No Turning Back
I could see her there. Waiting. Wondering if I was coming. “Let’s make a new start,” I told her. Except I couldn’t. As much as I wanted to do so, there were unforeseen complications. Mother being one. If I left, she’d hunt us down. Do who knows what to Jes. I couldn’t put Jes in that kind of danger. So, me standing here on these fence posts wasn’t going to work. I had to turn and go before Jes spotted me. And go where? Back to mother? No. I couldn’t go back there anymore. What I told Jes was true. I was done with Brighton, Ohio. Better out there in the world somewhere. Better on my own. I jumped down from the fence posts just as Jes spotted me. Damn!
She waved and ran toward me. I had to think of an excuse. Of why I couldn’t go. Lie to the girl I maybe loved. All to protect her. And myself.
“Hey,” she said coming closer.
I closed my eyes. Do it. For her own good. “I can’t go,” I said.
“But why?” She stumbled.
“I’ve got my reasons.”
“I can’t leave my mom.” I sighed at the weak excuse.
“Because she treats you so good?”
I shook my head. “Because—”
“I get you’re afraid. I am too.”
“That’s not it.”
She touched my arm. “Then tell me the truth.”
“She’ll kill us.”
“So will my parents.”
“No,” I said. “She’ll literally kill us.”
“She’s not that bad?”
The truth sprang to my lips. “She killed my brothers. When they tried to leave. She killed them.”
Footsteps sounded behind us. I turned to see mom. Sweat moistened my skin.
She put a hand to her hip. “You’ve got that right.”