She turned around and froze in her tracks. A short, stocky shadow passed before her eyes in a matter of nanoseconds and she wondered if she had just imagined it or if someone had actually just passed in front of her.

Looking around frantically, she shook her head to clear her mind. It couldn’t be yet it was. Why had she left home? What on earth had possessed her to think she would find solace in running away from her monster of a mother?

Obviously, it had been in the rush and adrenaline of the moment. She couldn’t wait to get away and she took the first chance she got to fly out the window and run as fast as her young legs could carry her and now she regretted it. Yes, the woman treated her worse than trash. It was true she fed her pet dog and cat better than she fed her but at least there had been a roof over her head in the ‘home’ she had left behind. Now, she had nothing but shadows, insects and nocturnal sounds for company. The sky the only roof she knew, the tree branches her ceiling.

Forgetting her surroundings for a moment, she let her mind wonder back to the days before her mother had become like this, the days before she had turned into a beast to be feared and cowered away from. She always baked pastries and told stories about when she was young, singing her lullabies every night. But all that ended when her father walked out on them.

In the novels that she always had her nose buried in before her herculean mum had banned her from them and the movies she used to watch, the man always left his wife for a younger woman. But, no, her ‘darling’ father had to be the exception, leaving his wife of twelve years and eleven year old daughter for a woman fifteen years older than he was.

Three years ago, Pamela’s eleven year old mind couldn’t comprehend it but after three years of being woken up to the brutal reality of what her life had become, she finally understood. The woman her father had run away with was a multimillionaire and heiress to a fortune from her dead father in a few years. At least, that’s what the rumor mills had said.

After that, her mother had lost all form of human feelings. All she ever did was trudge along in life and beat Pamela whenever she had the itch or got a little bit provoked. She had stopped living three years ago when her husband left. She lived as though her life ended when he left her. To Pamela, he was as good as dead and so was her mother.
Her two selfish parents had no use for her and the one who was left with her poured out every of her grievances and frustrations on her, never for one day forgetting to remind her that it was her fault that he had left her. It was her fault that they were penniless at the time that he left because giving birth had never been in the agenda. A baby sucked up all their funds and ruined her shape. She should have gotten rid of her when she had the chance but she hadn’t and now, what she had to show for it was a younger version of herself who had life ahead of her, her own worthless life and a runaway husband.

The loud hooting of an owl drew Pamela back to the present and she jumped as a lizard scurried over her leg. Fear gripped her soul as the shadows crept closer and she knew she had to go back. It was the only place she could call home and that was enough, for now. But, she would get away one day, she promised herself and she would be different. Nobody but her would be blamed for her own failures and shortcomings.
-GraceOla 2017


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