I drove back to my house for the last time and I passed so many things I'd seen every day like my high school, my best friend's house, and so many more. I drove up to the iron gate and waited for it to open so I could walk through the large mansion that had been my prison for many years. I pulled my car up and into the garage and noticed my mom was not home. I rushed up the spiral staircase and into my room. I grabbed 2 big suitcases and stuffed them with my favorite shirts, short, jeans, bras, underwear, lingerie, shoes, dresses, jewelry, and anything valuable.
I stepped into my big bathroom and stared at my all beauty products before shoving them into my suitcase. I washed my face to get rid of my fallen mascara and smudgy makeup. I jumped into the shower and laid back against the marble. I washed my hair and body before packing away those products too.
I walked into the expansive kitchen and wrote a letter to my mom.
I wish things had worked out differently but I know we did not see things eye to eye. I will be safe. Please don't look for me, because I don't want to be found. I want you to know it hurts me to leave this place, and to leave you. I still love you, even though you don't deserve my love. Maybe one day in the future I will be able to forgive you… Goodbye, Kim.
I did not know what else to say to her so I left that note sitting on the granite where one of the maids would find it. I wiped the tears off my cheek and dragged the suitcases into my car. We could leave my car at the hotel and call a cab from there. I pulled out of the driveway and took one last look at the brick façade, the bay window, the perfect landscaping, and breathed in one deep breath. I was really doing this. I was running away with Andrew…
I got to the hotel and immediately called a cab so they would be there by the time I got Andrew up. I ran up to the room and found him sleeping on the bed. His big figure was as the long as the bed and he looked so peaceful.
"Andrew, wake up. It's time." I shook him lightly and his eyes opened wide. "Why am I sleeping?" He whispered and felt his head. I laughed at him and he held his hand up to silence me. "Not so much noise, okay?" He slowly got out of bed and kissed the top of my head. "So you got me drunk and persuaded me to do this?" He lifted his eyebrows at me and I just smiled back at him.
"I didn't get you drunk, you did that. Whatever happens after that is out of my hands…" He put his hand on the small of my back while he walked through the hotel to the cab waiting outside with our bags.
We got into the cab and Andrew mumbled an address to the driver and we were off. Andrew put his hand on my knee and gently squeezed it. "You know I was hoping you would change your mind and stay with your mom, but now I'm glad you didn't." I smiled over at him because that was what I wanted to hear.
We drove for a while until the signs for Philadelphia started to pop up. "My friend lives in a row house in the city. Not the nice part of the city either." He admitted as we drove into the inner city. I saw a lot of guys with leather jackets, tattoos, and a scary feeling about them. I squeezed Andrew's hand again as the cab came to a stop in front of a run-down home.
I handed the cab driver the money and got out to stretch my legs. The men leered at me and I stepped closer to Andrew while he got my bags out of the trunk. We walked up to his friend's house and a man opened the door. He looked about 30 years old, beard, tattoos, and leather jacket. I took a deep breath and started to worry. What have I gotten myself into? Will I be safe here?
"Hey Andrew, how you been?" They shook hands and Andrew explained our whole situation after the guy invited us in. "So you can see that we can't just get our own place. I have to find work, so does she. We just need a place to stay and we have stuff to pawn until we can get jobs." The guy looked us both over and smiled eagerly at Andrew. "I have one bedroom open right now, and you're lucky because the guy just moved out." He said to us and led us upstairs to a dark, stinky, and tiny room without a lock.
The guy left us alone for a moment so we could unpack our things and I felt all my worries come a head. I don't know these people. I don't know this area. I don't have any skills, or even a high school diploma. How am I going to stay safe once Andrew gets a job? I rubbed my temples and sat down on the bare mattress in the center of the room. "I don't know if I can do this Andrew…" I looked around at everything and in that moment I saw the anger and something else flash through Andrew.
He walked over to me and grabbed my hands in his own. "Kim, if you don't want to do this… I'm not going to keep you here." It was then I realized that Andrew felt ashamed that this was all he could offer me. He knew I was used to marble showers, granite counters, maids, and personal chefs. I had all the best cosmetics, clothes, and cars that any teenager could dream of, yet the only thing that made me happy was him.
I stared into his eyes for a long time before looking away. I couldn't answer him because everything was all of sudden feeling real. When Andrew told me I would have to work, and live in less than I was accustomed to… I didn't really understand to what degree. I opened the suitcase and took out some of my gold jewelry and handed it to Andrew. "Take this and sell it to a pawn shop or something. Buy yourself some clothes and hygiene stuff. I'll be here when you get back." His eyes looked distrusting, almost like he didn't believe that I would still be here.
"That guys name is Nick. He is an old friend from high school and if you need anything you ask him. He's a good guy and I trust him. Don't go outside by yourself. I mean it." He stared down at me and I just shook my head. I wanted to get this place up to my standards. I followed Andrew down the stairs and he left me there with Nick.
"Do you have cleaning supplies? Bleach? Gloves?" I asked and he actually laughed in my face. "Bleach, yes. Gloves, no." He handed me a jug of bleach and paper towels and I ran back up to our room. I scrubbed everything from the floor to the door handles and bed side tables. I noticed that we didn't have sheets, curtains, pillows, anything. It was a much different scene than the fancy hotel that gave us fresh cookies.
