"Allison! Hurry up, we don't want Mom and Paul to know what we are doing." I spit out our new stepfather's name with disgust.
I heard my little sister groan but chose to ignore it. We had to leave. There was no other choice if I wanted to keep Allison safe. Our parents split up when Allison was ten and I had just turned twelve. Our mother, better known to us as Audrey, felt constricted in the small town of Forks, Washington, where our father moved the family shortly after Allison's ninth birthday. So, one day she decided that she had enough and left, taking Allison and me with her. Which was fine because neither of us was horribly fond of Forks. So Audrey found this wonderful three bedroom house just outside the city of Phoenix, where we could get all the sun and excitement of Phoenix without having to deal with the constant hustle and bustle of living in the city.
Everything was fine, every so often Audrey would allow us to go to Forks to visit with our father for a few weeks, and we could not be in more of a hurry to get home, not because we didn't love our quirky, overprotective father, we just really hated Forks. But everything changed the day Audrey met Paul. Allison and I thought this would just be just another one of Audrey's boyfriends but eventually things became strange and soon, Paul became our stepfather. Before the marriage, Paul knew his boundaries, he knew not to become too violent or too "handsey" but once the vows were final, Paul felt it was acceptable to backhand me when I talked back, or to use Allison as a sexual toy whenever he was feeling frisky.
Finally, at the age of seventeen, I had enough. I called our father to tell him of our intentions to move to Forks to live with him. When Charlie asked why we suddenly changed our minds, I simply told him not to ask questions now, everything would be answered when we got to Forks.
When the arrangements with Charlie were in order, all that we had to wait for was an extended period of time when both Paul and Audrey would be gone. In the midst of all the planning, Allison convinced me that we should at least give Audrey the courtesy of a letter explaining ourselves. Hopefully then she would make the same decision we did and get as far away from Paul as manageable.
I heard Allison yell ‘Dammit!’ and I wondered if she was hurt.
"Allison? Is everything okay?"
I bounded up the stairs, saw my little sister's face and immediately pulled her into a hug. Allison loved my hugs. I was six foot two inches tall and solid. I felt like her own personal security blanket. I was also openly gay, so she felt a special connection to me, especially because we could talk about guy problems and we each would know what the other was going through.
"Allison, why did you punch your door?" I asked careful not to touch her wounded knuckles.
"I was thinking of Mom and Paul alone. You know, after we leave. Adam, do you think he would do this to Mom?" Allison's blue eyes now leaking down her rosy cheeks, causing my breath to hitch.
I led my little sister to the top of the staircase and sat down on the top stair.
"I believe that once we are gone, he will choose to reveal more and more of his true self and Mom will know that she has to get away from him. Unfortunately, we have to leave her to let her learn it on her own."
Allison accepted my answer and reached for her suitcase. Her fiery red hair cascaded over her shoulder and I smiled at the memory of Audrey's reaction to Allison and I dyeing our hair, mine midnight black and Allison's bright red. Our natural shade is a boring chocolate brown and we both wanted a change.
I nodded and led the way down the stairs, to where I had left my belongings by the front door. Together we had saved enough money to get plane tickets to Seattle, from there we would have a cab take us to Forks, and to freedom. To get to the airport, I had my friend Marco drive us. He was the only person who knew why we had to leave. We both trusted him beyond a shadow of a doubt and knew he would never tell a soul.
"Marco is here."
We slowly made our way to Marco's Monte Carlo. He took one look at our faces and shook his head.
"I can't believe he has you guys this shaken up. I really hope this helps because I don't know how I will manage without you guys." He choked out the last part.
"Marco, please don't make our leaving any harder." I pleaded, putting my hand on Marco's arm.
"Sorry guys, are you going to be okay Allison?" Marco looked in the back seat to find Allison holding herself and silent tears running down her face.
I decided that I had better ride in the back seat with Allison and when I was in my seat, told Marco to go to the airport.
On the ride there, no one said a word. Marco nervously looked in the rear view mirror at us and I could see that he began to hate the bastard even more for making life this much harder for us. I held Allison carefully, allowing her to cry into my shirt and hopefully, find solace in my presence.
We pulled into the lane directly in front of the airport doors. Marco turned in his seat, tears in his eyes and held out his arms hoping for an embrace. What he got was a warm embrace from me and small half hug from Allison. Defeated, he waited until I had pulled our bags out of the trunk of his car, then pulled away without so much as a goodbye.
I understood, but when we got to Forks I would have to talk to Marco about some manners. I smiled slightly then returned my focus to the project at hand. I grabbed Allison's free hand, she was holding her bag with the other, reached for my bag and led us both into the airport, without once looking back.