It was time to go. We had decided to make an early start of it, so at 7 am, the doorbell rang and the boy was with his father waiting out in the car. I hugged daddy hard. He was crying. I had never in my life seen him cry. And here he was. A man who had raised three children. A man who was a bomber in World War II and completed 22 successful missons over war torn Europe in a B17 Flying Fortress. A man who was never sick a day in his life and worked hard at his job without ever complaining, and I saw him standing there in tears begging me not to go.
My mother was still locked away in her room. I had not seen her in three days. She stopped talking to me. She refused to listen to me. She locked herself away and I never did have a chance to kiss her, hug her, tell her I loved her , say goodbye to her and try to make her understand that this is what I must do... what I had to do. She knew oh so well how I had suffered. How lonely I was. I was suffocating. There was no hope for me here, no future for me here and no chance for me here. I never fit in. And I never would. Now I was in survival mode and there was no turning back for me. I had to get out... I had to be free.
I got in the boys father's car. He drove us to the brand new interstate that now cut through the frozen farm fields and by passed the little towns that once had thriving motor court motels and where now only ghostly shadows remained. He dropped us off on the on ramp at the outskirts of town. The snow was swirling, whirling, spinning and stinging. The boy held me close and wrapped his green woolen Army coat around me. I had on the old thrift store fur that I had worn that whole winter but nothing could keep me from shivering and crying and dying inside as I thought of my parents and what I was doing to them. Then the cars started to go by..first one.. then another...speeding by...not looking...not paying any attention to the kids along side the road. And then one stopped.......we ran...we got in...The boy in the front seat, I in the back. A older man was driving. Probably in his thirties. A business man on his way to Chicago. He could give us a ride all the way to Chicago he said. Two hundred miles. Two thousand two hundred and fifty more miles to go.