Running Away Only Works Once
“What? What?! What!”
“Get in the car.”
“Get in right now!”
“Don’t make me pick you up!”
“Get your ass in the car right now!”
Katie picked up her pace and tried to remain oblivious to the silver Camry rolling behind her. Only ten more blocks, then she’d be home free. Or as free as she could be with a carload of crazy people following her. The horn burst out from behind.
“Stop doing that! And stop following me, you're holding up traffic.”
But as they all knew, the street was deserted of cars. People though were in heavy supply and they all stared at a sight they hadn’t seen in over five years.
“Katie, after what happened I’m not letting you walk home, not by yourself.” her brother’s voice called.
“Hey Katie, nice parade!” a bystander shouted. She coolly lifted her middle finger towards him. “I see your friends rolled back into town.”
“Shut up Mac!” she called back.
Janak’s laugh cut through the air. “Mac Jones? Is that really you?”
The tone of his voice changed right away. “Janak! I didn’t know that was you. Hey man, we should hang out sometime. I’m free whenever. You wanna go grab a beer? Right now?”
“Maybe some other time Mac.”
“Alright, that’s alright. You know where to find me. Just give me a call. I’m always available. Anything you need, I got it man. Don‘t be a stranger.”
Katie glanced behind to see Mac jogging beside the car. Janak waved his hand, dismissing him, and Mac scuttled back to his friends.
"No one likes a groupie Mac!" Katie taunted.
"No one likes a runaway Katie!" Kodi snapped from behind.
"This brings back some memories." Izaak chimed in. There were a few seconds of silence before the car horn sounded again.
"I said stop that!" Katie screamed. She whirled around and stopped, glaring as the car came to a halt. Six faces pressed against glass and out of windows watched her with eager humor. Wait...six? Shadow, Izaak, Kodi, Liina, Jinxie, Derrick...where is?
Katie suppressed a squeal as her vision swung backwards and Janak hoisted her onto his shoulder. A burst of clapping and cheers erupted from the car and the growing crowd of pedestrians as Janak hauled over his catch. Katie hung limp in defeat, knowing any struggle would be in vain.
"Scoot over, here she comes!"
Katie squeezed her eyes shut as she was shoved into the small car containing seven other people. She hardly felt it lurch forward since she was too busy rolling in a sea of elbows, knees, and faces. After much squirming, she managed to rest across a few laps, face smooshed against someone's chest. She opened her eyes to see Derrick's hesitant smile. It faltered as soon as Katie's poisonous glare activated and he shifted to stare intently out the window. Katie urged herself to move away, but instead she was reminded just how tired she was. Every limb grew numb, every voice blurred together. Ignoring Derrick's startled expression; she made herself comfortable on his chest and succumbed to sleep.