Highway 2

I get out of the car.

He’s screaming.

I’m scared.

I sing and hum when I’m scared.

I start singing.

I walk into the house.

…to join the Black Parade…

He’s playing his game. He’s mad.

I’m scared. I hum.

SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP!

He scares me.

I hum something else.

I can’t help it.

DID I NOT TELL YOU TO SHUT UP?

When I was…

SHUT UP! IS THAT SO HARD TO FIGURE OUT?

ARE YOU SO STUPID YOU DON’T KNOW HOW?

No…

SHUT UP!

I’m so scared. I’m terrified.

I sing. It calms me down.

I WILL HURT YOU!

Please, calm down.

NO! SHUT UP, YOU STUPID GIRL!

…the broken, the beaten, and the damned…

THAT’S IT!

He throws a boot at me.

And another.

One of them hits my leg.

The mark is red.

That’ll bruise.

I get up. I’m hungry. I want grapes.

I sit on the backrest of the couch.

My feet are at the very back of the cushion.

Plenty of room for someone to sit.

MOVE.

Why?

BECAUSE YOU’RE IN MY WAY.

I thought you liked to stand up when you play video games?

SHUT UP AND MOVE!

He pushes me. I hold on.

It’s too much. I move sideways, onto the couch.

My head is on a laptop.

He’s on me.

One knee on my back.

One knee on my head, pushing down.

Down.

Down.

Down.

I feel like my head will pop, or be crushed.

Please, stop. You’re going to hurt my head.

GOOD. YOU DESERVE IT.

I get him off somehow.

My hair’s a mess.

My head hurts.

I’m done.

I can hit you, too! I can fight back!

I hit him. He hits back harder.

He pushes me down.

I get up.

Again.

Again.

Again.

WHY AM I CURSED WITH YOU?

I WISH YOU WERE NEVER BORN!

I WISH YOU WOULD JUST DISAPPEAR!

WHY ARE YOU ALIVE?

YOU ARE NOTHING.

YOU ARE A WHORE.

I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE OUT OF MY LIFE.

Fine. He wants me gone.

I’d be happy to oblige.

I don’t grab shoes.

I grab a bag.

I grab my phone and headphones.

I turn my phone on Airplane Mode.

I listen to music.

Should I take my car?

No.

It needs gas soon.

I don’t have gas money.

I start walking.

And walking.

And walking.

And I start singing.

I spoke to God today…

And she sounded just like me…

It’s a mile to the highway.

And then a long journey to the rest of my life.

I make it to the highway.

Highway 2.

I start walking.

And walking.

And walking.

Whatever happened to the young man’s heart?

Swallowed by pain, as he slowly fell apart…

The asphalt isn’t even hot.

I keep walking.

I hope a car will stop.

I rehearse what I will say.

Where are you going?

Anywhere but home.

Nobody stops.

I see a car coming towards me.

Maybe I should…

I step off the shoulder.

I step onto Highway 2.

I change my mind.

I step back onto the shoulder.

I don’t want to die.

Not yet.

The driver doesn’t stop.

Neither do I.

I should have taken my car.

I wouldn’t have gone very far, though.

I only have thirteen dollars.

I keep walking.

My feet start to hurt.

Maybe I should have grabbed shoes.

I stop at a little bridge.

I see water under it.

We had a lot of rain recently.

I look at my feet.

There are holes in my socks.

But I have to keep going.

I will keep going.

I move to the other side of Highway 2.

I was on the side where traffic was going back home.

I go on the side where traffic is going away from home.

Will anyone stop?

That’s okay.

Where will I spend the night?

I don’t want to walk through the night.

What if an animal hurts me?

The thought scares me.

Abraham took Isaac’s hand…

And led him to the lonesome hill…

I just have to get to Anselmo.

I’ll find somewhere to spend the night.

I’ll keep going in the morning.

I just need somewhere to lay my head.

Someone stops.

It’s my friend’s family.

They ask what I’m doing.

I shrug.

The father speaks up.

Just walking?

An opportunity for a lie that will protect my mask.

Yeah. Just walking.

Can I take you somewhere?

I think. I tell him my destination.

Now I don’t have to walk that last mile.

Had I really walked three miles?

I was stronger than I thought.

Take that.

I get in the car.

I know these people. I trust them.

I know when it’s getting rough…

I turn the music off.

My phone will die soon.

He stops.

I get out, and look at the building.

A church.

Churches are safe havens.

I can be safe in a church.

I can talk to God.

This church is always open.

I walk in.

I’m quiet in case anyone is in there.

I use the restroom then go upstairs.

I turn my phone off. It’s dead anyway.

I feel safe.

I can feel you all around me…

I don’t feel scared anymore.

I don’t feel regret.

Why didn’t I do this before?

Someone’s here.

I shut up. I only want a certain person to find me.

It’s my dad. I stay quiet.

Are you in here?

I stay quiet.

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

He leaves. He was with my friend’s dad.

My friend’s dad comes back.

He says my dad is gonna call the cops.

I stay quiet.

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

I can tell it’s dark out.

White is black and black is white…

I turn on a silent alarm on my watch.

That’s when I’ll leave and hit the road.

I don’t ever want to go home.

I want to go to my sister’s house.

I feel loved there.

I feel wanted there.

If the cops will find me, they’ll take me there.

I want the cops to find me.

I start to pray.

God, please let the cops find me.

Please deliver me safely to my sister’s house.

I wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

I hear a siren. It’s the cops.

I wait for them to find me.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Somebody once told me…

Had I imagined them?

I hear the sirens again.

Someone enters the church.

There’s a flashlight.

You’re not in any trouble.

I wait for him to find me upstairs.

My dad had gone to church here when he was a kid.

How had he not found me?

I wonder what my brother is thinking right now.

Is he happy? Is he sad? What did Mom and Dad say to him?

Did he see any fault in what he did?

People are coming up the stairs.

It’s my aunt and my cousins.

Meghan, what’s happening?

I don’t want to go home.

Okay.

She yells over the edge of the loft.

We found her!

Hey, Meghan, what’s wrong?

I don’t want to go home.

Okay, come downstairs and we’ll talk about it, okay?

Okay.

I go downstairs.

I talk with the police man.

He asks what happened.

I tell him.

He tells me I can’t do that again.

I say okay.

I’m crying.

I’m so scared.

What if my dad comes?

What if he yells at me?

He sounded so angry when he came earlier.

I don’t want him to yell at me.

My aunt and cousins are outside.

Tashia sits beside me.

Cameron stands near.

My aunt talks to the policeman.

He asks for my dad’s phone number.

I don’t give it to him.

My aunt takes Cameron home.

Tashia refused to leave.

She sits beside me.

My mom shows up.

I thought she was in North Platte.

Don’t touch me!

She hugs me. I push her away. We talk.

I don’t want to go home.

Then where do you want to go?

Andrea’s.

We take Tashia home. We go to my sister’s.

I’m back on Highway 2.

But I’m in a car this time.

Maybe I can try this again when I have gas money.

I’ll go the opposite direction.

We arrive at my sister’s house.

I stay there for the night.

I wake up. I’m happy there.

I never want to leave.

My mom takes me home anyway.

Please, don’t take me home.

She tells me that things are going to change.

She tells me that my brother wasn’t going to be mean anymore.

Weeks go on.

I was stupid. I should have known.

Nothing was ever going to change. 

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