Once, when I was in forth or fifth grade, I ran away. I packed a bag, wrote a note and left. I found a house for sell and stashed my stuff there. Then I went and played with my friends. When dark came, I crawled into the garage of the empty house and attempted to fall asleep in my sleeping bag. I was a resourceful ten year old. I had thought ahead to bring all my clothes in a duffel bag, a sleeping bag and even my favorite pillow. I had thought of everything. I had seen enough after school specials. I was an expert. I knew I could do this and I was better off on my own. But I couldn’t fall asleep. I thought and thought. I decided to go home, where at least my comfortable bed awaited.
When I returned home, it had been roughly 12 hours since I packed and left. The house was dark. No one was up. I made my way to my room, and immediately feel asleep in my bed.
Weeks later, though, that letter would come back to bit me in the ass. I had left the run away note on the breakfast bar. Evidently it had fallen off on to the couch and then gotten stuffed in between the cushions before anyone had ever seen it, let alone read it. And there it lay in wait to ruin my life weeks later. My mother found the note and was FURIOUS that I was planning to run away. I was grounded for weeks, she said. She yelled and yelled. I lied and lied. Of course the grounding didn’t stick. It never did.
Within a week all was forgotten. But I remember. I remember the time I ran away because I thought no one would notice. And I still carry around a favorite pillow, even now 25 years later.