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Delilah Bloom is the perfect name for a girl like her. Spending most of her time in the isolated woods behind her house, Delilah has been stereotyped as a wanderer since she took her first steps. That hasn’t changed in the last 16 years of her life, but she was never alone; her best friend, Jonathon, was always by her side. They have been inseparable since kindergarten. Together, her and Jonathon have made a pact to explore the woods and beyond. The unknown of the outdoors is her home, her safehaven. The only way to truly escape the hellhole that is her house.
Delilah walks through the silent forest, the only sound being her soft footsteps on the decaying leaves. She reminisces about her past, when her and Jonathon would tread this same trail she was hiking now. She remembers skipping rocks in the creek, and climbing trees high enough to see the whole world.
“We could just leave now, you know,” Delilah recalled Jonathon saying. “Nothing’s holding us back.”
She visualized the wind seizing his chestnut hair in all directions. His emerald eyes stalked the land below as if it’s territory was ready to be claimed.
“Jonathon, you know I can’t just leave,” Delilah said. “If my parents knew I was with you, I would never leave the house again. It’s too risky. What if we get caught?”
“We wouldn’t! I have been saving up and can afford train tickets to Breckinridge; your parents would never know where we went. We could leave and never come back, just you and me. I can’t stand being locked up in this petty, gossiping town.”
“It could work, just maybe… When would we leave?”
“As soon as possible, when the semester ends. That way we’ll have time to figure out all the details.”
Delilah eventually reached her moth-eaten cottage, and was forced to come back to reality. She walked in on her mother making another casserole for dinner.
“Dinner is almost ready, make sure you are washed up,” said her mother, flashing Delilah her famously fake smile. Behind all the charm is a whirlwind of secrets and ugly truths.
“Do we have any juice?” asked Delilah.
“I’m not surev,” Mother said.
“I’ll go down to the cellar to check.”
“No, don’t go to the cellar,” she answered, too fast, sounding a little nervous. “I remember now, we don’t have any.”
Delilah, thinking nothing of the strange outburst, sat down after scrubbing the dirt off of her hands. As her parents talked of the weather and other useless conversation starters, Delilah lost interest immedietely. Family dinners were always the hardest. Mother and Father always pretended as if everything was normal. As if nothing has changed.
“Delilah, we’re talking to you,” Father said.
“Oh sorry, I didn’t hear,” Delilah answered.
“I asked how was school?”
“It was fine, I guess.”
“The past month you have been so disconnected. It is extremely rude not to participate in our conversations,” Mother said.
“I’m sorry my feelings have disrupted your day to day life.”
“All I’m asking is for you to smile every now and then. You are always so distant.”
“I wonder why!” Delilah’s voice was filling with rage. “You pretend like everything’s fine, just perfect! We can’t keep ignoring the truth.”
“Delilah, don’t do this. Sit down and finish your supper,” Father said, cooly.
“No, Jonathon has been missing for a month. My best friend is missing, and you’re happy about it. Neither of you care how I really feel. You’re glad now, because I have no one to influence me into ‘bad decisions’, as you say. What if I was the one influencing him? Jonathon wasn’t the only one tired of being locked up in this town,” Delilah cried at her blank-faced parents.
“How dare you accuse us like that? Jonathon ran away, there is nothing more to say about it. If you’re mad at him, don’t take it out on your Mother and I. Go to your room, we will not discuss this further,” said Delilah’s father.
Delilah stormed to her room, steaming with rage. Everytime she brought up Jonathon, her parents shut her down without saying a word about it. She sat on her bed, still upset about her parents, Jonathon, everything. Jonathon wouldn’t leave her, would he? No, they had plans to leave at the end of the semester, but he disappeared on the day they were supposed to escape. He was coming back for her, she knew it. This wasn’t like him.
Tired of sitting in her room alone with her thoughts, Delilah decided to go for a stroll. There was a light drizzle outside, so she went to her parents room to borrow her mother’s raincoat. She walked to their room, and grabbed it off the hook. As she put the coat on, something fluttered to the floor. Two train tickets to Breckenridge. They knew. Her parents knew about her and Jonathon’s plan. Before Delilah can bolt out of the room, out of the house, her parents were standing in the doorway, blocking any chance of escape. Her father’s face was as cold as ice, but her mother had that plaster smile on, looking welcoming to anyone who didn’t know her.
“What are you doing, Delilah?” Her mother asked, never blinking.
‘“I’m just borrowing your raincoat,” said Delilah. She couldn’t help but glance at the tickets, laying in the floor. She tried to walk out, but her mother stopped her.
“I don’t think today is a good day to go out. Stay here,” said her mother.
There is only one way her parents could’ve gotten those tickets. Delilah launched past her parents before they could stop her again. She dashed outside to the cellar door, and budged it open, an eerie creak ringing out. Racing down the stairs, Delilah turned on the light. There in the corner of the room, was Jonathon. Hands bounded with ropes, face pale and sickly.
“Delilah?” Jonathon muttered, weakly.
Before she could answer, they heard the cellar door slam shut and a key securing their last chance at freedom. They were locked up, for good this time.