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Posts Tagged ‘boarding school’

We established the time.  It would be 2:00 am and we agreed that by that time, all the girls would be asleep.  Everyone would be deep in their slumber.   Any careless racket or bumping into bed posts or sloppy tiptoeing we made during our nocturnal escape, no one would be conscious or alert enough to realize that someone is indeed walking the halls of Dorm III and Dorm V.

It was a big TV night at the dorms, it was the night of the “Miss USA” broadcast.  The dorm head mistresses allowed the girls to stay up late and watch the show.  It wasn’t often that favors were granted. These girls were misfits.  They were confused and often ended up in some sort of trouble.  Their families didn’t really know what to do with them.  A couple of drug addicts, some runaways, one girl was in a house fire and her face was disfigured.  She learned to deal with it and ignored the scars.  That’s what she told us.  I wasn’t quite sure why she was here.  I wasn’t sure why I was here.

I was nervous, but I had everything planned in my head and I was determined that the plan would go smoothly.  In a few hours, we would be far away from St. Vincent’s Boarding School for Girls. The school felt medieval. The main house was reminiscent of a grand fortress during the day. But as night fell, it was dark and Victorian, with a pitched roof and stained glass windows.  The stone structure had a sinister, eerie feeling.  We all joked there were vampires in the basement and dare not go to the main house for anything at night for fear that you’ll never make it out.  How cliché. Right at that moment, I saw a glimpse of myself six months ago. Scared, unsure of what was happening to me, my stuff was packed, and I was getting into my uncles 1980 Chevrolet for the ride up to St. Vincent’s Academy for Girls. I try to let the image go, but the image reignited my loathing and repulsion I felt for them for allowing this to happen. I must not dwell right now, I thought. First things first. I have to get out of here first.

It was time. I got up quietly, put on my socks and sneakers.  My loose pajamas hid my sweatshirt and jeans underneath, which we agreed we would sleep with.  I reached for my backpack which was filled only with necessities and was underneath my bed. I slowly pulled it towards me trying to lightly lift it off the floor so that it would not make a sound.  I looked toward my roommate.  Her leg was sticking out of the blue heavy blanket, slightly twitching but she was asleep.

I looked around the dark room to make sure I had everything.  I tiptoed to the door that led to the hallway, opened it slowly to make sure no one was up.  I closed it again and tiptoed to the window, turned the lever so that I can unlock it and then pushed the window outward. I immediately felt the gust of the winter air in my face.  I reached over and put the backpack on the grass outside the window and then I carefully climbed over the window sill.

I’m outside, I thought with a sense of accomplishment.  I pushed the window inward as to appear closed from the inside.  I hunched down and tried to catch my breath. I felt light headed and my heart was beating fast.  I was trying to hold every once of air inside me as I had walked cautiously around the room earlier and now I think I’m going to pass out. I am sitting on this damp, mushy ground.  I don’t feel the frigid cold immersed in the midnight air. It’s as if I was in a pocket of nothingness.  No one would detect anything until early morning.  That gives us plenty of time, I thought. There are unknowns that we are faced with, but what we are leaving behind is much worse.  Somehow, it would work out, we just didn’t know what that was yet.

I took a big sigh, and saw the cloud of air exiting my mouth, dissipating before me. Is it too late to change my mind?  I have time to call this off, I thought hesitantly.

I now started to feel a bit cold. I waited patiently.  Jo wasn’t here yet.  Where was she?  We agreed that by 2:15am we would meet outside my dorm window.  My teeth were beginning to tremble and my body jerked uncontrollably.

I don’t even know her last name, I thought.  I just know that she likes her nickname.  Should I call out to her?  I decided to wait a bit.  That’s all I could do is wait.  There wasn’t a plan for a change of plans.  Oh brother! This was a mistake, I thought in anguish.

2:30am, WHERE IS SHE?  I looked down at my ripped sneakers.  I started counting my loop holes so that I won’t think about the time.  I could hear the night animals in the quiet surroundings of the tall trees. Despite wind rustling branches and other night sounds, the silence was overpowering.

2:45 am, I heard rustling leaves.  I was afraid to yell out her name.

“Jo”? I softly called out.

“Yes!” She answered huffing and puffing in a loud whisper.  “Who do you think it was, Ms. Illinois?!! As usual sarcasm which I’m going to miss.

“I overslept.” as she pushed herself through the shrubs and fell on her knees.  We both started laughing quietly.

The dorms were separated by eight foot fences in the rear.  We forgot about that.  Jo had to climb over one fence that separated her dorm from my neighboring dorm. Now she was standing right next to the fence, too tired to climb over it.

“I’m too tired to climb over another fence.”  She groaned. “And, I’m cold!

Couldn’t we pick the spring to get the heck out of here? I’m complaining to the headmistress!”

We both started laughing with our hands up against our mouths.

We both looked up at the top of the fence and then looked toward the hill.

“We could just walk side by side down the hill; I think it should be fine.” We both shrugged.

The moonlight was bright as a sunny day.  Making it down the hill may be challenging, but light was on our side.

The overgrown bush hid muddy path ways and rocky, steep declines. Unknown paths with jagged edges were some of the unknowns. What you thought was a smooth pebble walkway, was masked with thick thorny bushes. Are we delusional about what waits for us ahead? Is it possible that what we are leaving behind, we will find ahead?  We started our descent to the main road and our freedom.  The silence was so loud. We walked with determination jumping over rocks, and obstacles, sometimes loosing sight of each other. We knew we both had to deal with our issues separately.  Will we best friends forever? No matter what side of the fence we walked, our paths were different, but the same. Life as we didn’t know it just yet.

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