I looked at the clock again. There was about two hours to when my father would come home from work. My stepmother would be home sooner than that, maybe a half hour or so sooner. I had to work fast.

Hesistantly, I looked at the suitcase and the two bags I had settled onto my bed. The suitcase was filled, as was one of the bags. I knew I wanted more with me than just that so I decided to think quickly of what I would want to have with me and what I was okay with never seeing again. If only I could squeeze Jamie into one of these bags.


My little brother was just nine years old and I knew he'd want me to stay. I wish I could tell him I couldn't. I went to school today, acting as if everything was cool and as soon as I got home, I packed most of my stuff. He would understand. He would have to. Jamie knows how me and our new mother, Ellen, couldn't get along. I couldn't stay in this house any longer.

Thinking fast, I grabbed more of my clothes, my laptop (how did I forget that!) and some other items, stuffing them all into the other bag. I thought of Jamie once more so I took a piece of paper and scribbled a fast note.

Jamie -

Sorry I couldn't stay. You know how bad it is here for me. But they'll take good care of you and I'll find you when I can. Love you.


I left the note on his dresser in his room so he could find it after soccor practice. With one more sigh, I slung both bags and my purse over my shoulder and held the suitcase tightly, walking down the stairs and out the front door, locking it behind me.

One more glance at my car and a sigh escaped my mouth. If I was leaving, I couldn't take it with me. My dad would track me in a second.I shook my head and walked in the opposite direction to the bus stop.

I sat beside an old woman and what looked like her grandson. The little boy smiled at me and as he did, he reminded me of Jamie. It almost made me run back home.

The bus came quickly. The woman and the little boy climbed onto the bus first and then me, grabbing all my stuff and making sure not to leave anything behind. I climbed on behind them and sat in the back by myself. I didn't let a tear escape until we passed the "You are now leaving Chicago" sign.


I jumped myself awake. I didn't even realize I had been so tired. It was almost night now and the streetlights were turned on. There was also more people on the bus. The two passengers who had came on with me were gone. I wondered where we were.

I looked outside for any kind of hint of where we were. A lot of places said Lowell Hardware or Lowell Plaza. Oh. It hit me. Lowell, Illinois. I sighed and when the driver got to the next stop, I got off and looked around. I watched wistfully as the bus drove off and turned the corner, disappearing.

Walking seemed like it was taking forever. I got lost looking for a hotel that I asked about. There was a house on the edge of the woods, I almost felt like that old fable about eating porridge. I went up to the door, hoping there wasn't a murderer here but I needed directions to the way back and I was so tired. Running away must have taken a lot from me.

I glanced at the driveway. Yes, there was a driveway! No car so I sat down, looking at the trees and feeling stupid. Maybe I was wrong to leave my city.


"Are you awake?"

The unfamiliar voice woke me up. The first thing I noticed was it was a man's voice. And that I wasn't outside anymore. I was on a couch, a very comfy couch. I looked up and found myself staring at who was probably the most gorgeous man I'd ever seen.

Sitting up, I looked around more clearly since I was awake. "Where am I?"

"My home," the man smiled. "You were sleeping on my doorstep when I came home from work."

"This is the cabin?" He nodded. "I'm sorry I was out there."

He shrugged. "It's okay. It's not everyday I come home to a beautiful girl waiting at my door." I laughed. "Do you have a name, doorstep girl?"

"Melanie," I answered with a smile and reached out my hand. "Melanie Stryder."

"Hello, Melanie," the man took my head and I felt electric pass when he touched me. "My name is Jared Howe."

What do you think?

It was careless of her to go to his house, I know, but it was right for my plot so I hope it's not too bad :)