Saturday, 30 June 2007
08:14:05 AM (GMT)
Opal stood there, staring up at Gary. His dark eyes were fixed on her, and he seemed
so tall and tough against little Opal. She could remember him, from when she was a
baby. But who could forget those cold, dark eyes staring down at her? They had
haunted her, she just hadn't realised it.
"Go up to bed," ordered Gary, and then he turned to smile at her Mum.
"But...but it's way too early, and I haven't had my dinner yet," Opal said timidly.
"I share this house now and you will obey me!" roared Gary. He reached his hand up
and gave Opal a massive slap on her cheek. Tears spilled down her face.
"I-I hate you!" she shouted, running up the stairs. But Gary was fast. Her dragged
her back down again and pushed her to the floor. He took a baseball bat from his bag
and started bashing it on Opal's legs. She just lay there, too frightened to move.
She got up after a few minutes and ran upstairs as fast as she could. There was no
need. Gary wasn't following. She could hear him laughing with her Mum downstairs.
They had obviously been drinking - a lot.
She buried her head in her pillow and cried. Her legs stung and her cheek did too,
but that didn't stop her from crying. All she wanted to do was die. Even death
couldn't be as painful as this, she thought. But then she had an idea. A thought
struck her like lightening. She would run away.
She pulled on her old trainers and packed a small bag. Then she tied her duvet to one
of the posts and then lobbed it out of her window. It was easy to climb down, even
though she thought it wouldn't be. She had planned this all her life, but yet she had
forgotten it when she needed it most. How could this thought not have struck her
earlier? As she reached the ground, she ducked. Opal didn't want to risk her Mum
seeing her - or even worse, Gary. She crawled down her front garden and then ran down
the path, to the end of her road. When she reached the playground, she stopped for a
bit, but soon went on. The playground would be the first place Gary looked for her.
When she was little, she always used to run down to the playground. Gary would surely
She passed Ruth's house, and as she did, the door opened.
"Hi, Opal," said Ruth, coming out onto the driveway. "Where ya going?"
"I'm running away," whispered Opal. "But please don't tell anyone."
"Why? You never said anything about it before," said Ruth. She looked confused. Her
glasses were sliding down her nose and she pushed them back up again.
"Well, my Mum's boyfriend moved back in, and he was the one that made my life
Ruth nodded. "Well, good luck."
Opal nodded a nod of thanks, and then ran off.
"Wait!" called Ruth. "Do you want to borrow my bike?"
"Well, sure. But it probably won't be for borrowing. I don't have a clue where I'm
"I don't mind. I can hardly ride it. I don't want it. Just take it."
Ruth got the bike out of the garage, brushed it off a little bit and then handed it
over to Opal. She also gave her an extra pack of biscuits and some crackers.
"Good luck." Opal nodded, and sped off.
She kept going until she reached the town. She had bought her purse with her. It
contained ten pounds. She decided to save it for absolute necessities, but she went
into the second hand shop and bought a sleeping bag for £3.
She rolled it up and tucked it into her bag. Then she sped forward through the town.
She had no idea where she was going, her legs just seemed to pedal and her hands just
seemed to steer. She never really got tired, not until darkness came. She sat down at
the edge of this wood, ate some crackers and biscuits and then layed down in her
sleeping bag. She didn't worry, she didn't cry, all she could think was - she was