April 8, 2009
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The grass was damp, and the sky was dark. I didn’t have a clue where I was going. All i knew was that I had to leave. The sun wasn’t up, but it would be up soon, so my goodbyes would have to be quick. First house I came to was Jalani’s, I sat outside his house on the curb. Acting like he was at his window, and he could hear me, I started to apologize. I started with I was sorry, and how I loved him for not leaving my side, but yet I would be leaving his any second now. To ashamed, I told him goodbye, and started walking up the hill.

I had passed many peoples houses I knew but yet they seemed too unimportant to stop and say goodbye to. I came to Luke’s house, he had turned on me before, but I still considered us friends. I stopped for a second, said goodbye, and continued walking. I made it to the stop sign, turned the corner, and sprinted down the steep hill, until I made a complete stop at James’s house. We had been friends before, but like everything else I had ruined that to. He no longer talked spoke to me, but I still had hope that one day we would be friends again, but that day would be along time from now.....

I sat on the sewer, and started talking to myself, once again, when I heard the sound of a door softly shutting. I quickly got up to see who it was. It was James. He had a bag over his right shoulder, and he seemed to be crying. That was something I had never seen him do before. I started to follow him. He quickly observed that I was behind him. The first words he had said to me in months were “why are you following me?” I responded,”I’m not.” “Sure seems like it,” he said rolling his eyes. “Are you running away?” I asked. “What’s it to you?” he said being stuck up. “I want to come with you,” I said slowly shutting up. ....

He stopped and looked at me. I looked back at him trying not to show him the fear I felt inside. Still looking at me he said, “do what you want just don’t get in my way.”I said,” ok”, and followed him until we reached Ashley’s house. James seemed to stop just as I did. With the time I had, I started saying my goodbye speech. I had noticed him constantly look at his watch. “what are you waiting for?”, I asked. “You’ll see,” he said sounding impatient. Two minutes passed. The door to Ashley’s door opened. Out came Ashley and her boyfriend Elisha. Two of my best friends. Then another person who I couldn’t quite figure out who he was until I heard him say “cause I’m black fool!” It was Jalani of course. I was confused and didn’t know what was going on, but I didn’t care. I had all the people I loved by my side except two. Justin and Jasmine. The boy I loved and the girl who hated me.....

As we all started walking towards the main road, I learned what was going on. From what I had been told, everyone’s life pretty much sucked, and we were all running away. There was only two things on my mind. # 1. What would we do when the cops came? #2. Where would we be sleeping tonight? No one was really saying anything. Just small talk. We had decided to walk through the woods, so we would have a better chance of not being seen. The sun was up, and James kept mentioning something about the train station. I asked Ashley, she shrugged in confusion. It seemed we were walking for hours. Maybe we were. I was tired of walking but didn’t want to complain in front of everyone. Every time we heard a siren, we would stop for a second, scared of being caught, and then start walking again.It was noon now and the sun was hotter than ever. Tired of just following James, I asked, “Where are we going?” He stopped, “were going to the train station just over that hill.” He seemed irritated so I didn’t dare say another word to him. As we reached the train station everyone got their money together. James kept on rambling about an old ranch his aunt and uncle owned, and how they only went up there for a week sometime in May. It sounded like a good idea, but I had other plans in mind.

I had decided I wasn’t going with James. I was going to go a different way. I was going to the place I knew best. In about 15 minutes, I would be on the train to Costa Rica. As I pulled out an extra twenty dollar bill, Ashley asked, “Why are you pulling out that extra twenty?” “its for my train ticket,” I told her. “Its only thirty dollars hunn,”she said acting like I didn’t know how to count. “I know,” I said laughing. “I’m getting on a different train, I told her.” “Where are you going?” she asked in confusion.”Costa Rica”. “What!?” she said in a concerned tone. Elisha hearing the commotion came over to where Ashley and I were standing. ”what’s going on?” Elisha asked looking at Ash then back at me.
“Why you going to Costa Rica?” he asked. “Because it’s a place no one will find me, and plus I have family there.”Ashley looked at me. She seemed mad, but then I noticed Elisha give some kind of signal to her. She laughed. Then she said, “I guess were going to Costa Rica.” Just as Ashley said that Jalani walked over. “Hey peoples, lets go buy our tickets!” “Ok” Ashley said. “But were not going with James” I added. Jalani turned around. “You can just leave me with James by myself!”

