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The Runaways

“Because you never listen to me and you never tell me the truth!!” I screamed in his direction.
Yelling back he said, “And you listen to me Haily? You always just blame me of lying! It’s not like I even have a chance to tell my side of the story!”
I took one long look at him grabbed my purse off the small hotel table and screamed, “Oh my freaking god Will you are so crazy! I am leavening I cannot take this anymore!” Walking out I heard him say,
“Where you going to go Haily? No one around here even remembers your name much less wants to take you in! You will be back here in at least an hour I bet!”
I let out a dramatic sigh and said, “You going to be sorry when I don’t come back, when I find someone way better than you by just walking down the street, when you are left to cook and clean all for your poor little self! Then you will be so damn sorry, and guess what I won’t even care!” And with that I slammed the door and marched down the hotel stairs and just started walking.

I wondered if I was doing the right thing, I knew I didn’t mean the things I said and I knew he was sort of right when he said no one even remembered me. I left years ago; I was twenty one now and was fifteen when I “ran away”. Will had always been there for me, and he was the only thing I had now, because when you are broke, without a high school diploma, and without parents you don’t get very far. Will had graduated, but never went to college so we always struggled just to get by. I normally worked flipping hamburgers and he normally got a different job in every town we went to.

We had come back wishing to find some sort of closer I guess. I mean we had both grown up here, and without the pregnancy scare we would have probably still been living in the minuscule town. A dot on the map, I mean I am sure I would have finished high school and such if it was for Will. I love the boy and he all but he is a lot older than me. Five years to be exact. He was a senior when I was a freshmen and in my house that didn’t fly. My daddy swore up and down that he just wanted sex, maybe he did, who knows. I was young and naive so when my daddy banned him from the house I started sneaking out. Yeah it was fun until I found out I was going to have a baby. Will yelled and screamed and threw a few things, I mostly just cried. But through it all we came up with a plan. Teenage runaways, leaving there old lives. We got to Columbia South Carolina the capitol of our state, three hours away from our town. Then we started a life, four months later I lost the baby, gone dead. More yelling and screaming more crying. It worked out though, to some degree. We lived as a young couple. I missed my friend’s family and life. Will had time to do a lot of things before he became an almost husband to me. Honestly I was just a baby. So we came back here, got a hotel room and then we had a fight. There was a lot of that with us. By now I had walked to an intersection. I could seee the neon glow of a mcdlnalds sign. Feeling in my pant pockets I found a few dollars. Enough to get a milkshake and maybe some fries.

I walked in and placed my order after a few moments I looked up. I had my money stuck out in my hand but it wasn’t being taken. I shook my hand and said, “Here’s the money.” I looked into the young man’s face and realized he was staring directly into my eyes.
He said in a dazed voice, “Haily”.
I was in complete shock for a second, I thought about lying for a second, and then I was like wait. Maybe this is fate maybe he will help me find whatever I came back here for. I composed my face and said, “Yes that is my name, how do you know me?”
He smiled and said, “You don’t remember me? Hmm very interesting”
I just stood there like an idiot while went on and said, “Yep I never did forget you, you had so much attitude in high school, and then when you ordered a chocolate milkshake and French fries, I knew it was you. Because you always ordered that when I took you here, is that reminding you of anything?”
I still just stood there so he went on with, “You were younger than me and I heard you disappeared. I didn’t care much at the moment because I had tons of girls bur out of all the relationships I had you always stuck out in my mind, I have no idea why.”
He was looking off like he could see us in his mind. That was when it all flooded back, “Trevor!” he chuckled and said, “Yep that’s me!”
All my works started to flow together when I said, “Yes! Oh my god! I so remember you! I was crazy I mean head over heels for you. I can’t believe you remember me!” and I started to laugh at the pure insanity of it all. That was when a big girl came lumbering up behind him, saying “Boy you better get to work!” handing me my food she walked back toward the back.
He took of his apron and said, “Taking my break Maggie get over it!” walking out the side door he led me to a booth.
That was where we talked, I explained what I had been doing not giving much detail. Because I could tell he was disappointed about me and Will. He explained how he dropped out of college and now had to work nights at McDonalds. He had a baby girl but was single. He ended our conversation with, “Sorry Haily, but I have to get back to work. Give me a call sometime I would love for you to meet my daughter, she is amazing, and as I remember you were good with kids. Your dream was to be a special education teacher. I always thought you were crazy of course.” Lost in his memory he hugged me and I said, “We will see Bremen, we will see.” And smiled.

