I walked and walked and walked. My back pack full of toys weighed more than me and was getting heavier and heavier by the second. I was running away. Mama and Anna were back home, miles away by now. Anna was sick and I had been ignored all day long. I got sick of it, knew I deserved better, and took matters into my own hands. I was five years old.
The sun was setting, something I hadn’t prepared for! I didn’t want to turn back, but the creepy noises of night were getting louder and closer. I saw headlights around the corner and realized, in my five year old way, that there could be bad guys that came out at night.
“Addy?” It was Father, on his way home from work.
“Daddy!” I ran toward the car and climbed in as quickly as I could, rescued just in time!
“What are you doing? Checking the mail?” He pulled up to the mailbox at the end of the driveway and grabbed a stack of envelopes.
“I’m running away.” I said matter of factly, ignoring the small detail that I had only made it to the mailbox.
“Why?” Father hid his smile well.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” I began to dig through the bag of toys and pulled out my favorite baby doll.
“Well, I’ve been thinking about running away too. Would it be okay if I go?” I took a second to think it over and nodded. We were going to run away together!
Father ran inside to gather a few things and to tell his wife and daughter goodbye forever, and then climbed back into the driver seat to run away with me. “Ready?” I asked.
“Ready.” We headed down the same path that I had traveled only a little while before.
We pulled into a brightly lit hotel and were met by a valet. We headed inside, and I was amazed at the marble floors and gold columns. “Where are we?”
“A fancy hotel. Where else would we run away to?” Father smiled and turned his attention to the lady behind the desk. “Want to hold the key?”
I smiled, in awe of my surroundings, and cupped my hands around the key. “Eight two six.” I read slowly.
“That’s where we’re heading,” Father pushed the button and the elevator doors welcomed us to our new home.
“Hey how’d this get here?” I jumped onto the bed, still wearing my Velcro tennis shoes, and grabbed my book bag.
“They brought our things up for us.” Father smiled, probably wondering why I had never seen a nice hotel before. Father began to dig through my bag, I assumed he was looking for a good toy to play with, but instead he was looking for pajamas. “You only brought toys, Addy?”
“Mmm hmmm.” I pulled my muddy shoes off and slung them across the room. “You can sleep with teddy!”
“You didn’t think you would need clothes? Or a tooth brush? Or pajamas?” Father was holding back yet another smile.
“Oh,” I thought about it for a second and giggled. “Oops!”
“I guess you can sleep in one of my under shirts.” He pulled out a neatly folded white shirt and handed it to me. It was the perfect size for a giant night gown, and before I knew it we were curled up watching cartoons.
“I sure am glad you came with me…” My eyes were growing heavy and my long journey had finally caught up with me.
“Me too, baby girl.” Father kissed my head and turned off the TV. “Me too.”