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By , Culpeper, VA

Kasey had always been independent and wanted her own freedom, but being 16 she could only do so much about that. She lived with her mother and step-father, Garrett, and having no real siblings only 2 step sisters who were twins. She hated living with them, her mother was abused by her step-dad and she never got to see her unless she came into Kasey’s room. She was also verbally and physically abused by Garrett which is part of the reason she tried to stay in her room. He had a key of course, so when he came home drunk he’d take it all out on Kasey, trying not to leave marks in visible places so she never got in trouble at school. She had been threatened by him daily saying that if she told anyone it’d only get worse for her and her mother both, so she decided to listen and avoid him as much as possible. But, today had been the last straw for her, and she wasn’t coming back. Earlier that morning, she had been getting ready for school and going through her normal routine, shower, get dressed, breakfast then get out of the house as soon as possible. She had went to get in the shower, but Garrett stopped her on the way there and knocked her into the wall behind her, causing her to spin backwards and tumble down the staircase. All he did was laugh, he filled the entire house with his laughter as Kasey laid on the floor sobbing to herself. When he was gone she ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror at her new black eye and busted up lip. She got dressed and didn’t even attempt to cover the marks he made, she just walked to school. All day she got questions on her bruises and cuts, and people starting rumors that she had been in a fight with someone at school the day before. By the end of the day she was the laughing stock of the school, and she couldn’t go home to escape the laughter, so where does she go? Well to her it was simple. Catch the first bus out of town and run. She had relatives in Chicago, DC, and her birth father who loved her lived in North Carolina. She made her plan on the way home to collect all the money she could, pack her things and leave before they all get home. Nobody needs to know where she escaped to, only that she’s gone forever from the abuse. When she arrived to her house she got the key from the top cabinet that led into Garrett and her mother’s room and she unlocked it carefully and walked in. Garrett was asleep in his bed which was unusual since he usually worked all day then came home at midnight. She had to leave so she continued the plan of taking the money. She crept to his side of the bed and got on her stomach to reach under his bed. She felt around for the box that she knew contained the money she’d need to get away. She grabbed it and pulled it out, taking all of the money and throwing it into her bag. She didn’t know how much was in it, nor did she care. She knew it was over 5,000 and that was more than she needed. She slowly backed out of his room and shut the door very quietly making sure she didn’t make any noise so she didn’t get another daily beating and more laughter from her pain. When she got to her room she packed a suitcase with her very few belongings and a picture of her and her mother. Her mother. She knew it was wrong to leave her mom without warning, so she wrote her a note explaining that she couldn’t take it anymore and she needed to go. She did not tell her where she planned to escape to but she told her how much she loved her, and if she was smart she’d leave Garrett also. She left the note on the dining room table and walked to the front door. Looking at her house once more, she had no regrets about leaving. It was finally her freedom. The bus station was only 5 blocks down, so it didn’t take her much time to get there. When she did she walked to the counter and bought a ticket for the first bus out of town heading north. She lived in South Carolina, and decided to ride to North Carolina and find her old house and father. When she got on the bus she went to find her seat and plugged her headphones into her ipod and got her cheap cell phone out, texting her father of the situation and informing her that she’d be home soon. She got a response later on and he was going to talk to her when she got there, but he was going to welcome her in of course. Her father got sent to jail on a false drug arrest case, where someone planted them on him and he got sent instead of the other person. He got out a few years after she was forced to live with her mother, and they soon found that he didn’t own the drugs, and it was far too late to get his daughter back. She hadn’t seen him since then, but missed her father and loved him very much. She got off the bus and it was close to her dad’s house, but still about a mile away. Somehow, she remembered the old town she used to live in before being forced to move with her mother and Garrett. She wanted to walk down the street until she got to his house, especially since he lived on a beach house, and she loved going to the beach. Although she lived in South Carolina, her mother and Garrett never took her, only her two step-siblings occasionally. She continued down the sidewalk and looked around at the bright and sunny place she hoped to call her new home. She eventually got to her father’s street, and she turned down it feeling more excited but nervous than ever. When she saw the bright blue painting that she remembered like it was just yesterday, she started sprinting towards it. She got to the staircase and was hesitant at first, but she stepped up onto the porch and raised her fist to knock on the door. A few seconds later her father appeared staring back at her in the doorway. With tears in both of their eyes, they both fell forward into a warm hug, and she’d never felt more at home. 

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