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So This Is It?
So there I was, lying on the floor, clutching my leg. Blood was flowing and soon covered my foot. Glass was everywhere. So this is it? It’s all over? No! Gracie was safe. That was all that mattered.

It was Saturday, Mom and Dad had just left for work together. Gracie was in the kitchen cooking breakfast and I, Peter Aniston, was lying on the couch watching Television. What could be better? No school, no parents, and a little sister to cook for me. Nothing, that was the answer I came up with. Then, everything changed.

There was a loud, firm, single knock on the door. After complaining to Gracie about having to get up and walk all the way to the door (a whole twenty feet away), I got up to answer it. I opened the door, and standing there, was a huge man in a police uniform.

“Is this the home of Cathy and Jim Aniston?”

“Yes sir,” I replied.

“I’m assuming you’re Peter.”
“Yes sir,” I said again.
“I need to talk to you and your sister Grace; you may want to sit down.”
The cop came in and we all sat on the couch and talked for about fifteen minutes. I could tell he was beating around the bush. There was something important he needed to tell me. I told him to cut to the chase. I thought he might get mad, but instead, the cop paused, took a deep breath, and then finally said what he had come to say.
“Look, your parents were driving to work and… there was an accident.”
“What, so they’re…..they’re….” I couldn’t bring myself to say it. It was as if saying it would make it true, and real. Yet I knew it was true. But I wasn’t ready to accept that yet because I knew the moment I did, I would break down and right now I needed to stay strong for Gracie. We couldn’t be separated.
“Look, son, you and your sister need to come with me. We’ll find a good home for each of you.”
The word “each” was the key word in his sentence. I knew what I had to do.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t come with you.” I said, Gracie was already weeping.
“I can’t let that happen,” The cop replied, raising his voice a little.
“Come on Gracie, we’re leaving,” I said, completely ignoring the police man.
Then the cop grabbed my arm tightly and raised his voice even louder, which only made Gracie cry more.
“You’re coming with me kid!” He said with a commanding look in his eyes. And he stood up. I got up too.
He squeezed my arm even tighter and, almost instinctively, I kicked him…hard, in a most painful place to be kicked. As he keeled over, I grabbed the lamp that was beside me and with the base of it, whacked his forehead. For a moment I couldn’t believe what I had done. The cop was on the floor unconscious. He had a gash in his head that was bleeding onto the carpet. I knew this was something they would send me to jail for, but I couldn’t let Gracie see that I was scared. We had to run.
Trace was seventeen. He was a high-school drop-out, he had lived here in D.C. for too long, his parents neglected him, he had quite the criminal record, and he was my best friend. I found a place to hide in an old abandoned tool shed, then I called Trace and he came right away. He slept with us the first night, but now it was Sunday evening and he had to go to work tomorrow. We talked late into the night about what to do if the cops show up, until we finally fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning and Trace had already left. Gracie was asleep. I washed up, ate some leftover ham, and then I heard it, a siren.
“Gracie wake up, hurry!” I whispered in a panicked voice, “Fast! The cops are coming!”
The police car stopped on the side of the road and two men stepped out. They were headed towards the front door!
I was getting our things and shoving them in my backpack. The police were banging on the front door and yelling.
“Run Gracie!” I yelled
She ran through the back door. As I was about to follow her, one of the cops smashed a window and a piece of glass about the size of my hand, flew and cut deep into the back of my leg. I let out a horrible scream and fell to the ground. I pulled the glass out of my leg, and as I did I let out another scream. At that moment I cried for the first time that week. I had kept myself together for Gracie but now I let it all out.
So there I was, lying on the floor, clutching my leg. Blood was flowing and soon covered my foot. Glass was everywhere. So this is it? It’s all over? No! Gracie was safe. That was all that mattered.
I was losing too much blood, everything was getting blurry, and the tool house was spinning. I felt a pair of strong arms lift me off the ground and knew I would soon be in jail. Then, everything went black, and I didn’t feel a thing at all. It was quiet, peaceful.
I came to find out later that it wasn’t a policeman I had felt pick me up. It was Trace. He had seen the cops drive by and followed them to the tool house. He saw Gracie run out and told her to get in his car, and then he came in and carried me out. Once we were in the car he drove me to a hospital in Virginia so it would be harder to find us. When I woke up I was at the hospital and Gracie filled me in on the details. She had also remembered that our aunt Margaret lived in Ashland, Virginia. So as soon as I was out of the hospital, Trace, Gracie and I drove to Ashland, asked around a lot until we found her.
Life with my Aunt was much better. Not the same as having my parents, but at least Gracie and I were together. Aunt Margaret enrolled us in a school nearby and life was okay. The pain of loosing my parents was fading, slowly, but for the most part I was happy. Eventually they found me. The police-man I had hit had three stitches and a minor concussion but he was okay. I was given one hundred and fifty hours of community service, but they let me stay with my aunt, so I was happy.

About two weeks later Trace packed up and left. When I asked him why he wouldn’t stay with us, he said,
“I don’t deserve a life like this.”
Honestly, I didn’t believe him; I don’t think he believed it either. I may never know why he left.





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