Taken.There was a slight autumn breeze, rustling the fallen leaves on the ground. There was a faint smell of smoke in the distance, accompanied by the warm scent of dirt and grass. The sun was covered in slightly grey clouds, announcing autumn rain to come.
I walked down the road, hugging the edge every time a car came by. It was this walk I took home every day, to and from school. When I was younger, I was a little frightened by the idea of walking alone on the road. But now, at 16 years old, this walk didn’t seem so scary.
The breeze lightly blew my black hair into my face. I smiled as it tickled my skin. Today was the perfect kind of day. Breeze, little sunlight, and the delicious promise of rain.
I was the kind of girl who loved being outside. Ever since I was little, I exiled myself outdoors when I was sad or stressed. I always felt as if God could hear me better out here, without the ceiling in between us. Just the wide, blue sky.
“REGAN!” I heard. I turned around to see a beat-up white truck barreling down the road towards me. My best and only friend, Zack, had his head hanging out the window. I jumped off the road as the car came closer to me. He swerved, almost knocking me over, but luckily the car straightened out and stopped on the edge of the road.
“Zack, are you crazy?!” I yelled. Zack jumped out of his car and strode towards me.
“Look, Regan, I got my new truck,” he beamed. It was hard to be mad at him for long because of how excited he seemed.
“I think our definitions of new are two very different things,” I said, taking in the scuff marks, busted headlight, and permanent mud stains. The paint was flaking off, and the thing made a thunderous noise even just sitting still while running.
“Just because your parents can afford fancy new cars doesn’t mean you get to knock on mine,” he said.
I sighed. Even my best friend thought I was some stuck up rich girl. My dad was a doctor and was offered a job here, in Saint Compton, the littlest nowhere in Georgia, 7 years ago. We had a lot of money then, and we still would if my dad hadn’t become an idiot drunk and got fired from his job.
“Zack, you know it’s not like that anymore,” I said quietly. I kicked the gravel on the road.
He looked up at me with apologetic eyes. “I’m sorry, Regan, I forget sometimes. Hey, why don’t you let me give you a ride home?”
I sighed, and opened the passenger door. The car smelled faintly of tobacco and mint. It was a warm smell, a homely smell. I inhaled deeply, resting against the seat.
Zack got in and sped off down the road. He looked over at me.
“Are you okay, Regan?” he asked quietly. “I really didn’t mean anything by it, I swear.”
“It’s not you,” I said. “I just don’t feel quite like myself today.” I looked out the window, taking in the beautiful scenery of my home.
Zack turned into my driveway. I looked up at my house with sadness. This was the kind of house we used to be able to afford. Big, four car garage. Massive French doors. It was big and gorgeous.
And it wouldn’t be ours for much longer. We couldn’t keep up with the hefty bills we got every month. Eventually, we’d have to pack up and leave while the bank took our house.
Zack stopped the car and looked at me with sad eyes. I didn’t want that. I didn’t need someone to feel sorry for me.
“Stop that,” I said, closing my eyes.
“What?” he asked.
“Stop feeling sorry for me, I don’t want that.” I opened the door.
“Then what do you want, Regan?” He looked at me, annoyance now coloring his tone.
“Why are you getting annoyed with me?” I demanded.
“Because you’re the one running around feeling sorry for yourself!” he shouted. “All you do is mope around, and when someone tries to help, you just shut them down!”
I rushed inside and up the stairs to my room. My room was the only place I wanted to be, the only place I would ever want to be.
I flopped down on my floral quilt lying across my bed. I was exhausted, and a nap seemed like the best thing.
I closed my eyes, and soon fell into a deep sleep.
I could feel that it had been awhile since I fell asleep. My body was stiff, like I hadn’t moved at all in hours. I opened my eyes, and noticed that the sky outside my window was pitch black.
I looked over to my clock, and in red lights it said 3:04 in the morning. I sighed. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep, but I didn’t want to start getting ready for school now.
I quickly realized I didn’t want to be in this hot bedroom anymore. I didn’t want to even be in this house that soon wouldn’t be mine.
I couldn’t breathe. My breaths were coming in and out in loud, wild gasps. It felt like my lungs were closing in on me. I jumped up, grabbed my shoes, and ran outside.
I sat on the edge of the road, the damp grass soaking the jeans I slept in. It was completely dark except for the single streetlight above me.
I sat for what felt like hours. I had finally decided to go inside when I heard a car coming. I looked up and saw a silver Nissan coming towards me. I backed up.
The car stopped in front of me, and the window rolled down, revealing a guy. He was young, no older than 23, and incredibly attractive. He gave me a warm smile, flashing his brilliant white teeth.
“Hello,” he said. His voice was warm, inviting. I backed up a half a step.
“Hi,” I said timidly.
“What are you doing out so late?” he wondered.
I could barely see him in the dark, but it looked like he had ashy blond hair and blue eyes.
“I was wondering the same thing about you,” I said, my voice shaky.
“Oh, I’m in town visiting some old friends, and I just got here and I’m looking for a gas station.” He smiled. “Do you, by any chance, know where one is?”
I nodded. “The nearest one is up the street, stay on 231 until you come to a four-way stop, and then turn right and you’ll see Buddy’s Gas.”
“Thank you,” he said. “I’m David, if you were wondering.”
“I’m Regan,” I said, backing up even more. He seemed plenty nice, but I knew better than to get close to him.
“Would you like me to give you a ride home?” he asked. My eyes widened.
“No, thank you,” I whispered. “My house is right down the road.”
“Please, I insist,” he persisted.
“No, I’m fine.”
“It’s really no trouble,” he said, much less kind. He seemed to be getting aggravated, impatient.
“I’ll just be going,” I said, turning, poised to run.
I heard him getting out of the car, and then I took off sprinting. I didn’t realize how far I’d gone from the house until I was trying to get back.
Before I could get anywhere near the house, I felt something hit the back of my head, and I hit the ground, my vision turning black and I sunk into unconsciousness.