Sky in the Stars, Part 4

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After a fight with her parents, Skylar runs from home. To where? She doesn't know.

29 June 2930

Earth, North Americas

Sol System

 

Her feet pounded in a steady rhythm; her breath was quick and shallow;  and her heart pounded in her chest, begging to get out. Buildings and civilians whipped by her in a constant blur. She was really doing this... running away from home, from a life of riches, pain, and loneliness. She had nothing but a duffle bag strapped around her shoulder, packed with clothes she thought essential. Her only wish is that she could have left the lump in her throat behind, the one keeping her on the verge of tears.

She ran, unknowing of her destination as emotions battled within the confines of her mind with painful clarity. Soon, her limits of running caught up to her, but she was happy enough to get clear of her apartment building. The city was crowded, and even with the aid of the police and all their tech, it would be difficult to find her.

With the congested city full of skyscrapers and tall buildings, the nights came cold and early, but luckily she dressed appropriately, a warm fashionable hooded black trench coat. That didn’t stop her from shivering, however. Skylar had tried to buy food hours later only to find out her bank accounts were frozen. She clenched her teeth, looking at her data pad displaying her bank information.

“Why am I not surprised?” She said to herself. A climate controlled restaurant would have been a nice reprieve.

I’m not going back.

Skylar continued down the street. She worked hard to push her way through the swarms of people, still surprised at how many people were walking around.

Where am I going?  I don’t know.

She progressed through the crowds, distracting herself about the life she wanted so badly to escape. The situation with her parents was too much to stand. She had to get out. The tears, anger and burning rage was choking her. No one cared how she felt. Now, she was stuck in the city with no money, and no food. She glanced at the faces around her. Some were frustrated, some happy, some empty. The blank faces terrified her.

Skylar looked into shop windows, doing anything to take her mind off her spoiled life, she walked into stores, and browsed around just to get some warmth but eventually most stores closed and she was left to the streets again.  Her legs were tired, and she couldn’t sit on the sidewalk. It was too open and obvious. Anyone looking for her would have found her that way. Instead she moved into a side alley. It was poorly lit, but that didn’t matter. There was a certain smell of food in the air. She was near a restaurant, that was for sure. It didn’t matter; it was away from the crowds, and gave her a minute to compose herself. She sat on the floor hugging her bag, and bringing her knees close to her. The thoughts racing through her mind made it impossible to rest. She shut her eyes tight… and tighter. Other homeless folks looked at her from further down the alley. Skylar was a stranger… a well-dressed stranger, but she was too young to bother for money. Instead, they kept their distance. Another hour passed. She still couldn’t sleep. The cold was starting to get to her, as was her growling stomach. Another hour passed. The other homeless folk were asleep. Skylar was left sobbing quietly to herself, holding back tears. She couldn’t afford to have water on her face in this temperature.

Her wrist mounted data pad began to chime. She was getting a call. It was from her father. Without hesitation she cancelled the transmission and turned off her data pad.

Her face was tucked into her knees. The crowded streets were beginning to quiet down. Footsteps were less frequent. Then, a back door opened from one of the buildings. A man, a chef, walked outside to Skylar, and presented her with a black foam box-tray. Inside was packed with warm food, presumably left over from the restaurant’s day. The man said nothing, but only smiled as Skylar looked up with watery eyes. He left back into his restaurant as Skylar quickly dug into her presented meal. With the comfort of food in her stomach, it set her mind at ease and she was able to get some rest.

The next day Skylar continued walking through the city. She realized where she was going, but it would’ve taken her a half a day’s walk to get there. She had one friend, albeit an old one, but a friend nonetheless. Until then, Skylar endured the brisk air, heavy traffic, both civilian and vehicular. She hated the city for all its noise and congestion which made her journey seem farther than it already was, but she made it. She turned into an apartment building, looking at the classical lobby, decorative with elegant moldings, chandeliers and red carpeting. It was a historical, to be sure, but Skylar supposed that was the charm of the place.  She took an elevator up 30 floors before turning left down a hallway and to the door 3021. She knocked on the door and waited. For a while there was no response. Just as Skylar was about to turn around the door opened.

There stood a young woman, Emilie, about Skylar’s age, blonde, brown eyes. She was in casual sleepwear, staring at Skylar trying to familiarize herself. It was an old friend indeed, and Skylar’s pretty get-up made it difficult to recognize her quickly. But before long, Emilie smiled.

“Skylar? What are you doing here?” Emilie asked.

