Part IV: The Sudden Storm: A Red Herring

It was four in the morning. Kelly was sitting on her bed with her duffel bag next to her. She had been unable to sleep and was tossing and turning because of the storm outside, and her increasing anxiety about what was about to take place. Every time the lightning struck, she winced quietly. Her boyfriend should be here soon, and she would be able to sneak out of the window. She was trying to rest up for the long journey ahead, but the storm was preventing that. However, she was also hoping that the angry, swelling thunder and winds would ensure that her parents didn’t hear her notoriously squeaky window open as she fled into the darkness.

Kelly and her boyfriend were running away together. At 16, she was so sick of constantly being controlled and put down by her parents. Some would say they were worse than that based on the amount of lamps and TV’s they had cracked or broken in heated quarrels with each other over the years. Kelly had prayed for so long that they would just get a divorce already, both for the sake of her, and more importantly, her little siblings. Outside of their own tumultuous relationship, the constant screaming and scoldings that she endured for not doing something exactly right, like loading the dishwasher or folding the laundry, was enough to drive anyone into their own shell; Kelly didn’t even know who she was anymore. She and Alec were going to get away from all of it, and never look back; they were headed to Mexico. Even though it would be a long drive, and Kelly hated being on the road in the rain, this was her last resort; she needed to be free from the fear, tension, and sadness that constantly settled over her family home like a foggy haze. Alec would do anything to support her, which is why he was going with her.

Kelly knew that, whenever so much as a person walked through her neighborhood, the dogs that lived next door barked. So, when she heard them, that would be her cue to slip out of the window into the night with a duffle bag and hopeful dreams of the future. As the dogs started aggressively yapping, Kelly knew he was here. Even though the sound of Alec’s truck was masked by the sounds of the night, she knew in her heart that it was time. She slid open the window, and was shocked when it didn’t make a sound. As she was grabbing her bag from her bed, she heard the usual severe weather warning ringing from the TV that her dad left on when he fell asleep on the couch with a beer in his hand. As she looked back at her room for the last time, she suddenly saw her little sister, Macy, standing in her doorway; she was only six. Somehow, Macy understood why she was leaving, it seemed. All she did was silently run to Kelly, give her a tight hug, and whisper goodbye. Kelly could see the tears trailing down her cheeks as she backed away from their embrace. Kelly nodded at her, and mouthed ‘I love you’. She then turned around, and disappeared into the night. 

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