Escape

The thumping of my footsteps disturbs the silence within the neighbourhood. I keep running. My heart is thudding, I feel hot, I’m hungry… but I need to keep running. I want to get away, I have to get away. As I get closer to the station, my flushed face invites the cold drizzle falling from the gloomy sky above. My mind revisits the past week, and tears try to escape from my sore, tired eyes. I concentrate on getting away. I eventually find a dark corner of the station in which the silence lurks. My exhausted legs collapse, as I settle down into the darkness.

I lower my head so I can contemplate what to do next, should I go home? Litter crawls passed me, disturbing my focus. People are shuffling to and from trains. My head starts to throb; doesn’t silence belong on this planet? A familiar voice repeats over and over in my head. I can’t get rid of the loathsome tone in Dad’s voice. I try to remember the good times… but my father shouting, “I’m gonna kill you after what happened to your mother” overrules all my other thoughts. Memories of my family bring back the quivering hands, the sickening fear and tears I had to endure every day.

I grasp my knees so no one can see me shaking. In front of me, stands a slim silhouette, no further than a metre away, blocking the only source of light. The shine illuminates her perfect, dainty features. She is glowing with passion and enthusiasm. I feel embarrassed as she scans me up and down. I don’t know where to look. Eventually I have the courage to return the eye contact, but instead she raises her eyebrow obnoxiously and flaunts off. I feel unwanted; I don’t belong on this planet. Why can’t anyone accept me? I sob quietly as I recollect my mother. Why was the only person close to me cruelly taken away?

I rub my hands against my arms to warm myself up. As I glance down, the deep cuts and scars covering my forearms confront me. Each wound representing another moment of terror and pain. I decide that I have to get away. I couldn’t possibly go home… Dad would probably kill me. I slowly stand up, unaware of how rigid the nippy air has made me, and I almost lose my balance. I walk stiffly along the platform, not too fast, not too slow, just in case I attract unwanted attention. The train times are displayed inside a shattered glass case. The ink has all run, into a black runny puddle at the bottom of the glass case.

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It’s very difficult to make out any place names, so I choose to follow the mass. I keep my head down whilst standing in the crowd. What if someone recognises me? Will they force me to go home? I shut my eyes to blank out the hurry surrounding me. I see my father, his lip shaking, and cheeks scarlet from rage and frustration, his eyes bulging… and his strong hand clenched into a threatening fist. I remember pain, agony, upset and grief. Looking into that mirror made my mind up. My lower lip was bleeding from a deep gash. I could hardly open my left eye due to the swelling. What would he do next?

I kept asking myself. I certainly knew what he was capable of doing… That’s when I knew I had to escape. Before he killed me as well as my mother. A gust of wind grabbed my attention, and people start to board the train. The hustle, the scramble all around frightens me. But I have to get on. I push and clamber, and finally get on board. I find a window seat and slump down. The train is stuffy and dirty. Empty crisp packets and discarded newspapers and magazines line the aisle. Smeary, smudged windows reflect the murky skyline outside. I press my forehead against the cooling glass, to freshen my clammy face.

I finally feel safe, relieved. Apprehension takes over my agonising memories. What next? I keep asking myself… what next? Worry fills the faces of the passengers pushing for the train. Apart from one familiar face, filled with fury and annoyance. We make eye contact… My heart is thumping, my hands start shaking, and I feel sick. How did he know I was here? He jostles through the queue and I lose sight of him. Seconds later the doors close firmly, the train jolts and starts to move, leaving the miserable, damp station. I can’t see my father’s face within the crowd waiting on the platform.