Last Wish

December 13, 2010
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“Okay…” Johnny glances out his window to see the bright red car pulling into the driveway. “Shoot” he mumbles to himself in anger; he quickly hangs up the phone and shoves all of the papers and the yellow book into the one place Alexander wouldn’t care to look, his memory drawer. He has to look like he’s been cleaning as required quickly so he runs downstairs, hurries to take out the sponge, and drops to the floor just as the keys click in the lock. He sighed in relief, but not for long. He could always sense how angry Alexander was by his face. A smirk was bad; Alexander’s smirks always meant he was scheming about what he wanted Johnny to do next, and even if smirks were bad, an angry grimace was much worse; it meant he needed to take his anger out on someone. The best that Johnny could hope for was for Alexander to be chasing after his wife, engaged in his job, or for Alexander to come home with his normal drunken look on his face and keep drinking more. In each of these situations, Johnny would be left alone.
But today, the door swung open with so much force, Johnny was afraid it’d fly off the hinges. Alexander wobbled into the house and slammed down onto the couch, looking pretty green. This was good for Johnny because it meant that he would be able to continue his plans uninterrupted. By the time that Johnny finished cleaning the floor, Alexander was already passed out on the couch with his head and his left leg over the side. Johnny eagerly, but carefully, tiptoed up the stairs. This was the last time he could possibly get away to finish his plans because the next day, they’d be put into action. His private cell phone vibrated in his pocket. It was never on loud because he could not risk his “parents” noticing that he had a cell phone. He went upstairs and answered the call. “Sorry for the disconnection before, it must have been bad service.” He could hear a honking horn and all of the noises of traffic on the other side of the line. He could barely hear the man on the other line yell, “No problem, so you want a cab for tomorrow at 4 a.m.?”
“That’s correct, thank you.”
“I’ll be there.”
Johnny hung up the phone with enthusiasm; finally his plan was falling into place. He heard Alexander yell to him for an Advil, yet he smiled in the mirror knowing that this was the last Advil that he’d ever have to get for him, and that tomorrow, he would be free.
His plan to escape all began when his closest friend and cousin Corey Stillman died after a life-long battle with leukemia. Corey was the only person who knew the truth about what happened inside of Johnny’s house. Johnny and Corey were both born into an unlucky and bad life, but while Corey couldn’t do anything about the disease that was ruining his life, he wanted Johnny to do something about his. They would fantasize of going away together and never looking back at their old lives. Corey makes it his life goal to make sure that his life would help someone who needed it, like Johnny, and that meant he would make sure that somehow Johnny would be able to do what Corey would never have been able to do, escape his pain. Corey’s death had left Johnny without an escape world that he could travel to with Corey in their minds to leave their pain behind, but it also gave him the ability to make his escape.
Johnny couldn’t sleep; all he could do was stare at his cell phone. 3 hours 28 minutes and 57 seconds left. His phone was programmed to vibrate at exactly 3:45, which would give him just enough time to get his stuff and run two blocks to the cab’s location. His flight was at 6:00 a.m. sharp and with the time, he’d be done with security with about five minutes to spare. It was cutting it close, but doing so was essential because if he was caught, he would be dragged home, back to the place that he never wanted to see again, and would be in more trouble than he had imagined. He had it all planned out and was leaving just in time to move in during the last orientation session at UCLA. Johnny remembered the day that his letter acceptance and the notice of his scholarship had come in the mail. This had been Johnny’s top school all along and looking back, even though he had to work much harder than the others, he knew it was worth it. Johnny double checked the bag he had packed to make sure he had not forgotten anything because once he was gone; there was no coming back for anything. He had his plane ticket to California, his money for the cab to the airport, his money for the cab to his college, money for anything else he may need on the way, and the precious manila envelope that held the key to his plans long term success. He was looking through everything and realized he forgot his treasured college sweatshirt. It was stuffed so far back in his closet when he went to pull it out, he felt something fuzzy instead. He pulled it out to see his old teddy bear, and his old best friend. He hadn’t seen that bear since he was 11, and at that time, Alexander said he was way too old for a teddy bear and threw him out. Johnny would not leave his best friend, so when Alexander left, Johnny snuck into the garbage and stole the teddy bear and stashed him in the back of his closet for when he got lonely. Over the years, Johnny had forgotten, but at this moment, he instantly knew that he had to take this bear with him. He held it in his arms and drifted to sleep with the comfort of knowing that everything was finally in its rightful place.
He awoke to a vibration in his pocket; it was time to go. Johnny had fallen asleep with his socks, sneakers, and all of his clothes on, so all he had to do was grab his bag and slip out the window. However, suddenly he heard the never mistaken footsteps of Alexander. He had to do this quickly. He lifted up the window with such haste and power that he banged it on its way up. He heard Alexander start to walk to his room, cursing under his breath over the loud noise. He had practiced getting out of his two story high window and knew that he had to crawl out of the window before the jump to minimize the impact. Johnny was crawling out of the window, his hands rested on the windowsill while he prepared himself to jump. All of the sudden, he felt a sharp pain on his hand as it shot through his arm. It was Alexander; he had shut the window on his hand and judging by the look on his face, he was not pulling the window up anytime soon. Johnny was stuck on that roof in pain. Johnny is not stupid, and he knew that there was a good chance of something like this happening, so, with his heart pounding, Johnny went into his bag and pulled out a hammer. The smirk on Alexander’s face fell as he saw Johnny use the opposite side of the hammer to pry open the window. Alexander saw this happening, so he quickly grabbed Johnny’s other hand as he was almost free. Without thinking, Johnny bashed the hammer into Alexander’s hand, threw it into the house, and jumped. In the three seconds before he hit the ground, he was free. When he hit the wet grass, he knew it was go time. He jumps up knowing that the hammer could only distract Alexander for so long. He sprinted around the corner and on multiple occasions he ran up to a cab, only to realize it was not reserved for him. It was five minutes after his cab was supposed to be there, and he was starting to worry if he had missed it. Then he saw a cab blocked by a tree, and he knew that this was his last chance and all he could do was hope that it was his as the driver rolled down the window.
He found that it was in fact his cab, and he nearly wept with happiness until he realized that his escape is not even close to over. He jumped in the car and told the man to go the quickest way to the airport. He’s running late, but it would be possible to make it if just make the plane if the cab driver drove fast. This was the hardest part of the trip because while he could go over the intricate parts of the plan over and over, this he had no control over. To keep himself busy, he looked in his bag to see his teddy bear again. This made him smile. He thought of all the times that just the thought of this bear got him through, and instantly, he knew that he would never give up. He spotted the hospital about a mile away, looked around the streets at all of the traffic, looks at the time, and realized what he must do. He had 45 minutes to get on that plane, and it took about half an hour to get through security. There was no way he could make it in all of the traffic. He chucked the money at the driver and rushed out with a simple “thanks,” and ran. All of the anger and hurt building inside of him was let out in that sprint to the airport.

