Hallie hadn’t been on a plane, out of her state, or even out of her yard, since she was five years old. Her mother and brother had died in a bad accident ten years ago and her father wouldn’t let her out of the yard. They live on a huge plot of land, about thirty acres, but Hallie wasn’t happy.
She could have whatever she wanted except for one thing: freedom. Hallie wanted to go out in the world and explore, but that wasn’t going to happen. Her father tells her that the outside world is too dangerous, but Hallie knows that it’s just because he’s too afraid of losing her too. Mr. Drake, her father, really isn’t that bad. He’s kind and caring, just overprotective. Hallie has two friends that come over to her house often, Brynn and Matthew. She has known them for as long as she can remember.
The sun was shining and there was a light breeze. Hallie had an amazing yard. It had perfect grass and tall trees. She was sitting out in the yard, thinking. She didn’t want to just stay at her house for the rest of her life. She didn’t care what her father said, she was going to leave. All of the sudden Brynn and Matthew appeared. They sat down, and Hallie told them what she had been thinking, “I want to leave.”
“What!” they said in unison, their faces astonished.
“What about your dad? Where will you even go?” Brynn asked. She continued to go on and tell Hallie how that wasn’t possible and how she didn’t have any money and no place to go. She started speaking so fast, she didn’t even take a break to breath.
“Sure, go for it,” Matthew said. They continued to talk about how Hallie would pull this off.
“Do you have any money?” Brynn asked.
Hallie responded, “Yeah, I have a lot saved up.” After a few hours Brynn and Matthew left. Day turned to night and Hallie lay in her bed thinking about when she would go. She got out her computer and started looking for train tickets, she had always wanted to go on one. She found a train that would be leaving tomorrow at 10:00 A.M, and bought a one-way ticket. Her father left for work at 7:00, so Hallie would wait for him to go and then leave.
Hallie got out a suitcase that she had had since she was three. It was hot pink, but Hallie didn’t care. She packed up a lot of clothes and brought all the money she had and some other things that were important to her. After she had finished packing she put her suitcase in her closet, so her father wouldn’t see it.
She crawled back into her bed and tried to sleep. It would be a restless night. Hallie wondered if she should really run away for good. What would her father do? He would be so frightened and probably go look for her anyways so what was the point? Hallie shoved these thoughts out of her mind, she was going to leave no matter what. She had to go see the world, if her father approved or not.
In the morning her father knocked on her door and told her that he would be going to work. After Hallie heard the front door slam shut she got up and got ready. She made her bed and then went out of her room, struggling to carry her large suitcase down the stairs. Once she got down stairs, she made herself breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. This was her favorite and she only took the time to make it on special occasions—this counted. She got out paper and wrote her father a letter, explaining how she couldn’t just stay in her house her whole life. That she had to go out and see the world and that that wasn’t going to happen unless she left. Hallie put the letter in an envelope and put it right beside the door so that her father would see it. She took one last look at her house, this was all she had ever known. Hallie sighed and walked out the door.
Brynn came to pick her up and take her to the train station, “So, where is the train going?” Brynn’s face was anxious. She was very worried for her and didn’t think that this was a good idea.
“New York City,” Hallie replied, “So it’ll be twelve hours from North Carolina.”
Brynn, being fifteen, only had her permit, so she was driving illegally, which only made her more worried. If Brynn got pulled over they would both be busted. Hallie stared out the window in awe. This was her first time being out of her house in ten years! Seeing all the other cars and all the people amazed her. She couldn’t wait to get to New York.
They reached the train station just in time for Hallie to catch the train. The train station was huge. There was so many people around and were so many trains. “I’ll miss you,” Hallie said.
“When will you come back?” Brynn asked.
“Whenever I feel ready,” Hallie paused, “I just need get out and take a break from my father a little bit. He’s just so demanding.” They finished their goodbyes and Hallie climbed onto the big, black and red train. After putting her suitcase down Hallie sat down into her chair. The chair was blue and was very comfortable. She was sitting next to an old lady who kept sneezing and every single time she sneezed her glasses would fall off and Hallie would have to pick them up for her. It was getting annoying, but finally she stopped sneezing and just fell asleep.
Hallie arrived in New York at 10:00 PM and checked into her hotel that she had booked while she was on the train. She fell right asleep. The next morning, she woke up, ate breakfast, and went out to walk around New York. Hallie felt an emptiness inside her. She missed her father and felt alone. Then all of the sudden, her phone buzzed. It was an amber alert for a missing girl…age 15. She looked at her phone and realized she was all over the news. Everyone was looking for her!
Hallie didn’t know what to do. Someone was bound to recognize her, she would be forced to go back home, and her father would be very mad. She started to walk back to the hotel, this was a big city, she needed to get out before someone saw her. Then, a police car pulled up right next to Hallie. She thought about running but there was no point in that. “Are you Hallie Drake?” the police officer asked.
“Yes,” Hallie grumbled. He already knew it was her. Hallie climbed into the back seat and they took her to a police station. One of the people there dressed in uniform called her dad to tell her where she was. Her dad flew all the way to New York to get Hallie and to make sure she wouldn’t go anywhere.
Hallie saw her dad come into the station. He ran over to her, hugged her, but then mad, he asked, “What were you thinking? Why would you just leave like that?”
“Because, I’ve been on house arrest for ten years! You have no idea what that’s like, I wanted to get out and see the world.” Hallie said, but her dad didn’t understand. He had given her everything that she wanted, why wasn’t that enough? They flew back home. Hallie was back in her bed once again.
Hallie awoke the next day and called Brynn and Matthew to tell them all that had happened. They were glad that she was safe, but knew that something had to change. Hallie couldn’t continue to live her life in her house.
Hallie had a long conversation with her dad. He finally realized that what he had been doing for these past years was wrong. He enrolled Hallie in the same school that Brynn and Matthew went to. Her life had changed, Hallie now went to school and had a lot of new friends. She would never be forced to stay at home again.