I call back, stumbling out the door a second later with my Mother in tow. Her keys jangle from her hand and she shoves them into her coat pocket aggressively. It's going to be okay, I tell myself. But is it?
As we run from street to street, aimlessly getting ourselves lost, I find myself wondering where we're even heading. Mum seems to know what she's doing - or at least I think she does - but I have no clue.
"Where are we going?" I yell, as my hair streams out behind me in the chilly, winter wind.
I stop in my tracks, body heaving.
Mum soon turns around when she no longer hears the steady pulse of footsteps behind her. "What?"
"America?" I scream, "We're in freaking England right now!"
"So what? We have to get away!"
I don't move. "Mum we don't have to move to another country to get away from him! That's ridiculous! Why don't I just call the police?"
Slipping out my phone from my pocket, I start to dial in the number, but my Mum immediately lunges at me, swiping it out of my hand. "Don't you dare!"
I stare at her. Has she gone crazy? I'm not moving to America when this can be solved so easily by the police! We don't even have enough money to buy a plane journey!
As if reading my reaction she says, "I have the money. I've been saving it in case this happened."
"Well thanks for telling me," I mutter sarcastically.
"Just, c'mon, please." She says, trying to calm herself down.
What do I do when this is my home? I'm leaving everyone if I go with her. Everything that's been so good and so right in my life.
"I'm just trying to protect you," she whispers, tucking a strand of my hair behind my ear, "let me."
I sigh, rubbing my forehead. How is this even happening? It's happening too fast for me to be able to take it all in. Giving in, I slowly nod my head. Why? I don't know. I don't have enough time to think as my Mum yanks on my arm, and pulls me as she runs down the street to the bus stop.
It's only a bus drive and a plane journey later that I realise why I let her: I had no choice. She's my protection and without her, I'm gone.