Everyone laughed. “Where are ya‘ll going?” he asked. “Costa Rica.” “Oh.” “Do ya‘ll mind if I come with?” he asked. “Sure!” we all said! So this was it. It would be Ashley, Jalani, Elisha, and me, running away to Costa Rica. Was this really happening? It was, and I couldn’t be happier. Then it hit me. What were we going to tell James? Would he decide to come with us? Would this be the last time seeing him? There were so many questions running through my mind. I was starting to get a headache.James soon walked over. He seemed to know we weren’t coming with him. As we all walked up to the ticket counter, I saw James pull out a fifty dollar bill. Not knowing if he was coming with us or not, I decided not to ask questions. When it was my turn to pay, I handed the clerk my money and passport. The clerk handed me a receipt and my ticket. I stood off to the side while I waited for everyone else to get their tickets. After everyone paid, we all walked over to our train. Noticing James coming over to the same train as us I figured he was coming along for the trip.It was 4:30 when are train boarded. We were really doing this. It was to late for any of us to change are minds. The train had already left. Everyone had mixed emotions, but this is what we all wanted to do. I was glad I had seen James because I probably would have been caught by now, and plus who could of thought that running away could be so much fun. On a train with four of your friends. It would only be fun now, the hard part would come, and I could tell by James’s facial expression that it was coming soon.
“Cassidy!” “Wake up!” “Just go get a bucket of water!” When I heard the bucket of water, I immediately woke up. “I’m awake” I said. “How long have I been asleep?” I asked. “15 hours!” Jalani said. Elisha had said something to Jalani, and they started laughing as they went and sat down in a different seat. “Oh” I said as I was trying to see what time James watch said. “It would be 7:30” James said. “But I don’t know what the time change is” he added. 3 days had already passed. All I could remember doing was eating, sleeping, and my horrid dreams. Today would be the day we would arrive in Costa Rica. A couple of hours passed, when I heard the squealing of the trains brakes.
I looked out the window. We were in San Jose. We would have to get a taxi to Lorena, where we would be living. Everyone had some money, but not a lot of it. What they didn’t know, was that I had 20,000 thousand dollars cash, in my pocket right now. That’s how we would be setting up camp. When the train finally let us off, everyone was looking at the mountains in amazement. Me, already seeing the mountains many times before, was already looking for a taxi with a reasonable price. When I found one, it would be 100 dollars. We would each pay 20 dollars, and be there within 4 hours. As I managed to get everyone in the taxi, Jalani says, “Hola!”to the taxi driver. The taxi driver looks at him weird, and then starts driving. “He doesn’t speak English” James said smiling. “oh yeah” jalani said acting like he was about to curse out the tai driver just because he could. Meanwhile Ashley and Elisha were kissing. I could see James clinch his fist. I was guessing he still ad feelings for her. Or maybe he was just car sick. “Get a room!” he said. They acted like they couldn’t hear him, which made him pissed.We were only 45 minutes away from Lorena, when we got stuck in traffic. Knowing how this was going to end, I closed my eyes and tried to go to sleep. Just as I began to fall asleep, I woke up to Jalanis’s voice. “What the hell is this guy doing?” “He’s going to kill us!” Jalani shouted. The taxi driver looked back at us, seeming to know we were scared. “Gringo’s” he said. “What did he just say!?” Jalani said guessing that he ad said something insulting. “He said he’ll slow down.”James also knowing what gringo meant looked at me. I looked back at him and told him to shut up. He laughed and started looking back out the window. The time went by quickly and before we knew it we were almost at Hannia’s house, my second mother. Us being used to big houses, air conditioning, grass, and everything else Americans had, lets just say I was in a car with 4 people who looked like they were going to kill me.As the taxi driver turned onto the small dirt road, he turned back and looked at us. “Donde?” he asked. “Mas, mas, mas,” I told him until I saw Hannias house. “Alto” I said. We each paid him twenty dollars and got out of the car. The taxi driver made a u-turn and drove away. Everyone was looking around. All they saw was dirt, crazy chickens crazy, kids, and cows. They looked at, in a way that made me feel like running. Then I saw him. Not believing my eyes, I ran to him. He gave me a kiss. I turned back to everyone else, “welcome to your new home!” They looked at me in a way that made laugh. They would get over it. All that was going through my mind was now I had everyone I loved by my side, except Jasmine, the girl who hated me.

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