September 12, 2011
By Anonymous

The music pounded loudly in my ears as I tried to ignore the thoughts of our latest argument. My dad and I get into fights all the time, and for me it’s becoming a regular thing. I love my dad, but sometimes he just doesn’t make sense. It’s like he expects me to be perfect. I always try so hard to make him happy, but what I do never impresses him.
That sounds like a normal fourteen-year-old’s life, but my life is far from it. I live in a pretty typical family. We have plenty of money. I wouldn’t say that we’re rich, but money isn’t tight. I get nice clothes and I have nice things. My hair reaches down to the middle of my back. It’s pale blonde, almost white in the summer. My eyes are a deep brown, like my dad’s.
I have many close friends. My best friend, Lily, is a fun, loving and outgoing girl. We’re like sisters; we’ve known each other since we were babies. My brother, Cooper, is very enthusiastic. He loves to play and jump around. I was like him when I was his age.

“Brookie, I thought you might be hungry, so I brought you some leftover pizza.” My stepmother said as she sat down on my bed.

“Thanks,” I said, as I stuffed the pizza into my mouth. Stephanie is the best thing that ever happened to this family. I always think of Stephanie as my mom; she’s actually better than my real one. Casey, my birth mom, started to abuse my dad just a few years after they got married. My parents got divorced when I was eleven, and my dad got remarried a year later. After the court gave full custody to my dad, my mom was so upset, she just disappeared. No one in my family has heard from her since. I’m glad I don’t see her though, she tore my family apart, and since then, my dad has never been the same.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I was playing with my toy truck when I heard Brookie and Daddy fighting again. I hate it when they fight, it makes me sad. Brookie tells me stories of when Mommy and Daddy were married, how fun Christmas was, and how Daddy used to hide Easter eggs in the backyard. I wish I would have been there for that, but I wasn’t born yet. Mommy and Daddy broke up when I was only four, but I’m seven now. I think it was my fault that they don’t like each other anymore, but Brookie says I’m wrong. I really don’t know why they broke up. Brookie says I will get to know when I’m older.

“Cooper, are you doing okay?” Stephanie asked.

“Yeah, I am. What were Daddy and Brookie fighting about? I hate it when they fight.”

“They’re fine honey. They just had an argument about school again,” Stephanie explained, and then added, “Sissy’s been doing badly in school.”

“Oh, okay.” I said. I was wondering why they would fight, and how Brookie is bad at school. This is my third year of school and I’m doing really good, but she’s been to school lots of times. How is she bad at it?

“Did you make dinner yet?” I asked.

“No, but I brought your sister some pizza. Do you want some?” she asked.

“Yeah!” I yelled. Pizza is my favorite food. Stephanie always makes it for me.

Stephanie is like my mom, she has been there almost all my life. She’s so nice, unlike - from what I’ve heard and remember - my real mom. My mom, Casey, is not good. She is mean and I don’t like her.

* * * * * * * * * * *

“Brookie, honey, wake up. It’s time for school.” Stephanie said.

I didn’t want to go to school but I knew I had to.
“Okay,” I said as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes.
It took me a while, but I finally got ready. My hair was in a tight braid, how I where it almost every morning. I had on my volleyball t-shirt and very comfortable jeans. As I walked downstairs, I passed my dad, who as usual, didn’t even notice me. My step-mom handed me my lunch money and walked me to the door. She wished me a good day just as my ride arrived.
When I got to school I went to my locker and headed off to class. By the time I got to the most dreaded class of the day, math, I just wanted to go home. Math is the subject that I’m doing badly in. I just don’t get it. I got through it though. And when the school day was finally over, I was so relieved.
After school, I went outside to be picked up. Stephanie always picks me up. I waited for at least fifteen minutes and she still wasn’t there. Every time I tried to call her, her phone went to voicemail. When I was the last person at school, a white van pulled up, the door quickly opened, and someone snatched me inside.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I love school, and it was really fun today. Recess was the most fun part of all. I played tag, and I beat everyone else. When we got back inside, we did some math, which is my favorite subject. Then we got to go to the library, and I got two new books. I talked to my friends a lot. I was going to have some of my friends over to spend the night. I’m always sad when school is over.

After school, I usually ride the bus, but I got a note saying that Stephanie was going to pick me up. I like being picked up; I get to spend more time with Stephanie, and less time with the mean kids on my bus. I was getting worried when she wasn’t here. I guessed that she was late or something. I was way wrong, and when a white van pulled up I didn’t know what was happening. But when I saw Brookie sitting in the back, I figured it out.

* * * * * * * * * * *

“So kids, do you remember me?” Casey questioned.

