Run Away Child

She needs a break from the sick twisted nightmare she calls her life, and the endless black, the nothingness that is the night always seemed to work for her. So she opens her bedroom window and stares outside. She hears the ocean’s waters calling to her, just like they did to Sasha. She hears the winds whispering soothing melodies to her ears, and the ocean’s waves dancing gracefully to the melodies of the winds. She sees the moon, and its attempts to brighten everything up, shining up in the sky. For a moment there she feels alive, but even such an exceptional experience won’t do it this time. She just stands there most nights because the darkness outside matches the feeling inside, and the roses growing in the pots outside her window, those beautiful pink roses are just colourful reminders of the little sanity she has left.

She looks down at the beach and remembers the last time she saw her. That night she was drawing on the desk by her window when she heard a tap on the window. She looked up to see a smiling Sasha holding a bag of marshmallows.

“Come outside, the moon is lovely tonight,” Sasha said. She knew it was wrong, she knew she shouldn’t do it, but this smiling girl with marshmallows had a hold on her she couldn’t explain.

“Do you hear that?” Sasha asked after they had sat comfortably on the sand.

“The waves?” She replied.

“No silly,” Sasha said chuckling, “the water, the ocean. She’s calling to me, calling to us.”

“What is…she saying?”

“She’s saying she can help us get away from here, from the group home, from Miss Huggins. She’s saying she can set us free.”

“The water said all that to you?”

“She cares about us, she cares.”

‘Had I known that was the last time we’d see each other, I’d have made it more special.’ she says to herself. She then reaches for her backpack, takes another look at the room behind her, then jumps out the window.

15 months ago.

“Where were you?” Miss Huggins’ rusty old voice boomed from the corner of her room.

“Down at the beach,” Sasha replied.

“With that… girl again? Sasha, how many times do I have to… know what, pack your things, I’m sending you to a different home in the mainland. I’m done with you. You will not bring shame to this home!”

“Then let me say bye to…”

“NO! You will not speak to that girl anymore, or so help me God!”

“But she’s…”

“Shut up child. Enough about her. Go. Pack. Your. Bags.”

Sasha didn’t even bother to argue anymore, she knew how that always ended. She ran to her room, slammed the door and was out the window in no time. She tried to get Laura but saw Miss Huggins’ huge frame shutting the window to her room. “I’ll be back for you,” she spoke to the wind as if hoping it would carry the message to her.

Present.

She smiles at the familiar atmosphere of the Island she had once called home. Many months ago she took to the seas because nothing was left for her on the island. Nothing other than Laura, and she swore she would come back for her, no matter the cost.

She had left the Island the same way she came into this world, alone and miserable, her only possessions being the clothes on her back and an old photo of her parents. She became part of the captain and crew aboard the vessel everyone calls The Methuselah, a ship so old it is rumoured to have been made from the same material as Noah’s ark.

Every night she was lulled to sleep by the cries of the old vessel begging to be put out of its misery, and the cries of souls lost at sea begging to be salvaged from eternity underwater. She’d craved the little comfort she would find when staring at the moon from her room, the little room on the topmost floor of Miss Huggins’ Home for Girls. She’d missed her little window and the beautiful pink flowers that grew outside, and most of all she’d missed Laura.

“I’m coming to get you,” she whispers to the winds in the same way she did those many months ago, then turns around to take a look at the Methuselah.

“Give me an hour,” she says to this newfound family.

“Sasha?” comes a familiar voice from behind her.

Sasha freezes drops her bag to the sand, and then turns around and that is when she sees her. This girl who befriended her when she was new to the home. This girl who snuck her extra slices of bread at breakfast when they were younger. This girl who taught her calculus and algebra every week. This girl she loved sitting at the beach within the middle of the night. This girl she had sworn she’d come back for.

“Laura?” Sasha asks, almost as if she doesn’t believe it is really her.

“I ran away, like you.”

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