She sat down for a quick break. She was breathing hard. She wondered if she had made the right decision, but it was too late. She can't go back now. She had already ran. If she went back now, the wouldn't take her seriously, and she couldn't have that. She wanted to prove that she was serious, and that she needed to be taken seriously. Her life was important to her, and if they wanted to play games with her, then she was going to take off and forget them.
She then realized that she had no where to stay. She realized she had no food to eat. She realized that, once again, she screwed up. I hate this, she thought, I always screw up. No wonder no one takes me seriously... As she sat, thinking about how badly life sucked, of course, it started to rain. She sat there, short sleeved shirt, denim skirt, and her favorite chucks. What could possibly happen next? Well, she found out.
As she was sitting on the sidewalk, she noticed a car that seemed awfully familiar. She realized that she knew the person in it. She ducked her head down and hoped he wouldn't notice. Yeah, right. What do you know? He stopped in front of her. She decided not to move. In fact, she didn't want to look at him. She hoped that maybe, just maybe, he would go away. She closed her eyes and counted backwards from ten, hoping he would go away...
9... the car shut off...
8... she heard a door open...
7... she heard footsteps on the ground...
6... she heard the door close...
5... she heard the footsteps come closer to her...
4... she could feel the presence of someone standing over her...
3... she heard him softly grunt as he sat down...
2... he stretched his legs out...
1... he put his hands on the sidewalk next to her...
She didn't know if she should bother to look up, because she didn't want to see him sitting there. She wondered why he was just sitting by her in the rain. He sat silent for about 10 seconds, but it seemed like hours to her. Finally, he spoke.
"Tell me what you're thinking."
"I can't. I don't want to."
"Ok. Just let me know when you are ready." She sat in her own stubborn silence, hoping he would give up and leave, but he stayed, just as stubborn as she was. She got a shiver down her spine, and of course, he noticed. He took off his jacket and draped it over her. She wanted to hand it back, but, she was really cold. She didn't want to let herself cave, but she knew it would happen at some point. She pulled the jacket around her tightly and squeaked out a thank you. He scooted closer to her and put his arm around her waist.
"Hey, why don't I drive you back home? I'm sure your parents are worried."
"No, I don't want to go back home. I ran for a reason, and I don't want to go back."
"Ok. So, why did you run?"
"Because I can't take it anymore."
"Take what anymore?"
"Everything." She stood up and started walking in the opposite direction of his car. He grabbed her hand and pulled her to the passenger's side, opened the door and practically pushed her in.
"You'll stay with us tonight. I'll call your mom and let her know I found you and that your staying with us." Then he closed the door and walked around to get in on the driver's side. She wanted to get out and run, but she couldn't. She also wanted to stay with him. She wanted him to love her. She wanted him to hold her, like he used to. Before everything happened. Before he was taken away.
He got in the car, and she asked, "Are you sure my mom will be ok with my staying with you?" He looked at her, rubbed her face tenderly and answered, "I don't care if she is or not. You're staying with me, and that's final." He started the car, and he got a smirk on his face as he added, "There's a nice spot on your favorite couch that's waiting for you."
She curled up in a ball on the seat and started to fall asleep. He reached out and grabbed her hand, and started to rub her fingers.
"That feels really good," she said softly. His hand felt so warm, and she didn't want it to stop. They drove for a while, and when they got to his place, she had already fallen asleep, so he picked her up and carried her to the couch. He kissed her forehead, and started to walk to his room. She suddenly sat up quickly, and got off the couch. He looked at her, and asked her what was the matter.
"I'm soaking wet. I can't stay on your couch. I'll get it all wet." He shook his head and walked into his room. He came back out with a t-shirt and some sweats and tossed it to her.
"I'm going to let Lily know your here." He went into his room, and she walked to the bathroom to change. She hung her clothes in the bathtub, and walked back out to the living room, where she saw him laying a blanket out on the couch. She walked behind him and put her arms around him.
"Thank you," she whispered. He tried to turned around and put his arms around her, kissed her forehead one more time, and whispered in her ear, "I love you, Cara. I'll always be here when you need me." She buried her face in his chest and let the tears flow. He walked her over to the couch and sat down with her. She sat and cried for a good half hour, and he just held her in his arms. She finally calmed down, and she fell asleep in his arms. He held her tightly, and they slept peacefully on the couch that night.
The next morning, when she woke up, she was wrapped up in a blanket, holding on tightly to a pillow. She looked around for the time, and she saw it was almost noon. She got up to see where he had gone. She looked at the other couch, and her clothes were folded neatly. She walked over and smelled them. They smelled clean, and they were warm, like they were fresh out of the dryer. She looked over at the kitchen table, and there was a burger, all by itself. She walked over towards it when he came into the living room, and said, "You're finally up! Good morning, sleepyhead." He walked over to her, kissed her cheek, and said, "Yes, that's for you."
She sat down and took a bite. She didn't realize how hungry she was until she took that first bite. And, burgers were her favorite. She wolfed it down so fast, she surprised herself. She looked over at him, and she could tell he was trying to stifle a laugh. She brushed the back of her hand across her mouth and realized that she that food all over her face. He walked over to her and handed her a paper towel, and she cleaned up her face. He kissed her on the forehead and said, "Go shower."
She smiled as she got up from the table, and then grabbed her clothes and walked to the bathroom. After she was done showering, she went back into the living room, and sat on the couch. He came in and sat by her, and she scooted a bit closer to him. He put his arm around her, and then flipped on the television.
"I don't understand," she said, "what are we doing? When am I going home?"
"Did you want to go back home?" She thought really hard before she answered the question.
"Well, isn't that your plan? To calm me down, tell me what I need to do, and then take me back? Besides, I can't stay here with you guys. I don't have any clothes, I don't have any money. What am I going to do?"
"I thought you had all of the planned before you took off."
"No, I guess I never really thought it all they way through. I just ran." She put her head against his shoulder, hoping that he wouldn't see the tears coming to her eyes. Unfortunately, she left tear stains on his shoulder, and he felt them.
"Princess, do you want me to take you home?"
"I don't know. I don't know what I want." He turned to face her and then cupped her face in his hands and said, "Next time you run, I want you to run to me, do you understand?"
She sniffled and then answered, "Yes, Uncle Mirth."
"Ok. Now, let's wash your face, and Lily and I will drive you home." As he got up from the couch, she threw her arms around his waist. She looked up at him and said, "Have I ever told you how much I love you?"
He smiled and answered, "All the time. Now, let's get you home.