It was the early hours of the morning and it was raining outside. I could hear them in the other room. They were fighting again. It wasn’t unusual but this time it was going one step further. She was scared, we scared, and she wasn’t the only one. I had my back against the wall and my hand on the door knob of my room. I was shaking. I slowly open the door and look into the hallway. Their door was closed. I slowly walk down the hallway not making any noise and go downstairs. I look into my mother’s purse and take out the credit card, the bank card and the remains of her money out of her wallet. I shove it into my pocket, grab my coat and quietly step outside into the pouring rain. The thunder rolls and the lightning strikes. I touch my coat pockets. I had it, I’ll be fine.
I run down the street that leads to the highway. All I could see were the transport lights that come and go. I walk down the highway to the other side of the bridge. I would have time to freeze to death before I got to the airport. I would have time to freeze to death by the time morning came. I see a taxi coming down the street. I stop it.
“Toronto…” I tell the driver.
I sit in front next to him and patiently stare out the window into the dark. He talks to me but I don’t pay attention. My heart was beating faster, I couldn’t breathe. I could feel my temperature rise. I was feeling restless and alone but I knew I could make it on my own. I bite my lip and try to calm myself. The airport there would be open. I could get far away from here before they would even notice that I was gone. I lay my head back on the seat and close my eyes. I could still feel myself shaking. The driver asks me what was going on. I didn’t reply. Just drive, just drive.
“Airport.” I tell him as we approach the city limits.
There had to be an ATM machine at the airport. I would never have enough money. The taxi didn’t even come to a complete stop but I flew out the door. I left $200 and a note on the seat. You never saw me. You don’t know anything. You were home on Friday. I wrote on the note I left the driver. I run inside the airport and go to the ATM machine that was only a few steps from the door. I withdraw $700 from the machine. It’s all I could get. I then go see the lady at the counter.
“Outta here..” I tell her.
“The next flight is in 20 minutes.” She tells me.
“I’ll take it no matter what.” I reply.
“You’ll be the only one on the flight.” She adds.
I pay for a one-way ticket to the first destination with the credit card. I sit alone in the waiting room, 20 minutes couldn’t go by fast enough. I was stressed. I quickly bolt off the chair as soon as I saw the boarding signal come up on the screen. I sit in the 5th row of the small 37-passenger plane. I was all alone. The storm wasn’t as bad here so the delay wasn’t too long. I would be in Toronto in two hours but that still wasn’t soon enough. I look outside as the storm was clearing and the sky was becoming of a dark navy blue. I still hadn’t calmed down but I was safe now. It would be a while before they even figured out I was gone. I at least had until noon today. I would be long gone by then.
The plane touches down at some big airport. I get off and go inside the terminal. There were so many people here. I wouldn’t be noticed. I didn’t know anybody here. That was a good thing. I run into the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror. I looked like hell. There were huge bags under my eyes and all my gothic makeup was smeared. I didn’t care. I run to one of the many desks inside the terminal and wait for service. A plane landed at least every three seconds here. I knew from experience, I had been here a few times when things were better.
“Yonkers?” I ask the lady at the counter.
“New York City?” She asks.
“I’ll take it.” I reply.
“Here you go, 6 a.m.” She says handing over the ticket.
I look at the time, then at the screen reading the boarding times. The plane was boarding now. I run across the gigantic airport and right through security. One of the guards stops me before I get on the plane. I pull out my passport from my coat pocket and show it to him. He nods and I board the plane. Most of the seats were full so I sit next to an old woman who looked like she would fall asleep any moment now. I had no more cash money on me. But at least now they couldn’t track the credit card transactions, there wasn’t any. I just look outside at the pale blue sky and patiently wait.
Landing in New York City I had to show my passport to a million people before I could get out of the airport. The flight had been long with a few delays. It was noon now, I was hungry and I hadn’t slept very much. I would sleep in the bus. I sat at the very back and closed my eyes. No one would find me here. I slept for a while, it was 4 p.m. when a NYPD officer woke me up. I got off the bus and stuffed my face at a restaurant. New York food was the best. I had first tasted some last year. I had the time of my life! I take my time not rushing anything before walking all the way to Grand Central Station. I take the metro to Yonkers. I was almost there.
