The orange light of dusk was rapidly falling to a deep blue just as Alyssa shoved her drawer closed and gathered her collection of rocks into her suitcase. She snatched the clothes from her small wardrobe and reached under her bed as if she wanted to find something. Coming out from under the bed with a doll, her eyes welled with tears, which were quickly blinked away as the clothes were thrust into the suitcase along with the doll.
To an onlooker, it was clear. Alyssa was running away.
She checked the drawers and all of the suitcases, and afterwards, she softly walked down 3 flights of cold, rigid stairs. She continued walking straight until she found a group of people entering the dinner room, whom which she blended in with perfectly. She sat down and gulped down her dinner, which tasted mud. Maybe it was mud. She knew she had to prepare, so she ran straight up for the stairs.
Alyssa kept looking through her suitcase of the things important to her. The rocks were from when her parents were still alive, and they were geologists. They absolutely loved rocks, which is what had brought them together. Alyssa only had this proof of what they loved, other than her doll. They had given her that too, as a symbol of how much they loved her. When they died in a fire that dreadful night, Alyssa was still too young to remember them. Four is no age to lose parents.
Four is no age to lose anybody.
The sky was pitch black to the naked human eye, and Alyssa had decided, it was time.
She crawled out of the window and sat on the ledge. It was a long fall indeed, however, Alyssa knew that there was definitely a way to get out. She tossed the suitcase over the edge and it landed with a bounce. Alyssa knew this was good news.
Then she jumped.
It was quite a fall, indeed. But when her arms were pulled onto her back, She was forced to regret her decision for a few seconds. Once the shock had finally died away, Alyssa started the real deal.
Many houses still had lights on in them, which caused a potential hazard. The more light, the more suspicion. And Alyssa was right about the suspicion, indeed right she was. As she walked down the deserted sidewalk, Alyssa heard the creak of a doorknob.
Someone was coming.
Alyssa tried to find somewhere to hide, but the best hiding spot she could find was a big, metal garbage can. And the person who opened the door was a lady. And she had a dog’s collar in her left hand. And she had a garbage bag in her right hand. And she was headed straight for where Alyssa was hiding. She. Was. Dead.
As the lady approached the metal garbage can, the dog looked fine. Then it looked sad and confused and anxious and perplexed and surprised and overly delightful and joyous and like it was about to sneeze, all at the same time. Then the dog had a suspicion.
And dogs express themselves with barks.
“Keep it down, Chaser! Stop running towards the- wait a second… Wha- Who are you?” the lady said, revealing Alyssa’s hiding spot. “And why do you look so worn out?”
Alyssa told her story to this complete stranger, who seemed nothing but to care.
“Oh, you poor child, I’ll do you a favor,” she said, with a smile spreading across her face. But strangers never kept promises. Strangers also never listened. “I’m gonna raise you, child. I don’t care if I hate it, or if you hate it, but you’ve just gotta get the love you deserve. Come here, sweetheart,” she ended, giving a warm hug. “I’ll get you some hot cocoa. Come on inside.”
Alyssa knew about stranger danger, but this stranger was different. She seemed to care about Alyssa in a way she hadn’t been cared for ever since she was four. She knew opportunities like this weren’t a daily occurence, and she would hate to break this lonely lady’s heart.
Alyssa had decided. She was going to stay.