It had rained earlier, and the scent of fresh cut lawn lingers in the dampness. The drops still clung to the window and the clouds hung low and dark in the sky. I pull the backpack from under the bed, where it has been hidden away for hours. Stuff to the brim and testing the frail thread. On top, Snuffalupagous nose pushes out the corner of the flap.

The list sits on my bed, and I double check the crayon marks. I have everything. Everything I am going to need for when I go and live in the tree fort behind Tyler’s house. I rip the paper in half, and in half, and in half, until it resembles confetti and then I hide it under my pillow. I go to the door and press my ear against it. Soft rumbles of dad on the phone, static conversation of the television. The beats of screamed lyrics.

The door opens quietly and I slip through, passing my older brothers room where the beats rattle the door knob, down the stairs and through the living room where my baby sister watches a cartoon. She looks at me, but says nothing and turns back to the screen.

At the front door, I think of the scribbled note left on my bed. Hastily and angrily written. I look at my yellow rubber boots, at my sister on the couch, and the crying windows. I loose my nerve.


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