It had been two years since she had last been in this neighborhood. Two years since the night when in the dead of night, a sixteen year old version of herself slipped out of her bedroom window with just two over-sized travel bags and never looked back. The argument that night had been the last straw. She believed that she had the right to date who she wanted; sure, he had been 18 and a total bad boy, but she loved him. It didn't matter to her that he dealt drugs and partied all the time. She never saw the dealings and the parties were a whole lot of fun. Her father on the other hand knew that Jason was trouble and had not only grounded her after she broke curfew and came home drunk, but also forbid her from ever seeing Jason again. The memory of that night was fresh in her mind. She could recall the book case in her room that she knocked over while trying to sneak in, how loud the door had sounded when she slammed it in her father's face and told him that she hated him, how quickly she had packed her bags and then waited for her boyfriend to pick her up. The plan had been to run away and never look back, to lay low and then when she turned 18 they were going to get married.
Emily Rose learned the hard way- not everything goes as planned. It was great the first year. They had gotten her a fake ID and her blonde hair was dyed red. There was never a worry about money, Jason brought in more than enough and they were able to live comfortably in a little apartment. Still, she ended up getting a job as a dancer at a local club and put some money aside for herself. Then everything went downhill. First, she would end up home alone two or three days a week. Then it was more. Until eventually Jason stopped coming home altogether. The money she saved was spent trying to keep up with the bills until eventually there was an eviction notice. While she was moving out Emily had been approached by a couple of men. It turned out that Jason skipped out of town and owed their boss a significant amount of money and they were collecting it from her.
With nothing but $200 to her name she set out find a way to make it on her own. That was a month ago. It had been the worst experience of her life which is why she turned to her last resort- returning home and begging her father to take her back in. For 2 hours now she had paced the walkway. Several times she went to the door and right before knocking turned back towards the sidewalk. It was nearly 3 in the morning and she figured he was sleeping. She debated on waiting until morning, but by then the neighbors were liable to have called the cops to report a disheveled homeless girl with ripped jeans and a half t-shirt trying to break into the house.
It was now or never.
Emily took a deep breath and slowly walked up to the door. Her finger hovered over the doorbell and then she pressed it. Now all she could do was wait and pray he came to the door. She couldn't help but wonder if he would recognize her. Or if he would turn her away. One thing was certain- it was her only hope.