Skylar looked behind her, “Is it okay if I come inside.”

Emilie looked over Skylar’s shoulder, trying to see what her friend was looking for. She tilted her head and nodded, gesturing for Skylar to move in. “Yeah yeah, absolutely.”

“Thanks.” Skylar said, moving in. She walked into a large open-floor styled foyer. To the left was a set of sofas, a chandelier above. The two walls were complete windows overlooking the city. The home was just as classical as the lobby below, and frankly Skylar was surprised to see such antiques still around.

Emilie walked behind Skylar, gently leading toward a sofa before sitting down herself. “So, how’s med school going for ya?”

Skylar lowered her head, “Just great, Emilie… though I guess that’s why I wanted to talk to you.”

“Talk? I haven’t seen you for what, two years? What’s up?”

Skylar sat down, “Sorry… but you’re really the only friend I have right now.”

Emilie laughed, “Yeah right.” Emilie looked at her solemn friend, “You aren’t kidding. What’s going on? You okay? Someone after you? Did you break the law? You kill someone? Are you on drugs? Are you pregnant?”

“Emilie!”

“’Cause it’s okay! I know a guy th—“

“Emilie! It’s not that. It’s just things at home are… not going so well.”

Emilie let a sigh of relief, “Aw, no way, your parents are totally cool.”

“Public appearance isn’t everything, Emilie.”

“Well…” Emilie crossed her legs, “What’s going on? I haven’t seen you in forever.”

“That’s just the problem.” Skylar began, “My parents won’t give me a break. Every day I wake up stressed the hell out that I’m going to fail them. At the same time, I’ve got practically no free-time to myself, and you’re the only friend I have. My parents don’t listen to me.”

“Aw… you just need to have a little talk with them is all. Trust me, everytime I fought with my parents, it was settled within a few days.”

“I did. Last night. Why do you think I’m here?”

Emilie leaned forward, “You had a fight didn’t you?”

“Was more than a fight… more like a disownment?”

“You ran away!”

“Yes, I ran away! Now you better not tell anyone! Okay? I don’t want to deal with them right now.”

“Okay, okay…” Emilie huffed a breath, “…but I really think you should talk to them.”

Skylar frowned and stood up, “Is it okay if I use your shower?”

“Yeah, it’s right upstairs. Second door on the left.”

Skylar did just that. The night out on the streets made her feel unclean. All of her walking made her sweat. She walked into the bathroom, once again adorned in 19th century décor and furnishings. Skylar undressed, folding her clothes gently in a corner before stepping into the shower. The hot water felt good against her skin, allowing her to relax for once since she left her home. She took nearly an hour and a half in the bathroom, showering, styling her hair and putting her make-up on. Her habits were hard to kill, and being forced to ‘pretty up’ after every shower was something her mother embedded into her mind. She packed her things and headed out, getting a strange feeling in her stomach. She walked downstairs and to the foyer where she saw Emilie standing by the door and a few police officers standing, and waiting with arms crossed.

Skylar couldn’t believe it. She was at a loss for words, “Emilie!”

“What? I had to. This isn’t right Skylar, and you know it. You need to give your parents another chance.” Skylar regretfully moved down the stairs toward the officers. There was no running from them.

“Come on, Miss Connor.” The officer said. He gently put a hand on Skylar’s shoulder.

“Don’t touch me.” Skylar said, quickly pulling his hand off of her. She glared at Emilie, “I trusted you!”

“It’s for the best.” Emilie said with a frown. Skylar was too angry to respond, though she became very aggressive in her stance.

“All right, let’s go.” The police escorted Skylar out of the apartment, down the elevator surrounded by three officers. As they made their way out of the building lobby, Skylar’s fist tightened. All of this walking… running… for nothing. Just so she can go back home, be in further trouble with her parents and go back to living the life that she never wanted.

No. Not again. My life… my choices.

Skylar took advantage of her being, or at least appearing to be, a dainty young woman. As the car door was opened for her, she shoved an officer away and leapt over the vehicle’s backend directly into traffic. Most of it was automated. The officers saw cars zip by, dreading to see if she would get hit or not. It was far too dangerous to chase after her without the traffic slowing down. Skylar felt the breeze of the speeding cars. She knew what she was doing, though it was extremely dangerous. One misstep could have been her last. In the end, however, she made it to the other side and continued running down an alley. The cops gave chase, but Skylar had already gained too much distance on her. Still, she never stopped running. Not until the sirens were gone.

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