When I was a little kid I ran away from home once. We were still in the house I remember as our first home in the desert, so I couldn’t have been older than…seven or eight. I don’t remember the specifics but I think I was in trouble, so I was confined to my bedroom. I was really angry. I got out my prized Pink Panther notepad (so they would know I was very serious) and left a note. Something like “I ran away, goodbye! I’m never coming back!”
Mom was taking a nap and Dad was watching TV or maybe he wasn’t home. But I do remember that I had to sneak out of my room, go down the hall, past the living room (where my Dad would have been watching TV… maybe he was in the bathroom), go through the kitchen and out the back door. Then I crept down the side of the house where I found one of our small kitchen knives. I have no idea why it was out there, but there it was. I thought I should use it. I cut a small hole in my screen (I mean really small, I think my hand could have fit through it) so my parents would think I got out through the window, which was important to me for some reason.
After cutting a hole in my screen I opened our gate and was home free! I ran down the street happily. The neighbor kids were outside playing and started to run with me asking what I was doing.
“I’m running away!” I said proudly.
“Cool!” They said. They wanted to come too so we all kept running down the street together. What’s funny now is I can’t remember who was coming with me. I think a girl from across the street and maybe another boy. I can not for the life of me conjure up their names though.
About one minute later I stopped and really thought about what I was doing. I thought as hard a seven year old can. I thought of mommy and daddy and my little sister. Then in truly dramatic form I threw my arms in the air.
“I can’t do this!” I turned and sprinted home. I flew through the gate, and back door. I ran all the way down the hall and flung myself onto my napping mother. I was sobbing. She was groggy and confused. Looking back she probably had a migraine because the room was really dark.
“I’m so sorry.” I wailed, my head buried in her neck. “I ran away. I ran away!”
My mom smoothed my hair and told me it was alright.
“I couldn’t stay away. I came back.” I was still sobbing. “I cut my screen too. To get away.”
“That’s alright honey. We’ll get you a new one.” I cuddled close to my mother.
“Ok.” I sniffled. “Can it have a rainbow on it?”
And that’s the story of the one time I ran away from home.