When Johnny finally reached the airport tired and out of breath, going through security was even harder than sitting in the cab. He could not run or he would seem like a suspicious person, and it would take hours if not days to get out of there. He couldn’t make the line move any faster, so all he could do is wait and hope that the plane was not boarding. He tapped his foot anxiously and hoped that he would be able to make it to the plane in time. After finally making it through the treacherous security, Johnny walked as fast as he could to his gate. He made it; however, this did not mean that Alexander didn’t make it there as well. He entered the plane cautiously, double checking that this was the right plane. Whenever someone entered the plane, his heart sped up a few beats. He had a woman next to him, but she was immersed in a movie. He tried not to have a heart attack every time that someone walked in until he heard the door close. He couldn’t believe it, he was actually free. He had taken the proper precautions and was sure that Alexander would never find him. As the plane is on the runway, he looks out the window, and he swore he can see a red car with an angry man driving into the parking lot. It may have been a figment of his imagination, the man barreling his way through the lines, but it did not matter because he was free. He thought about the day that he first realized that his parents would never stop abusing him, and as he remembered all of the tears shed throughout the years, he smiled knowing that he would never have to deal with his parents again, and he would fulfill Corey’s last wish. He looked down at his new license, birth certificate, his acceptance letter to UCLA addressed to his new name, and other forms of id that held the key to never being found. The flight attendant walked down the aisle and said “Mr. Stillman, would you like something to drink?” and Johnny replied “Call me Corey, and yes please.” knowing that there was no other name he’d rather be, and as the plane took off, he never looked back.





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