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On the Road Again
Running away is exasperating. Aviana was just beginning to realize this, but she wouldn’t let it stop her. Nothing would. She knew she had to keep on going. No matter how bad everything hurt, she would push through all the pain, endure through the hunger, walk straight on through all the cold. Aviana knew she would get somewhere, eventually.
When she had first left, Aviana had had a good reason. Everything at home was so violent. Her parents were constantly screaming at each other, screaming at her. True, Aviana might have been able to deal with it, until it became slightly abusive at home. That had been the last straw.
Aviana had packed up her most valuable items, and walked straight out of her once calm household, into the cold, lonely arms of the world without a home. For the first few nights, Aviana was fine. She’d taken a few hundred dollars from her parents, and a few scraps of food. She also had taken a blanket, and a few different pieces of clothing, along with her cell phone, charger, and a few notebooks accompanied by writing implements.
Although Aviana had previously loved the rain, she now began to despise it. It had seldom come before, but now it was a daily occurrence, lasting for long periods of time. At some point in her life, Aviana was wickedly yelled at, and it seemed funny at first, but she soon began to realize how terrifying it actually was.
When morning came, she was frozen, tired, and sore from sleeping on the sidewalk. Homeless people gave her blank stares, and joggers and people exercising asked her if she needed help. She shook all of these things off, however, because she knew it would just make her want more help, which was definitely not what she needed at the moment.
After a few months of being so cold, Aviana realized that it was time to go home. She was only 16, and being alone on the streets was not something a 16 year old should be doing. She had left in the middle of March, and it was nearing the end of November. She wasn’t extremely far out of town, and she had earned about twenty three dollars from asking strangers for money. She hailed a taxi, and told the driver her address.
Aviana was overwhelmed by anticipation as she started to recognize the places she used to hang out with her friends. She got a strange feeling, and her whole body began to shake, and she felt very light-headed. It was the evening, and the streets all had a dim light among them. As she neared her house, her stomach got sick so she lay face-up in the taxi’s back seat. She started to miss when she was alone, but she knew she couldn’t continue without guidance from parents figures. She needed the limerence.
The vehicle slowed to a stop, as they reached her old house. She climbed out of the taxi, and thanked the driver, handing him the money she had. She slowly waddled over the grass. There was a sign stuck in the ground that read: Sold.
Aviana didn’t know what to think, so she walked up to front door anyway. She banged on the door. No answer. She rang the doorbell. Nothing. For a few lonesome minutes, Aviana just sat on her front steps, wondering how her parents could leave, when they knew she was still out there. Her parents hadn’t been home when Aviana had left, but she left a note explaining why she left.
Aviana walked down her street, kicking up dust. She felt empty inside. It was a feeling she had only ever experienced once before. When Aviana was about 11, which was five years ago, she had had a dream about having a brother, who had died traumatically, and she had felt a sense of homesickness.
Aviana’s grandparents house wasn’t far away, so she headed there. She wondered if everything that she had gone through had been serendipity, and if everything would work out to benefit her.
When she reached her grandparents door, Aviana sighed, and knocked. After a few seconds, her grandma’s sweet face appeared at the slightly cracked door. Aviana was slightly scared she wouldn’t be recognized, because she had grown unsightly, having only showered once at a pool during summer, and she hadn’t cut her hair so it had grown a few inches. She had on a pair of light blue skinny jeans, with a sweatshirt that was faded. Her grandma looked her up and down once, and then Aviana noticed a look of sympathy, shock, and realization come over her face.,
“Aviana?! Aviana is that you? Roger, come look at this!”
“Yep. It’s me.” Aviana started to feel insanely frightened at the thought of company and love, because she hadn’t felt it for many years. She wanted to turn around and run away. So she did. She turned on her heel, and raced down the street, and ran. She must’ve been running faster than she thought, because she gained a lot of ground as she ran back out of town, leaving behind everything except her bag with money and a few scraps of food inside. She ran into the outskirts of town, until she reached the bare countryside. She ran until she reached the open forest, where no humans made commotion, where no one would ever look to find her.
She slumped against a tree, thinking about how she could’ve had a brighter future, if she had just stepped into the warm embrace of her grandparent’s house. She could’ve eaten a warm meal, slept in a comfortable bed, gone to school again. But, she didn’t. She wouldn’t have felt comfortable, she would have felt like someone else. Her legs were scratched up, and bleeding from running through all the underbrush. Aviana loved nature, in fact her love for the outdoors was ineffable. So right now, she felt very secure, all the noises were soothing. She was beginning to quiver, for it was very cold, but she was loving the drop of temperature.
Aviana wasn’t sure if wherever she was was property owned by someone, and she began to worry if she was doing something illegal. But soon, she had been mesmerized by the sunset that began to develop an iridescent glow. She knew tonight would be a full moon, and she was fairly excited. She had a little bit of a nerd side, when it came to astronomy. Not just the typical, oh-what-is-your-sign. Aviana got deeper into studying the subject, and she wanted to major in astronomy.
Aviana fell into a half-awake state, and kept rubbing her eyes producing lights and colors that darted everywhere. She got immensely tired, and soon fell asleep, letting oblivion consume her, still leaning against the tall pine.
When Aviana woke up, she was full of energy, and grateful that she had had a lot of time to sleep, rather than taking an fast nap here and there. The darkness had probably helped, as well. One night Aviana had slept outside of a church of some religion she couldn’t recall, and the incandescence of a large group of candles lit up half the street.
Aviana slowly stood up, and yawned, stretching her arms. She nibbled on a granola bar, and stuffed the wrapper back into her bag. A wistful feeling wound it’s way into her stomach, making her regret not taking shelter at her grandparents.
Aviana pushed the feeling down, however, and made her way to a creek with leafy plants surrounding it. All the effervescence floated to the surface, contorting the water’s shape, moving down the sweeping landscape. She splashed her face with the cool water, and drank some as well. She saw tadpoles swimming around, and sat and watched them for a few minutes, staring into their big eyes, that were bursting with innocence.
Aviana had a sense of serenity for once in a very long time, and she cherished it. Most of the time, she was either sad, or angry.
Aviana walked and walked until she heard the quiet buzz of a freeway somewhere in the distance. She climbed a steep hill, and watched all the cars speed by, gaining and losing momentum, like when someone sleeps, their chest rises and falls.
Aviana wondered if everything she went through had been real. What if it wasn’t? What if it was all fake? What if her sitting upon this hill was just the ending of her dream? Aviana closed her eyes. She laid back. If it was real, where were her parents? Did they ever look for her? Would they ever look for her? Aviana covered her eyes to shield her face from the burning sun, and just thought about how lost she was.