The long road home

Aimee hates her life, her mother is in a psych ward, her dad spends all his time with his secretary and at school she is far from popular.

That is until she meets Samual.

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6. Absoloutly not!

He stares at me for a moment then shakes his head like my Mum used to , "Absolutely not!"

"Please Sam, I need to go."

"No... no you are not coming. You're staying right here."

"Do you hate me?"

"Of course not, I just don't want to ruin your life."

"My life? My life is the pits."

He doesn't seem to hear me. "You have nothing to complain about."

I snort, says him with his perfect family, perfect body, perfect life.

"What about your school work?" He asks.

"What about yours?"

"And your Dad?"

"I'd be more worried about your parents, he'll probably be pleased to see me go."

"Come on, he won't really."

I suck my bottom lip, "He would Sam I know he would."

"Well it is all hypothetical because I'm not taking you," he holds out his hands; "If something were to happen to you I could never forgive myself."

I take a deep breath and move closer to him, "If I stay I'll die," he shakes his head and begins to open his mouth but I hold a finger to his lips "Please Sam, I need to escape, I need to live."

He groans and turns in a circle, "Okay if take you, the moment you start complaining I'm going to drop you off on the side of the road and you can walk home."

"I won't complain Sam."

"I wouldn't be so sure"

I turn around trying to hide my grin, "Come in, I need to pack."

He makes his way inside, mumbling something about a "Spoilt princesses," I pretend not to hear. Sam takes a seat on our leather couch while I go into my room. How do you pack for a trip when you don't even know where you're going?

I end up throwing all of my clothes into two suitcases, plus two pairs of sneakers, some tramping boots that for some reason I never wore and a woollen beanie that some aunt had knitted me when my Mum went to hospital.

I'm unsure whether to take my laptop or not, Having already thrown my phone off a bridge I suppose I need some sort of device, and besides it would be a good place to record our trip. I throw the laptop in a duffel bag.

Next I throw all of my toiletries in another bag along with the asthma inhaler that I've never used. Back in my room I go through the list in my head of all the things that people bring on holidays unsure what else I need. With my mind elsewhere, I fail to notice the T.V cord snaking out from under my bed; somehow I manage to trip over it and the heavy flat screen lands face down with a crash. I don't even bother to stand it up, instead go back to packing; I'll explain everything when I get home.

Sam must have heard the sound, he walks in still wearing his sunglasses, "I heard something break," he looks down at the screen, than back at me, "Your Dad is going to be so pissed." I shrug, loving the small feeling of rebellion, "He's already going to kill me for even daring to come with you, what's one little T.V going to do.


Sam raises his eyebrows, "there's still time to back out you know".

"I wouldn't miss it for the world."

He sighs, walks up to the bed and tries to lift my bag, he starts groaning and says with a smile "Are you planning on fitting all that in my car or are we hiring us a big rig?"

I ignore him, at least he's in a good mood again. "Can you take these to the car Sam? I'm just going to have a look for something.

I leave Sam, and his pleas for a forklift behind then walk into my parents room feeling like a fugitive. In the middle of their wardrobe I find the safe that contains my father's fortunes...

 

 

 

Five minutes later I walk down the steps and lock up the house for the last time, wipe my feet on our 'welcome home' mat one last time and bounce down our stairs one last time. I know that I will come back it's just that I have a feeling that next time I walk through the door or bounce up the steps I'm going to be a different person.

The duffel bag feels heavy on my back, despite containing only a laptop and some of my dad's money. I know I crossed a line in breaking into his safe, he'd never forgive me, and there's certainly a good chance that he'll disown me too.

But the way I figure he owes me big time for his years of neglected parenting and five thousand dollars is a good start toward making things right.

I stow the rucksack carefully in the back of Sam's car, between two of my bags. With all of Sam's and my gear combined the back of his car sags slightly and one of the the back seats cannot be seen.

I take a moment to realize that I'm about to get into a car with a perfect stranger and no destination in mind, miss school for a month and leave my parents behind.

"Hey I'm on a schedule here," Sam calls from the driver's seat.

I open the passenger's door and buckle up. As we leave my hose, my street, my town and finally my state behind a smile slowly stretches across my face, I'm fully convinced that this is the best idea ever.

We pass through Denver at five minutes past midnight, even at this time the city is still alive, people walk the sidewalks, a young guy about our age and his mates stagger at a corner, a homeless man sleeps at a bench and an old lady hunched over slowly makes her way down a side-walk. I squeeze my eyes like I used to when I was younger and the lights become like candle flames, sparkling in the night. Sam winds down his window and cool air fills the car, we don't say anything, we don't need to. The city is enough and she can speak for herself.

 


When we leave the city lights, Sam takes his glasses off and rubs his eyes. I stare, his eyes are red and puffed up, Sam notices me staring and jams the glasses back on. His hands grip the steering wheel harder and harder until they grow pale white.

I turn back to the window gazing out at the night and trying to figure out what I'd just seen, had Sam been crying?

 

 

 

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