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The Great Escape by David Rodriguez

Bobby didn’t know where he was going, but he knew he was gone. For good this time. He was tired of the toxic environment in his home, if you could even call it a home. His mother was a drug addict, his step father was as well. An endless march of strangers coming in and out of the house daily. Things went missing, he would get blamed, then came the beatings from his step dad. Bobby had enough. He had dreams. He had aspirations. He was going to move to the city, the biggest city he could think of, and become a career musician. He packed his guitar with a few belongings, and just like that he disappeared into the dark of the night. First stop, the train station. He walks up to the attendant, “One ticket to New York City please.” The attendant responds, “Sure thing, that’ll be $54.25.” Bobby had grossly underestimated the price of the train ticket. He reached deep in his pockets, hoping to pull out a miracle. No such luck. All he had was a $20 dollar bill, a pack of gum, four pennies, and a nickel. How in the world was he going to make it to New York City? Would he have to go back home? Perhaps plan his escape a little better? He decided no, his escape would not end this way. He had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Bobby sat on a nearby bench, pondering his next move. An older gentleman, maybe in his early 70’s, sat right next to him. “Mind if I sit here?” he asked. Bobby nodded in agreement. Bobby noticed the old man had nothing with him. No suitcase, no knapsack, no bag, nothing. There was an odd aura about him. Bobby couldn’t stop staring at him. There was a twinkle in his eye. Nothing scary about it, just odd. “Running away are you?” asked the old man. Bobby was surprised. How did he know? “Something like that” replied Bobby. Bobby was fidgeting in his seat. He did not want to be bothered, he was too busy thinking about his next move. The old man went on and on about his life, asking Bobby all types of questions. Finally, he got up and started to walk away. “Got to go, long drive ahead.” Without looking back, Bobby responded, “Have a safe trip to...wherever you’re going.” The old man responded, “The city that never sleeps.” Bobby’s eyes lit up, he turned around, but just like that the man was gone. Bobby ran out the door hoping to catch him before he left. No sign of him. Bobby felt as if he missed his opportunity. He was sure the old man would have given him a ride. Bobby walked away from the station, maybe a walk would help him mellow out and think straighter. Bobby walked for about a mile, and seemingly out of nowhere, a bright red pickup truck pulls to the side. Must’ve been from the 1950’s or something. Although it looked brand new. The passenger door swung open, it was the same old man from the station. “Need a ride?” asked the old man. Bobby, again, nodded in agreement. He was only 16 and about to take on the world. Afraid, but excited. He got in the truck and they drove off. As they approached the state line, Bobby saw the sign that read “Now leaving Tennessee”. Bobby had begun his journey. There was no turning back now. He couldn’t explain it, but for the first time ever, Bobby felt like he had made the best decision of his life. He was finally free.
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