I sure did remember her. I wish I didn’t though. She was gorgeous, with dark brown hair and hard, cold blue eyes. No wonder Dad fell in love with her. Cooper kept looking at me, wondering what we should do. I knew I should say something, but I didn’t want to.

“Where are you taking us? Why did you take us?” I asked with a very obvious anger in my voice.

“Because I love you, and I want you to be my kids, MINE. Not Jack and some tall blonde’s kids.” Casey stated.

She did it to herself. She would never get us back. No matter how hard she tried, I would never love her again.

Inside the house, I knew where we were. This was her house. Right after the divorce we went to her house a few times. Of course, Cooper wouldn’t remember it.

“Okay kids, I’m getting a few things then we’re going on the road again.” she said.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Once we left the house, we rode in the car for a long time. I really didn’t know where we were. Brookie and I didn’t talk the whole time.

We finally stopped at a really bad hotel. In the one room, that we all had to share, there were two beds. Casey wanted me to sleep with her, in her bed. I really didn’t want to, so I slept with Brookie. Casey thought that we would like her, but I definitely don’t. She is trying to be nice to us, and it’s not working.

After three nights there, I really wanted to go home. I didn’t have any of my trucks or my favorite blankie. I missed home. I missed Daddy, and Stephanie. I just wanted to go home.

The next day, Brookie asked Casey if we could go on a walk outside. I didn’t know why we were going on this walk, but then Brookie told me her plan.

“Tomorrow night we’re going to sneak out, and we’re going home.” Brookie told me.

“But how? How are we going to get there?” I asked. I was still really confused.

“We’re going to steal her car.” she whispered. I don’t know why though, no one was around.

“I don’t get it. You don’t know how to drive.” I was really hoping she wasn’t driving, but I wanted to go home. She had to do it.

“Cooper, listen to me. We’re going to ask to get a drink outside at the water fountains.” Brookie explained. “On my way out I’ll take her keys off the table. Then, we’ll run outside to the car; she won’t even notice we’re gone. I know how to start a car, but I’m not the best driver. It will be scary, but this is the only choice we have.” When Brookie was finished, I was really scared. The plan didn’t seem hard, but I knew that Brookie couldn’t drive a big white van.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I saw it in a flash. The lights, then the hit. I was spinning. Another hit. I wasn’t scared though. I was shocked. I’d never gone through anything like this before.

I thought we were doing just fine. We left the hotel, and easily got the car. It was a bit difficult to start it, but it didn’t take long. When we got on the road, I was scared, but I couldn’t let Cooper see that. So I played it cool. It was fairly easy until we got onto the main road. That’s when it happened.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I woke up lying on the ground. So many things were happening, and I didn’t know what was going on. Then, I felt a really bad pain in my left arm and my left leg. It was like nothing I’d ever felt before. People were lifting me up, people I didn’t know.
Something hurt again, it hurt so bad. I hated this. All I wanted to do was go home. How did I get here? Why was I hurting so bad? I had so many questions, but suddenly I fell asleep.

When I woke up again I was in the hospital, and some things were starting to make sense. Brookie was by my side, and when I woke up she looked very happy.

“How are you doing?” she asked. I was glad to hear her voice.

“What happened?” I asked. Then I noticed she had a cast on her arm. She got hurt. Did I get hurt? Was that why I’m at the hospital?

“Well, remember how we were trying to get home, and I was driving?”

“Yeah, I remember.”

“Once we got onto the road, I didn’t see a big truck coming, and it hit us. We spun out into traffic. We’re lucky we only got hit one more time. The first hit hurt you the most. You probably passed out.” Brookie explained.

“I’m hurt? How bad? I’m broken aren’t I?” Now I was scared. I’d never broken anything before.

“Yes, but you’re lucky it wasn’t worse. You could have gotten killed, and it would have been all my fault.”

“But I didn’t, and I’ll be fine. Right? I asked, still worried about being broken.

“You will be just fine, and guess what.” Brookie said with excitement in her voice.

“What?” I asked.

“Daddy and Stephanie are here, and Casey is going to jail!” She sounded extra happy when she said that last part.

“Really, so we get to go back home?” I was really excited now.

“Yes Cooper. We’re going home.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

In a weird way, today was a good day. Cooper and I both walked away with some bruises, but we’re still in one piece. This brought our family together and we get to go home. Casey is in jail and out of our lives forever. I get that she just wanted her kids, but she lost that chance when she kidnapped us.

“Brookie?” Cooper suddenly asked me.

“Yes, Cooper?” I asked.

“Are you sure Casey is gone forever?”

“Positive” I told him, but in my mind I wasn’t so sure.

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