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Smoke fills my lungs making me weaker with each step I take. The flames enclose around me, screams for help are heard throughout the house. Walls are falling, crashing to the ground. Then it went blank. I woke up in a white room covered in bandages; I could barely move; my body ached in pain; the light was blinding my eyes. I searched the room for my mom, someone, anyone that could help. Strangers filled the room, each one in uniform; words I could not comprehend were being said. My body burned, I let out a big scream, my throat longing for some water, yet no one seemed to care.
As I look back at this nightmare that I once lived, I wish I wasn’t alone in this big world. The pain I go through every night, the bruises, the constant yelling, it’s all getting old. Growing up this fast wasn’t the plan, I’m forced to make decisions no fifteen year old should ever have to make. My uncle has raped me since the day I set foot in this house; he doesn’t seem to care the kind of pain he puts me through. I learned to trust no one but myself. No one knows what goes on behind these four walls at night. My life is a mystery to everyone. No one seems to care, but the school nurse. She once taught this class at school about rape. She said “If anyone ever does this to you, then you need to get help immediately.” I desired so badly to go up there and tell her my secret. Instead I sat there silently as she went on with the class.
I got home from school earlier than usual. The house is lonely and very cold. I turn on the heater and head to the kitchen. I’ve decided to tell Krista my secret, Krista who has been my best friend since we were thirteen, does not know my secret. I pick up the phone and dial her number 5-5-5-8-8-3-7. She picks up on the second ring.
“Hey Carol, sorry I didn’t walk home with you today, I left early since I wasn’t feeling well.”
“I’m running away!”
“What? Are you insane? Why? Where are you going?”
I began to cry, barely able to speak.
“Krista my uncle rapes me, I can’t stay here anymore.”
“Carol, we need to call the cops, they’ll take him away and all of this will be over.”
“No! You can’t tell anyone. Please, promise me you won’t tell.”
I yell “No I’m running away, I don’t know how I’m getting there or where I’m going, but I will do anything to get out of here.”
I hang up the phone and prepare for the worst. My uncle spends his days at the bar or at the casino. He usually comes home around twelve. No matter where I hide, he always seems to find me and my nightmare begins all over again. Tonight there is no sign of my uncle. I sleep peacefully dreaming of my new home.
I wake up early to plan my escape. I’m thinking about going to Wyoming, which is only about seven hundred miles from here. I figure if I grab a stash of my uncles’ money I can buy a plane ticket, and once I get there I can maybe get a job. I really hate leaving Krista behind because we’ve been best friends since the seventh grade, and she has always been there for me. Leaving Krista is like leaving a piece of me behind. I’m not sure I’ll be able to say goodbye once it’s time for me to leave. Maybe she’s right we can call the police, and they’ll take him away and all of this will be over. I’ll still be alone, but at least I won’t have to put up with the pain anymore. I know I will always remember what happened, but it’ll be a nightmare just like the night of the fire. I get to school not knowing what to expect. I see Krista, and quickly run up to her. She hugs me so close I never want to let go, she makes me feel safe, as if everything will be okay, I tell her that I’m leaving this Friday, and everything is ready to go. She quickly responds by saying, “Carol, I’m not sure this is a good idea, maybe you should rethink this?” I simply ignore what she said, and continued telling her about my plan.
It’s finally Friday, the day of my escape. I grab my things and head to Krista’s house. When I get there I see that she is already standing outside, as I get closer I see the tears rolling down her cheeks. I feel awful knowing I’m responsible for the way she feels. I tell her I’m sorry, but this is the only way to get away from my uncle. She wipes the tears, and hands me a bag. I open it up, and pull out a frame with a picture of me and her on the first day of seventh grade, the day Krista and I became best friends. There is also a letter but she tells me not to read it until I arrive in Wyoming. We say our goodbyes, and then I’m off to the airport. I try my best to get there as fast as I can. I need to be on that plane before my uncle discovers that I’m gone. I arrive at the airport just on time. I check in and get on board. The plane is full I see many families. I look for my seat then, I hear a little girl crying. I turn to look, and watch as her mother comforts her. I wish that my mom was here to do the same for me. I just need to accept the fact that no matter what I do or how hard I try she is never going to come back. I find my seat and prepare for takeoff. I sit there quietly thinking of what I will do in Wyoming, but before I figure something out the plane has already landed, and I’m in Wyoming. I get off the plane, and check my pockets for any spare change. I find a couple of dollars, and figure I can get a burger. I walk down a few more blocks, and I find a McDonalds. I walk in feeling a warm breeze as I open the door. I order my food and head to the back where no one can see me. I stick my hand in my pockets and pull out the letter Krista gave me. It reads:
I hope you find what you’re looking for, and I promise I won’t tell your secret.
I squeeze the letter tightly in my hand, as the tears roll down my face burning against my cold cheeks. I wipe my eyes before anyone notices. I finish my food, and head out the door. The storm has already begun, and I hurry down the streets trying to stay as dry as possible. I come across a huge building with stain glass windows, brick walls, and a huge wooden cross at the very top. I walk inside not knowing what to expect. I take a seat, and get comfortable. A few minutes later I hear footsteps coming from down the hall. I quickly gather my things, and run to the door, but before I make it there I feel a hand grab my shoulder. Chills run across my body, and I slowly turn to see who is there. I see a man dressed in all black. He asks me where I’m from. I didn’t answer him instead I stood there nervously looking around. He begins telling me about himself, and he says he is the pastor of this church. I tell him I’ve never been to a church before because my uncle isn’t a very religious person. He asks more about my uncle, and this is where the truth comes out. I look down at my hands, and I tell him my uncle has raped me since I was thirteen, and the only way I could stop him was by running away. Tears are rushing out, and all he does is stand there, and watch me. He begins telling me about this man he knows, and all I can do is sit there in awe. He tells me all these wonderful stories about him, and I ask him if I can meet him. He looks up at me and says, “Carol this man is Jesus, he created you, and he loves you very much, and he will never do anything to hurt you.” I sit there trying to process everything he has just said. I tell him I want Jesus to be a part of my life. A big smile appears across his face, and he says to me “you can talk to him whenever you want no matter what time of day it is.” Now repeat after me, “I believe your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, that he was raised from the dead, is living, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become my savior, and lord of my life to rule, and reign in my heart from this day forward. Amen.”
I did as he told me, and after saying this prayer I felt so relieved. I felt a warm rush go through my body, and at that moment I knew that Jesus was with me, and I would never be alone again.