Imagine youíre a thirteen year old boy. Now imagine youíre running away from home. Youíre packing your backpack with all the necessities. Toothbrush, your favorite pair of shorts, an extra shirt.
Imagine your parents screaming in the other room. Sheís lazy, heís never home, yelling that never ceases. You wonder if theyíve forgotten you.
You drop your best hat in your pack.
Youíll show them. They donít need you. They donít love you. Youíre leaving for good. They probably wonít even miss you.
Imagine you slam the front door on your way out.
Imagine you hear them stop fighting. Thatís not possible though. They donít care if you leave. Youíll see. Youíll be at your friendís house in no time. Everything will be okay. You can pretend itís a sleepover so his mom doesnít call your house.
You knock on the door, but no oneís home. No one cares about you. You donít have anywhere to go.
Imagine you find a tree house. Now imagine thatís your new house. You climb up the ladder and set out your stuff. With no one around you wonít need to brush your teeth. No one will come to find you anyway.
Imagine balling up your backpack and laying your head on it. You curl up trying to keep warm. You feel splinters digging through your shirt and mosquitoes biting your ankles.
You toss and turn, but canít sleep.
Youíre full of questions and donít know what to do. Where will you go? No one wants you.
Imagine you hear your name. Now imagine you hear it again. You look out the window of the tree house and see your dadís car. Imagine both mom and dad are in the car. You feel a smile on your face.
Imagine you jump out of the tree house. You run towards the car waving your arms. Your parents get out and run to you. The hug you and kiss your forehead. They love you. Theyíre sorry. They didnít realize. They were so worried. They never want to lose you.
You know youíre loved. You believe your parents. You go home and sleep in your own bed. You wake up to both parents awake. Momís making breakfast and dad doesnít look like heís ready for work.
Imagine heís staying home today. Now imagine your parents are going to get help.
Imagine they love you.
Youíll never run away again.
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