Chapter Two
Arguments and Bus Rides

It had taken me a month to fully notice that I had to do something. I had spent 30 days sitting around my house waiting for something to happen. That was until I finally noticed… I had to do something in order for things to change.

It was a Saturday morning when I walked down those stairs, ready to tell my mom what I had to do. I knew that she wouldn't completely agree with it, but I figured that maybe she would notice that this was something that meant a lot to me.

I quietly walked down the stairs in my plaid pajama pants and a white T-shirt. I saw my mom sitting at the kitchen table drinking a coffee. It looked as if she was staring off into the distance, not looking at anything unparticular.

"Hey, mom?"

She turned around in her chair. From the expression on her face, she seemed sad and lonely.

"Uh, can I talk to you?" I was so afraid she wouldn't want to talk to me at all.

"Sure, honey. Come sit down." She pointed to the chair beside her. From the choked up tone in her voice, I figured she'd been sitting there for a while… just thinking.

I walked over to the table and took a seat next to her. She looked up at me in anticipation. It seemed like she was trying hard to look interested and up for a conversation.

"What is it, Evan?"

"I uh…" I stalled a bit. I was trying to find the right order of words to say this to her. Things were all so jumbled up in my head. "I need to go see Kayleigh."

The straight-forwardness in my voice surprised her a little. She looked around a little, trying to find words to reply.

"Uh… what?" She couldn't think of anything else to say. I figured that that would happen. To try and lessen the tension, I spoke again.

"Can I go see her? Visit her? Can she come stay here for a while?"

"Evan… I know you probably miss her but that's why we moved here-"

"Mom! She's stuck at home with her dad! And Tommy… he's too busy getting into trouble to protect her! She has no one right now… I need to be with her."

I came out of that proud of what I had said. My mom was lost for words for a moment.

"What's wrong with her being with her father? He's a perfectly fine father."

"NO! No, he's not, mom! He beats her! He beats them both!" I was screaming and I almost felt bad for putting all of this on my mom at one time.

"Evan… I think you're overreacting a bit. You're just making up these preposterous excuses for you to go and see her! But I'm sorry… I can't do that. This is the reason why we moved here- to get away from all of that and the life we used to live. We can start over here and have a new life… don't you see that?"

I sat there in disbelief that my own mother didn't even believe me. I was outraged. Pissed off. I wanted to get away.

I knew that somewhere deep down, my mom wanted to believe me. But I knew that somewhere closer to the surface, she knew that if we started over and got away from all the chaos and blackouts and everything I was faced with back home, it would be better. We would be better off. We could live.

But I couldn't live without Kayleigh.

Later that night, I waited till she had gone to bed. I opened my bedroom window and climbed through onto the roof. I pulled my backpack out the window and threw it slowly on to the ground below. I carefully climbed down the trellis and onto the ground. I picked up the bag, put it on my back, and made my way to the bus station.

The entire walk there, I had this huge rush of adrenaline. I could feel it flowing through my body as I felt the butterflies and excitement inside my stomach. I was so excited to see Kayleigh.

I had to wait a while, since there aren't that many busses going around at 12 in the morning. Finally, it came and as I checked my watch it read 12:38 am.

I looked around the bus for a place to sit. The only empty seats I saw were either beside a grungy biker guy, or an old lady. I went for the old lady. I took a seat and pulled out my journal.

I'm on the bus to go see Kayleigh. I can't even explain how excited I am to see her. I snuck out of the house tonight so that I could meet her tomorrow. I don't know where I'm going to stay or what I'm going to do, once I find her. All I know is that I'll be with her, and she'll be safe… as long as she comes home with me. That is… if she will.

I closed up my journal and rested my head back on the headrest. I could feel the old lady looking over at me. I sat up and looked at her.

"What?" I said. Not exactly the most polite thing to say, but she was staring at me.

"What's a young boy like you doing on a bus at this time?" She seemed old, but youthful. She had a somewhat cheeriness to her voice.

"I'm going to see a friend."

She laughed a little laugh. "And I'm guessing that your mother doesn't know,"

I shook my head. I guess it was a bit obvious that I had snuck out if I was on a bus at this time.

"She didn't exactly agree with me going to see her."

"A girl, huh? Your girlfriend?"

I laughed a small laugh under my breath. I wish. I shook my head. The lady nodded.

"So what's your name, boy?"

I was reluctant to tell her, but it didn't seem like it would do any harm.


"I see, Evan. Well, how come your mother doesn't agree with you going to see your friend?"

I couldn't tell her the truth. I don't think I could tell that story to anyone.

"She has something against her parents. There were fights between them and that's why we moved away."

I personally thought it was a pretty good excuse. But, I guess it didn't fool her.

"Well, if you ever want to share the real story with me, I'll be glad to listen."

I looked over at her, a bit surprised that she could tell I was lying. I thought of myself as a pretty good liar. Guess not.

"So, what's your name?"

She looked a little surprised that I had asked the question after that, instead of backing off and going to sleep.


A truly typical old lady name. I loved it.

"Well, it was nice talking to you, Gladys."

She had a huge smile across her face.

"You, too, Evan."

I smiled, rested my head back on the headrest and fell asleep.

I woke up to find that it was morning, and we had finally made it into town. I opened my eyes to see the sun shining. Gladys nudged me a little.

"Time to go, Evan."

I smiled, remembering our conversation the night before.

I sat up and grabbed my bag from underneath my feet. I stood up from my seat and began to walk down the aisle towards the door.

"Evan!" I heard Gladys' voice from behind me. I turned around to see her holding up my journal in her right hand. I laughed and walked back to my seat.

"Thanks." She smiled as I took the book out of her hand and continued on my way out of the bus.

Once off, I pulled my bag off my shoulder and opened it up to shove the journal inside. I placed it back on my back and walked into the bus station. I found a bench and sat down. I glanced at my watch to see it was only 6:47 am. Too early to go see Kayleigh, but as I sat there I felt gurgles in my stomach. Food.

I looked around the station for any sign of a café or a convenience store. I then saw a sign for a café not very far down from where I was sitting. I was surprised it was open this early. I walked in and bought a bagel and a coffee to wake me up.

I sat down at a small table inside the café. Just as I did, I looked over to my left and noticed a girl with blond hair sitting a couple tables over, with her back towards me. She looked so much like… wait, it couldn't be her. What would she be doing here at this time in the morning? Could it be…