I walked out the door into the summer evening; it was muggy kind of weather. I thought about going back to the days inn but I had just been given a lot to think about, Bremen, a daddy? Wow that’s extreme. Figured he would be the rich man by now, never imagined him the father type. Crazy what can happen in five years. So I took a right at the recognizable street and started walking. It wasn’t until I got to the elementary playground that I realized this was where I wanted to go. Oh how I remembered this place, me and my younger sister both attended here. Walking up to the playground gate. I was going to go swing, like old times. Then I realized there was a padlock on the fence. I figured I might as well jump the fence, I mean what is the worst that could happen? So with one leg up over the top I was feeling completely foolish l when I saw headlights. Jumping back down I thought to myself how badly this could end. I could go to jail! I mean how crazy do I look? The expensive black car pulled to a stop. My heart quickened its beat and a male voice said, “Hello, um may I ask what you are doing at eight at night jumping the fence to a playground?”
I amswered with a sigh and said, “Honestly I have no idea...”
He sounded concerned and he said, “Well can I at least give you a ride?” Oh he was the polite type or maybe he thought I was going to trash the playground who knew. I said, “Nah I don’t think so.” Then I changed my mind I didn’t want him calling the cops so I could get him to drop me back of at the McDonalds or something. So I said, “Sure can you take me to…the Day’s Inn?”
He said, “Sure thing, hop in.”
Now I had learned to trust people willing to give me a ride because often times I didn’t have transportation since me and will dint have a vehicle. We had to sell our car to buy groceries. So we relied on buses now days. It was then that I realized this man wasn’t that much older than me. In the dim lighting he looked quite handsome. I said, “Oh well whats your name? And thanks for the ride by the way.”
He said,”no problem and my name is Devin, but most the kids around here know me as Mr. Conner.”
I said, “Wait you’re a teacher?”
He said, “Yep fifth grade I was just grading papers. Wait you never told me your name.”
I said, “Oh Hairy, Haily Jacobs” he looked at me for a moment turned his head and said, “I swear I know you from somewhere, have you always lived around here?”
I said, “Yeah off and on, maybe you know me from high school or something though.” We were stopped at a red light and I looked over and caught him staring at me. That was when it all fell into place, like the click of puzzle pieces. Devin Conner! My first serious boyfriend! I said, “Wait, I used to date you! I gave you my like everything. I so remember you now, you cheated on me!” I almost laughed. He looked baffled for a second and said, “Wait, Haily, Haily, you used to have red hair didn’t you??”
I smiled and said, “Yes then I dyed it.”
“And you ran away like a year after we broke up, I remember your parents went wild and came up to the school, cops questioning people. Then they just said you ran off with some guy.” He said.
I said, “Yeah, Yeah you’re a teacher now? Would have never thought that from you, you weren’t the...Best student back then, I liked the bad boys…” smiling at my younger self.
He smirked and said, “Yeah when I wasn’t high I was pretty smart it turns out.”
I just sighed and realized we were taking in the parking lot of the Days Inn. I said, “wow well this has been interesting…I got to go though, bye!” I was opening the door when he said, “Bye Haily, nice seeing you” but I was already jumping out of the car. I could see our hotel room door wide open, I bounded up the concrete stairs and busted in. looking in I saw Will laying on the bed, hands being his head looking at something on the outdated TV. I ran over to the bed, jumped on top of him and giggled. He looked over because he knew I normally stayed mad for a while. He said, “You look happy Haily.”
I smiled and said, “Yeah I am happy because even though most people would say I threw my life away for you, it works, we work, and that makes me happy. And even though you might not .listen enough and we yell and scream I am happy.” Then I pressed my lips against his. And that was all the answers I needed from this town.



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