I Ran Away From Orphanage With My Only Friend. We Starved
- Published: 11 September 2019
- Hello there! My name is Rebecca. I bet that every kid dreams of growing up faster, to be able to do anything they want in their lives and to make their own dreams come true. I did too. Recently I turned 18 years old, so I am as free as a bird now. But what if I tell you that all my dreams have been shattered and that I am actually standing at the edge of nowhere?
I was born in California. I had the happiest life you could ever imagine. My mother was a successful photographer, so we never felt like we were lacking anything. But one day everything changed.
I was still in bed early one morning when I heard a knock at the door. Then I heard my mom speaking loudly and arguing with whoever was there. I ran downstairs to see my mother handcuffed. There were four policemen who dragged her out of the house and shut the door. I was just standing there in shock, unable to move or even cry. But before I knew it, there was another knock on the door. It was some people from Child Protective Services. They told me that my mom had been arrested for committing a crime, and that she would not be back home for an indefinite amount of time. This was an awful shock for me. I tried to convince myself this was all a huge mistake and everything was going to be fine again soon, but that never happened.
"While my mother was under investigation, I was put into a childcare center for a while, before going to a foster family. I only spent two weeks there, but I had already gotten my full view of this new reality. I was in really ""great company"" - juvenile offenders, criminals, rebels, and hooligans. And I was just an innocent 15-year old girl who had hardly ever said a swear word. I was wearing expensive clothes, but I had them all stolen and ripped to shreds on my very first night. I became an outcast. The kids there would lock me in the bathroom and steal my things and my lunch. Every day was torture... Until I met Tyler.
I was on my way to my room when I found myself surrounded by bullies. But I was lucky to not have to find out what they were about to do with me this time. An older guy came around the corner and stood up for me. He must have been a local legend or something, because everybody left me alone.
He told me that I had to be more careful and to not walk in the hallways all alone anymore. I didn't have to walk alone, because Tyler accompanied me everywhere I went from that moment on.
Tyler became my only friend and support in that awful place. He was also the only person I shared my story with. It turned out that his parents were also put in jail and there was no way they were coming out any time soon. He had changed foster families five times, and, as he said, all of them gave him a hard time. His only dream was to turn 18 and so he could take control of his life. I was so impressed by his determination and courage. Yeah, I guess it was love at first sight. And soon it turned out that it was mutual! I can't believe I met my first love in the most miserable and destructive period of my life. I still had no news about my mother. The only thing I knew was she had been accused of fraud, and she was facing more than ten years in prison. My eyes would water up every time I thought about it, but Tyler helped me to get through all of it. He was my only beacon of light.
But I barely had the chance to enjoy my new found happiness before it was over.
I was informed that there was a nice foster family who was going to take me and take care of me until I turned 18. I immediately told Tyler everything. I was in despair and I could not lose him. But it seemed like he was not upset at all. He said with complete certainty: "Let's just run away!" He said we could go to New York, that he would find a job, and everything would be just perfect, like we had pretended. It didn't take me long to give him a definite: "Yes!"
We had to sneak out at night. Tyler knew about all the secret doors and passages in that building, so we actually managed to escape. And that's how it started, our long way to, as we thought, a bright future. We had no documents and very little money. We definitely couldn't go to New York by plane or by bus. Our only options were walking or hitchhiking, which were both pretty dangerous. But I had no fear, because I entirely relied on Tyler and I was sure that he knew what he was doing.
Our journey was tough. We had to walk all day long, to sleep on the streets, and to ask people for money and food. We were starving, our clothes got dirty, and very soon we looked like street beggars. Our destination seemed more and more impossible to me, so at one point, I even started thinking of going back...
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