I wish i knew what to do with this...

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My finger tips burned in the cold. My toes stung and I could squish the melted snow in my shoes. The fluffy white snow had turned to slurpie-ice in a matter of minutes in this heavy rain. We could barely see each other in the opaque fog. My eyes could not stay open for any longer; for they burned from the piercing cold. You seemed to recognize my concern, because you wrapped your arms around me and pulled me close to your chest. I could feel your stern arms trying to keep me warm. You kissed the top of my forehead, whispering hopeful words into my ear. I sniffled. At that you straightened your arms and held me up.

“It is all going to be fine. I promise,” you whispered. Then you leaned into me pressed your forehead against mine. “I love you,” were the next three words to come out of your mouth. Then you kissed me. You used your cold fingers to pry my chin off your chest and you tilted my head to yours. You rested your lips on mine and for two seconds I felt content, I felt warm. I could remember the good days, the beach, when we snuck off to the campground when we both needed to get away. And then it ended. You brought me into a strong embrace and then wound your fingers through mine. Together we turned from the slush-covered fields and marched into the forest.
Two days, and 16 hours earlier:

I couldn’t do it anymore. The pain of walking into school every morning without you there. It made me feel like no one would even look at me. Ever since you left I’ve had no one. No one to protect me from the judgments. The cruel and unusual rumors. The things that hurt the most. I felt pain now and I really need you back.
Sincerely,
Noelle Vukovi

I didn’t know how to send it. I folded it up and stuffed it into and envelope. I sealed it off. I folded the envelope in half and taped around it. On the tape I wrote Jillian Isaac. I brought the envelope up to my lips and and kissed it; I held it to my chest. I took a deep breath and shoved it under my pillow. I pulled opened a drawer at my desk and pulled out my burlap sack. In it I had stashed all my money, an extra pair of clothes, four apples, a blanket, and a box of matches. I slung this bag over my back and reached under my mattress. I pulled out a dagger. My grandmother had given it to me two years ago. My parents hadn’t known. It was six inches long with a leather bound handle covered in intriguing designs. On the bottom were her initials, and her grandmothers, N.V. She stared at it and held the point to her chest. It felt sharp on her skin. If I just applied more force, it could be all done with. But, no. i would not be a coward. i would not give up on my grandmother. Instead, I wrapped it in a silk scarf and placed it on the top of my burlap bag.

As I laced up my snow boots, I heard the slightest sounds downstairs. These noises gradually grew louder until I realized someone was running up the stairs. Quickly, I snatched the flash light off my bedside table and made my way across my room to the window.

“Noelle? I have twenty bucks for pizza!” It was my mother’s voice. Throaty and hazy, yet quiet enough to be ignored. “Honey?” my mom began to knock on my door, and then tried the door knob. My heart was racing. “Honey, your door is locked! Noelle Gora Vukovi! Open up!” She shouted repeatedly as she tried at the locked door knob.

“Sorry mom,” I said under my breath.

I slung my left leg out the open window and grabbed for the tree branches in front of me. Clenching the flash light in between my teeth, I swung my other leg over and grabbed the sturdier parts of the tree. Suddenly, in a life or death situation from my three story high bedroom, those abs workouts didn’t seem so painful.

“Noelle! Noelle Gora! Noelle!” It was painful to listen to my mother. One minute she was praying to get away from me, the next she was worried. And I was done with that. I dropped to a lower branch and before I knew it, I was on the ground. I stifled a cry as my legs crunched under my weight. But I was okay. And nothing was going to stop me.

I turned and sprinted into the woods.





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