The metro was filled with people but I still had a good spot. The ride to Yonkers would take a while because we had to make so many stops and believe me this wasn’t the fastest thing I had ever been on. I checked the time and it was 9 p.m. I still had two hours to ride in this thing. I would probably only set foot on Yonkers soil in the early hours of the morning. I took the time to think about certain things. Did they notice I was missing? Did they report me missing? Were they looking for me? I hoped that they weren’t but you never know. You never know.
When I get out of the subway station in Yonkers it was raining here too. It was cold and I was still partly soaked from the last storm I had to walk in. The street was empty here. I needed to find a taxi or a bus. I had a place to go. It was probably sometime past midnight now. I didn’t care. There were only a bunch of drunks coming out of a bar so I start walking. I finally get to Palisade Ave. This was one long street and I had to get to the very end of it. The only thing I could do now was walk and believe me, I walked for a long time.
It was 4 a.m. but I was here. The payphone I had been looking for was right before my eyes. He would find me here, I just needed to call him. I knew his number by heart so I start dialling. He wouldn’t like his phone ringing at this hour but he would help me, he has in the past and he never hesitates to help a friend in need. The phone keeps on ringing and ringing until his answering machine picked up. I breakdown.
“Hey! Pick up your phone! It’s me, it’s Melissa! I need help!” I spit out crying.
“Melissa?! What’s going on?” He answers.
“Just come and pick me up, please just come.” I reply.
It wasn’t long before I saw his blue Ford Mustang speeding down the street and coming to a sudden halt when he saw me. He looked exactly like I remembered him. He just didn’t have that sweet smile he wore when we hung out last summer. He opens the door for me and I quickly sit down next to him.
“What’s going on Melissa?” He asked me.
I never told him how much I hated my name. He was the only person who still called me by my name. I look deep into his caramel brown eyes. They were filled with sympathy, confusion, chaos and fright.
“Just drive, I’ll tell you when we get there.” I reply.
I try to calm myself as he drives me down a forest road to his amazing house. He talks to me but I ignore him. I didn’t want to hear it. I just wanted to his car’s engine and the music playing on the radio. He never seemed to drive fast enough because it seemed to take forever just to get to his house. The sky was turning a light blue once again. It was only a matter of time before the sun rose and that I would be missing for 24 hours. Finally at the house I barge in and go straight to the kitchen. I look into the drawers of every counter until I found a big steak knife.
“Ah this is what I was looking for.” I say to myself taking it out.
He was standing in the hallway just staring at me. I walk right past him with the big knife in my hand and stomp upstairs. I open the first door that I see. Bathroom. I go to the next. Storage room. And the next once again. Bedroom. I slam the door beside me and look into the drawers of the dresser. I grab the first shirt I see and take my wet clothes off. I put on the shirt and lay the knife on the night table beside me. I get under the covers and just wait for him to come up. It was only a matter of time before he did and next thing you know the door of the room opens.
“Explanation?” He asks me.
“Let me sleep. I’ll tell you in the morning.” I reply.
He lies down next to me in the bed and takes the knife from the night table. I don’t even bother to turn around and look at him. He would know sooner or later. At the moment I just wanted to sleep. I wake up not too long after falling asleep. I had only slept five hours. I look around the room. My clothes were washed and neatly folded on the side of the dresser. I put them on and head downstairs. He was at the table drinking tea, waiting for me. I don’t sit down. I just stand there and stare at him.
“It’s only a matter of time…” I whisper.
“For what? What is it Melissa?” He asks.
“If there was one place I would go, it would be here. They will come.” I tell him.
“Take it easy Melissa, relax.”
“Relax?! They know I’m here! They’ll find me!”
“Let’s go for a little drive okay…?”
I nod and follow him out the door. I sit in his blue Ford Mustang and wait for him to drive away. We go passed the city limits and onto the Hudson River Bridge. This was a big bridge and my heart was starting to beat faster again. My breath was accelerating at a high rate and my temperature was rising rapidly. We were right on the edge of the bridge. I could see all the water.
“Do you love me?” I ask him.
“Of course I do.” He replies.
“Do you love me a lot?” I ask.
“Yes what is this about?” He asks.
“If you love me like you say you do you will drive off the bridge.” I reply. “If you love me enough you will drive off the bridge.”