Escape Your Past | Teen Ink

Escape Your Past

September 22, 2021
By vishnuark SILVER, Centreville, Virginia
vishnuark SILVER, Centreville, Virginia
8 articles 1 photo 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. -Mother Teresa

“I waited for you,” the voice whispered in a sickeningly sweet tone as it hissed and lunged at a silhouette over the flames. Ru awoke with a start, gasping for air as her heartbeat slowed to the metronome of the pounding rain outside. She shook her head and threw off her blanket to shake off the dread from the nightmare. She glanced past the iron bars at the clock and groaned. It read 4:00 AM, definitely not the well-rested sleep she deserved for her first day of junior year.

Massaging her neck under the constricting copper collar, Ru opened her iridescent journal and documented the nightmare, her third this week. Hopefully, she thought, the sparkles will chase off the eerie darkness of my jail in Aleria. She had been admitted to the Recreation Initiative in her home country in Grasla, like many other juvenile convicts. 

Ru bristled with resentment as she remembered her foster parents happily handing over 5-year-old Ru to the crazy experiment of Aleria, a sort of revamped Alcatraz. The only problem was she didn’t remember what act of violence she committed to end up in this dump. She only knew the aftermath of the incident, leaving a scar that could never fade and a constant shadow on her face.

She was shopping with Laura, her Japanese foster mother, at the local supermarket to pick up a new electric hoverboard. Young Ru was practically jumping with joy because Laura and Tom lived in the fringe of the city, too far from strip malls to buy proper presents. 

But this year was special; Laura and Tom were planning on actually adopting Ru. No more lonely nights in the dormitory. No more starving for days because the dining hall staff had run out of food. No more moving from town-to-town, trying to find a place for a little girl who grew up way too early.

Ru ran over to the hoverboard aisle and scrolled through the holograms to find the perfect electric blue that matched her shoes. Laura laughed and went to pay at the register. Meanwhile, Ru wandered off to see a black silhouette slip into a room in the back of the store. 

Curious, she creaked open the door and skipped in, only to reemerge unharmed from a flaming building, the only survivor of the fire. 

Ru screws her eyes shut, attempting to recall what happened that day, only remembering leaving the building in tears and yelling for Laura. The police checked the cameras in the area to find young Ru drop a matchstick into a pot of oil. Despite Ru’s pleading, she could not be proved innocent. That was the first time Tom had hit her. She ran away, only to be captured and offered as a guinea pig in an experiment to “restructure” the minds of “troubled adolescents.” 

Ru smoothed down her ratty T-shirt and jeans and looked at her reflection in the iron bars around the room. She saw the severe face of the 17-year-old she now was, contorted by the bars to look like the monster everyone told her she was. She brushed her tangled curls away from her face and reassured herself; today, was the day she would escape.

The author's comments:

You can define your future.

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