Chapter 1Aubree Grey scanned the kitchen walls, trying to find something to distract her before she slapped her mother across the face. Her eyes locked on the pink elephant coloring page that hung on the side of the fridge. She started to think of her two-year-old brother, soothing her temper.
“Aubree, are you listening to me?” The nagging sound of her mother’s voice made Aubree cringe. She slowly balled up her fists, digging her nails into her palms, trying to calm down. It was no use.
“Bree, answer your mother,” her step-father, Robert, ordered.
“What do you want me to say?” Aubree screamed. “That I won’t see my boyfriend anymore? Well, that’s not going to happen so just let it go!” Tears silently fell down her mother’s face making Aubree cringe even more. She knew she would never hear the last of this. She could see the hour long lecture forming in her mother’s brain.
“Aubree, just listen to us,” her mother pleaded.
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t see him anymore.” Aubree sat her balled fists on the table in front of her. Her mother’s face grew pale and scared.
“One, he is way too old. Two, he’s a bad influence on you, I mean, look how you are acting,” Robert answered.
“I asked Mom, not you,” Aubree mumbled. “And how is he a bad influence? Just tell me.”
“The way he acts, Honey. He is rebellious, he doesn’t listen, he gets into fights, he’s probably been in jail a few times and he doesn’t care about anybody but himself,” her mother managed to say, counting the reasons on her hand. Aubree scoffed.
“He does not just care about himself, he does listen, and he only fights to protect me!”
“Aubree, watch your tone with your mother,” Robert ordered.
“Whatever,” Aubree scoffed. “You just hate him because you hate his family! It’s like you’re trying to re-create Romeo and Juliet or something!”
“That isn’t true-” her mother started to say. Aubree got up from the table, shoved her chair over and ran up the stairs. She stomped down the long hall, into her room and flopped down on her bed.
Sobbing into her pillow, her phone began vibrating against her nightstand. She sat up, wiped her tears and picked it up. She smiled when she read the name. Preston McAdam. Just the person she was wanting to talk to.
“Hello?” she managed to say between sobs.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, sympathy filling his voice.
“Nothing. Can you come get me? I need to get out this house.”
“Sure. Want me to come now?”
“Yeah. Just park down the street so my mom and Robert don’t hear your car.”
“Ok. I’ll be there in a few.” Aubree pressed the end button and placed her phone back onto the nightstand.
She wiped her tears once more and shoved herself up off the bed. She silently walked to her closet and rummaged around, looking for an old duffel bag. When she found what she was looking for, she began shoving clothes inside. She packed a month’s worth, straining to zip it around them. She heard the screaming of her mother’s voice through the air vent. She was complaining about something to Robert, like always. His voice was just below a whisper so she couldn’t hear but it must have been something important. There was a light tap on the window making Aubree jump.
She smiled when she saw the shadowed face of her long-time boyfriend. She drug the duffel bag to the window and quickly unhatched it, a warm breeze busting through around them. She handed him the large duffel bag before climbing through the window herself.
The wind had picked up, blowing them all over the roof, as Aubree neared the edge. Preston grabbed her hand trying to steady her as she began to wobble. A gust of wind ripped through the air, Aubree toppled over, and slid to a stop when her sneaker reached the gutter.
“Bree!” Preston whisper-screamed. “Are you ok?” Aubree flashed him a thumbs up, hoping it could be seen in the night.
“You might want to grab onto something while you slide down,” she informed him. His eyes scanned the rooftop, searching for something to hold on to. No luck. Instead, he cautiously slid down beside Aubree, stopping at the gutter.
“What do we do from here?” he asked. Aubree chucked the duffel bag off the roof then searched the ground for something soft to jump onto. She didn’t see anything in sight.
“There’s nothing!” Aubree yelled over the wind, “We might just need to take our chances. Just aim for something soft like the uncut grass!”
“Aubree, that’s crazy! We could die.”
“It’s better than staying here with my parents! At least we’ll be together!” Aubree wrapped him in a hug before inching her legs over the gutter.
“Aubree, I’m not going to let you die by jumping off your roof.”
“I’ll be careful. I’ve seen it done on TV a million times,” Aubree laughed.
“There’s a difference! That’s TV-” Before Preston could stop her, Aubree slipped over the roof’s edge, grabbing onto the gutter, only her fingertips could be seen. She silently lowered her feet to the porch edge, smiling up at Preston. She laughed when he shook hi head.
When her toes reached the porch, the let go of the gutter and looked back up, watching as Preston did the same thing. When he was safe, Aubree grabbed his hand and the duffel bag and turned to run.
“Aubree! Come back!” she faintly heard her mother yell from the porch. She had a flashlight in her hand and was walking towards the woods. Robert darted off the porch after her as they headed into the woods. Aubree and Preston took several turns, making sure they lost her step-father.
The shining, yellow metal of the car shone in the moonlight, making it easy to find through the trees. They sprinted towards it, not stopping until they reached the corvette.
“We made it,” Aubree huffed, making it seem as if they were running from a mass murderer.
Preston opened the passenger door, seeming like a gentleman, the smell of leather seeping out, gagging Aubree. She slowly sat, the smell growing smaller. She kicked trash around with her shoe, trying to make room.
“Sorry. I didn’t have time to clean it out before I got here.”
“It’s fine,” Aubree giggled.
“So, where to now?” Preston asked.
“I don’t know. Somewhere far from here.”
“Maybe we can stay with my sister for a while. She’s the only one that accepts us being together. I believe she said we are destined and will be together forever,” Preston laughed, imitating his sister Michelle
“Well, I do too.” Aubree smiled at him and allowed him to wrap his arm around her. She leaned into his shoulder. She noticed he seemed hesitant like something was wrong.
“Are you ok?” she asked.
“Yeah. Maybe we should just get out of here.” Aubree nodded and leaned her head on the window. She watched the trees blur by as Preston began driving down the street. Small raindrops began forming on the window. Aubree was thankful that they had gotten to the car before the rain came.
Aubree slowly turned the radio up, her favorite song blaring out the speakers. She smiled when Preston turned towards her, flashing her a warm smile also. She loved the feeling of being free. No parents to tell her what to do, just Preston and herself.
Aubree turned away from Preston in time to see the headlights of a speeding car heading towards them. Horror filled her face. She turned towards Preston, not noticing the fear that controlled him.
“Preston!” she screamed. The honking of the other car bellowed out, echoing inside the small car. Aubree shook him as hard as could, snapping him back into reality. He jerked the wheel, his timing too late.
Aubree grabbed his hand, intertwined there fingers and said a little prayer hoping to live. The sound of crushing metal filled her ears. A sharp pain ran up her spine, stopping at the top of her head. She knew she hit it on something she just wasn’t sure what. She never let go of Preston’s hand. She looked over at him, blood covering his face, and smiled before drifting off into unconsciousness.