I was about eight years old when I tried to run away from home, it was the only time that I ever tried this, and I don’t think that my parents ever knew that this happened.
My childhood wasn’t a great one. My father was a Jekyll and Hyde. Unfortunately, I mostly saw the Hyde side of him. I’m not exactly sure why I thought that running away was a good idea, but all I could think about was that I needed to get away. Even at eight years old, I knew that things weren’t the way that they were supposed to be.
My mother had just put me to bed in my room, and my sister in her room. She was crying, my father had just finished giving her a beating. She was doing her best to tuck me in, but because she was crying, I started to cry, and she didn’t want that. “Diana, stop crying right now. If he hears you, he’s going to come in here and I don’t want him to come in here. Not now.” I understood what she was saying, so I tried to muffle my tears, but it wasn’t easy. When my mom left my room, I didn’t know what was going to happen next. Was he going to beat her again? Was he going to come into my room and start hitting me? Why was he doing this again?
Now, I’m not sure where I got the idea from, maybe from seeing something on television, but all I wanted to do was to get away.
I waited for awhile, I don’t know for how long I waited. When it felt safe, and it was very quiet, I got out of my bed, and with my Pink Panther stuffed animal toy, I put on a pair of slippers, stood on top of my bed, opened the window, and climbed out. I remember hitting the ground hard, it was nothing but dirt outside of my window. I got up, dusted myself off, and walked to the front of our house. I don’t know what time it was, but it was late. We lived on a street where if you walked to the right, there was an elementary school, and to the left was a busy, main street. Me and my Pink Panther doll went to the left, because I knew that across the main street was my friend, Jan, and her family. They were always nice to me, so I thought that I could go there to stay. Well, when I got to the main street, there were cars going back and forth, back and forth. It was cold, and all I had on her my pj’s and my slippers. I could see Jan’s house from where I stood, and I remember thinking, it looked so far away. I was too scared to try and cross the street. I stood there, in the cold, not knowing what to do. So, I walked back home.
When I got back, it was then that I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to get back up to my window, to climb back into my bedroom. Now, I was even more scared because I didn’t want my father to find me outside like this because I knew that he would give me a horrible beating for doing something so stupid. I didn’t know what to do, I just sat down, and cried.
A few minutes passed, and I heard my sister, “Diana, what’s wrong with you?” I looked up and before I could say anything, she said, “Go to the front door, I’ll open it for you.” So I went to the front door, and there she was, opened the door to let me back inside. She whispered for me to be quiet, because we didn’t want to wake anyone up. We would both have been in trouble.
“Diana, don’t ever do something stupid like that again, okay?” And she walked me back to my room, and tucked me back into bed. “There’s nowhere to go Diana. Now, go back to sleep.”
In the morning, when my mom came into my room, she didn’t know what had happened, she just came in as she normally did, and woke me up. I noticed that my Pink Panther doll still had some dirt on him, but that didn’t matter. All that matter, was that I was back inside, thanks to my sister, and still unsure as to what the future held for all of us.
Semi-safe from the outside world, but unsafe from my own father’s evil temper. Yet, I was home.