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Abandoned No More
I know my mom is about to leave. She has all but packed her bags. With my dad dead and my older sister, her favorite of the two of us, gone off with her trailer-trash boyfriend, she really has nothing to stay here for.
Unless you count me. But I know she doesn’t.
If she’s leaving, then so am I. I don’t know where I’ll go, or if I’ll even survive out there, all alone. But I’m seventeen years old, and I’ve stayed alive by myself for as long as I can remember.
So I pack my bag, which is really a pillowcase. We never go anywhere, so buying an actual suitcase is a waste of important pot money.
I’m stretching a hair tie around the end of my innovative backpack when I hear the front door fly open and smash against the apartment wall. I know the tenants below us will be tattling to the landlord before the hour’s over.
A deep voice tells me that she’s not alone, and she’s picked up another drunkard loser at the old, rundown bar that’s practically her second home.
I decide that sneaking out without being known is the best idea. Now all I need is the note, the one I wrote so long ago. I’ve known forever that I was leaving first, because I will not be abandoned. To my great disadvantage, as I’m reaching for the note within the broken old dresser in my room, the drawer falls out and crashes to the floor. For a second, I’m frozen, along with the time that engulfs me.
Then I hear that deep voice again, slurred drunk, “What the hell was that?”
My mom groans loudly, “Just my daughter, Catherine. She’s probably hiding out in her room.”
Silence takes over once again. Then, “A daughter? Is she a pretty little thing?” followed by some sick, dark laughter.
I know something terrible is about to happen to me once the footsteps, heavier than my mom’s, begin down the hallway leading to my tiny room. I thrust the note onto my bed and throw my Algebra textbook at the cheaply made window. It shatters the first try.
Jumping out the window, bag slung over my shoulder, I slice my hand on a shard of glass that didn’t fall out with its family. Hot, crimson blood slides down the rusted brick of the building as I hop onto the fire escape. Taking the stairs downward two at a time, I’m out of that place.
Although I’m out of ear-shot, I can hear my mother, muttering my letter out loud to herself.
“Dear Mom,” she would begin, “I grew up an orphan with two parents, an only child with an older sister. I’ve always been alone and I raised myself. When Dad died and Elizabeth left, I knew that you would be leaving me soon, too. But I decided that I would not be the one who was left all alone this time. You would be, and then you would know the pain I’ve felt all along. There’s no way you can leave me again if I’m already gone.”