I walked back down the stairs to find Nick and he was watching T.V. on an old couch. I stood there awkwardly not knowing what to say. He glanced over at me and looked me up and down. "Where do you know Andrew from?" He asked me. I blushed and shifted from foot to foot and couldn't think of how to respond. "I…I met him on a boat" I almost face-palmed myself for that response. "A boat?" Nick asked smiling. "My dad's boat… I mean… He worked for my dad." Nick raised his eyebrows to act like he was interested, but we both knew this was extremely awkward.
"If your dad owns boats…then why are you here?" He asked bluntly. I looked around the room avoiding his gaze. "Do you watch the news by chance?" I asked and he shook his head, no. I breathed a sigh of relief. "My dad's business went into the tank, and now I'm staying with Andrew since my parents fight so much." I lied on the spot and it felt nice to lie again, this was where I was comfortable.
ONE MONTH LATER
Andrew had gotten a job with some of his friends at a construction site in downtown. I had not been able to find work yet and often stayed at home watching TV and feeling lonely. It was nice to have Andrew around me at nighttime, but I really did miss my way of life. I missed my freedom, and my endless supply of cash that was always available to me before that had now vanished.
One day I was home alone because Andrew and Nick were both at work. I looked down at the track phone Andrew had bought me and was tempted to call my mom. I pulled it out and dialed the first few numbers… What is the worst thing that could happen?
"Hello?" I heard my mother's voice annoyed because she thought it was someone with a wrong number calling her. "It's me, Mom. It's Kim." I said and the sobs that continued those few words broke my heart. Every apology I ever wanted came pouring out of her into that phone. I even shed a few tears listening to her. "I'm sorry Kim, I'm so so so sorry. Please come home right now, and I'll let you see him all you want. Just please come home to me." I took a deep breath and looked around the row house. It was very tiny, so tiny that I felt claustrophobic, but I couldn't leave because it wasn't safe for me to be alone. "If I come home, it will be under these conditions…" I waited for her to interrupt me but she didn't. She was actually letting me talk. "You need to find Andrew a high paying job, AND let him live with us in our house." I was shocked when she cried out yes.
I was so relieved that she was going to take me back, that she wanted me back. I called Andrew at work and told him the news. "Andrew, I called my mom!" I yelled into the phone and he got very angry. "What did she say?" He asked sternly. "She said yes! I can come back, and you can too." I waited for his enthusiasm but it never came.
"Why aren't you excited?" I asked pissed off that he wasn't seeing this as an amazing opportunity. "I can't live in the house of the man I killed, with his wife, and be around people who hate me." I sighed. "Is this one of those stupid man pride issues?" I asked bluntly and he hung up on me. I'll take that as a yes.
I had already given my mother the address and she was driving here personally right now. In her Mercedes. Into this bad neighborhood. I packed up all my stuff and waited for her or Andrew to get here. Andrew walked into the door and threw his dirty shirt onto the couch next to my face. "Why are you mad?" His eyes widened at all the stuff packed into my suitcase. "You already packed?" I nodded and he stormed upstairs. "ANDREW" I screamed running after him. "Wasn't it you who said you wouldn't keep me here? I want you to come with me! Please…" He shook his head in disbelief and paced around the room.
"She said she was sorry and she wants us to go to family therapy sessions… I really think she is trying to make things better with me." He smirked. "Yeah- with you. That's the key word, you." He stormed out of our room and that's when I heard my mom pull up out front. I ran outside and hugged her not caring what guys gawked at me or her. I heard whistles coming from both directions, but right now I was hugging my mother. I was hugging her like I did when I was 5 years old and had a nightmare, there was no holding back. Andrew walked my suitcases out to the car.
"Andrew… please come with me." My eyes pleaded with him and he sighed running his fingers through his hair like he did when he was pondering something. "Fine, but I have to get my stuff and write Nick a note." He disappeared into the house and that's when my mother got into the car with me and spoke to me face to face.
"We can make things better Kim. I promise that I won't let you down like I did before." That was the first time my mother ever admitted to her wrongdoings and it made me tear up.
3 MONTHS LATER
Andrew got a job working for a big company in New York City and making his own money. I finished high school with good grades despite missing an entire month of school while I was in Philadelphia. I was going to Fashion school in the Fall with my best friend Lexy.
My mother and I went to see a psychologist once a week for 3 months and we grew so much closer. I even talked to the therapist about my secret, my time with Andrew off the boat, and seeing my father die right before my eyes. I also spoke with them about how Andrew saved me from my self-destruction. He showed me that it is possible to forgive, and that once you do you can have great things happen to you.
I sat on the four poster bed in our room and stared over at Andrew. "You look so sexy in your suit." I giggled and he strode over to be just like the business man he'd become. "You look sexy in your birthday suit too." He grinned and lifted me into his arms and laid a single kiss on my lips.
- I'm sorry I did all those flash forwards, but I have a lot of work for school and I started writing this story at the end of Christmas break when I had zero responsibilty. I hope you liked the ending, please let me know what was your favorite part of the story =)