Runaway Child

by mj


short story

           I had a family once, I still remember how they cared for me, how could I ever forget how my mother used to make me the best blueberry muffins and peanut butter pancakes every Saturday morning before she went to work and my big brother taking me to the arcade and the park to get ice-cream whenever he had time to hang out with me. I don't see my dad much, he went off to the army long ago but he still finds a way to come home on Christmas or on me and my brother's birthdays, sometimes if we're lucky he would go trick-or-treating with us on Halloween. I had an amazing family. I and my family were not the richest, we have struggled here and there without my father around but usually we managed. It surprises me on how fast our family was destroyed. I never knew such an illness could destroy my family so quickly.                                                                                                                                                                      My mother was diagnosed with cancer on the fifteenth of July 2007, I was 10. She died a year after leaving just me and my brother in the dark. My father died a few months after in the army which only made our grieving worse. I felt wrecked and indignant with everyone around me, me and my brother was then put into separate care homes a little while after. I didn't like my care home; the kids were discourteous and aggressive for I have never seen behaviour like this before, the care workers were unpleasant and heartless. I felt different amongst all the other kids based on the way I look to the way I spoke, all the kids use to make fun of me and picked fights even though they know that I can't fight. I've tried so hard to get in contact with my brother but the care workers disapproved of any contact with him. Despite what they had said, every day at midnight I would go to every care home, one-by-one I would search to find my brother, but things don't always go as planned.                                                                                         It's dangerous to be outside at midnight especially for my age but every night I would take the risk. I guess this night didn't go as planned, I ran into some teenagers by mistake and they mistook me for someone else. They kept calling me 'Stitts' over and over again. "You must be Stitts, did Danny send you, and do you have our stuff or what!" the guy in the grey hoodie spoke first. "I'm sorry but I don't know what you're talking about." I stuttered, there were four of them in front of me but due to the noise of others behind them, I knew there were more of them. "C'mon kid don't play with us, just hand us what we want and then you can go and crawl back to mommy, ok." This guy had a cigarette in his mouth and looked like the oldest amongst the rest. "I don't have your stuff, I don't work for gangs so just let me go!" I bellowed, each of the guys looked at each other muddled and mysterious. "You're not Stitts are you!" the big guy stepped towards me while pushing his hand in his pocket pulling out something shiny and pointed.                                                                                                                                                                      I darted across the street, wailing loudly hurting my lungs but no one was around, I kept running while maintaining my speed. I didn't look back until I knew I was far enough to stop. By the time I looked around I realised that I was so far from the care home that I couldn't find my way back. I spent the night under a tree that provided shelter. I don't want to go back to where I started, so I stayed where I was.                                                                              Every day, hunger hits me, not only hunger but fear, hatred and pain. The fear that I would never see my brother again or the fear that I get hurt, the hatred of my unfortunate path and pain from continuously running, running from my pain and suffering.

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