Haylee's Story.

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Haylee Parker was 8 years old when she left home. Her 16 year old brother Luke decided he'd had enough of their parents beating them, neglecting them daily... Luke and Haylee ran away... Will they stay hidden from their parents? Will they be happy together as brother and sister should?

        Chapter 1:

                Part One:

         The Beginning:

        Haylee Parker, 23 years old from New York, had been messed around all her life. Sent from foster home to foster home, she was starting to get sick of being used. They only paid her attention when it suited them...  Sometimes never at all. Some foster parents were nice, some were not. And that was when Haylee started to realise, things had to change soon. It was no better than being with her parents. The last time she saw them she was 8...

        That was when they wanted to beat her, blame her for things she had no part in... It wasn't just Haylee though, her older brother Luke got it too. Beaten for nothing, treated like a slave every day.

        Their sister Vicky was treated like a queen by their parents. Not exactly a queen but that's how it seemed to Haylee and Luke. Sometimes Vicky joined in with the bullying, with a smug grin, fluttering her long fake eyelashes...                                                   

                                                         *****

        'HAYLEE!' She heard her mother screaming from downstairs. She knew she was about to be beaten again. For no reason. Again.

        This was always happening ever since she can remember.

        Cautiously, and scared, Haylee trembled as she tip toed downstairs. Peering round into the kitchen she saw her mother and father sat at the table. Both smoking cigarettes, both drinking beer. It was 4.45 in the afternoon... 'You called mama?' She said shyly.

        'Tidy up the front room.' Karley, Haylee's mother snapped at her.

        'But I haven't made the mess. That was Vicky and Luke...' She said quietly.

        'I said tidy it up!' Karley shouted.

        'Do as your told for once, stupid  little bitch!' Her father Louis spat. So reluctantly, Haylee turned around and proceeded to tidy up her step brother and sisters mess. Louis wasn't Haylee's biological father, he was her step dad...

        Well him and her mother recently got engaged. But she was told she must always call him father. Otherwise she'd be hit yet again. Maybe next time with fists instead of them using household equipment and breaking them. Then making her tidy it up after it had broken into many pieces.

        She'd often have cuts on her hands from having to clear up sharp shards of glass, she'd get splinters from wood, and red marks from being slapped. And the amount of bruises on her body was unbelievable! She often wondered how no one had noticed and started asking questions yet.

        The sooner someone gets me out of this dump, the better...She'd thought It wasn't just her parents, her step sister Victoria, nick named Vicky, would also beat Haylee up. And to her fantastic luck, Vicky had just returned home as she was tidying the front room.

        From the kitchen she heard her mother say to her, 'Go make sure that little brat is tidying the front room.'

        I am!

        But anyway, Vicky had to come check, and hit her little step sister up side the head while she was there. Then she slumped down on the old battered sofa and turned on the TV. 'You have to make dinner today. Mom just told me.' Vicky said while texting.

        'No she didn't, I can hear her from in here.' Haylee protested.

        Vicky shot up from the sofa and said, 'I said, you're making dinner.' She narrowed her eyes at the helpless 7 year old. Haylee couldn't believe that next thursday, exactly one week from now, she'd be turning 8. No one had asked her what she wanted for her birthday.

        No signs of any presents either. Not that she was too surprised. she'd never got a present from her parents. Before she turned 5 she used to get them from her sister and Luke, but now, only Luke brought her anything.

        Luke was the only one in this house who'd treat her right. He'd never hit her, scratched her or bit her, unlike the others. So when he came home to find her tidying the front room alone, with a bratty Vicky sat huffing on the sofa, he decided to help little Haylee. 'What are you doing? She has to do it.' Vicky said.

        'But she'd only a kid. She can't be expected to do everything. Besides, she didn't make the mess.' Luke defended Haylee.

        'Don't you dare stick up for her!' He heard his father's booming voice from behind him. The next thing Luke knew, the rubbish from the middle of the room was ripped out of his hands and threw at his face.

        'Dad?!' Luke moaned.

        'She has to do it.' He spat at Luke, pointing a dirty finger at Haylee.

        His breath stunk of tobacco and beer, which made him shrink back a little to get away from the stench. Haylee bent down and picked up the things he'd just thrown down. Vicky's cheap make up, snack packets and drinks cartons...

        They'd been there since this morning, but obviously no one else will tidy up around here. Haylee was always made to do it. Louis always shouted at her, told her what to do, like he had the right. He didn't, he wasn't my real dad... She'd say.

        Again he looked down at Haylee and spat, 'Tidy it then, you stupid kid!' At this comment, Haylee promptly did as she was told, while she quietly sobbed. How anyone could talk to a innocent 7 year old girl like that is horrible...

        ...But the only people who knew, were herself, Luke, Vicky and her parents.

        Haylee did have a few friends at school, two of them were boys so she had to keep them secret from her parents. They were the same with Vicky... No boys until you're 16! Her parents would moan.

        Not that Vicky took much notice, Haylee was sure she always hung out with boys. Vicky was only 14 but often dressed like she was much older.  Haylee and Luke thought it was too much, but her parents never complained.

        Sometimes when Luke and Vicky argued, Haylee would hear him call Vicky horrible names like slut, whore, slapper... But Vicky gave it her all back. 16 year old Luke was often hit by Karley and Louis too, but not half as much as Haylee. She didn't understand what it was she'd done to deserve a family like this.

        The answer... nothing. She seemed to be hated for no reason. At first she thought it was harmless fun, that they just picked on her because she was the youngest.

        But in the end realized that harmless fun shouldn't leave a child mentally scarred and afraid of every person she meets.

        Haylee's friend Sasha from school was the first person ever trusted. Their friendship started in their first year at school, when they were just 3 years old. In the same class since they started school, they got to know each other quickly. Like kids do, they chatted all day, as if they stopped, the world would end.

        In her second year at school was when they met 7 year old Joey. He was new in their class when they returned after the summer and because Sasha was the more confident one, she spoke to Joey at lunch time because he was alone.

        Eventually, Haylee grew to trust and know him, then they became friends. Mid-way her third year at school, which ended 2 weeks ago, was when everything got worse for Haylee.

        She kept her friends, but lost all faith in her family. This was the time they started beating her regularly. The bruises were getting so bad and frequent, that she refused to change for Physical Education at school. Which obviously got her into trouble at home, when the teachers rang her mother and told her.

        Karley screamed at her, asking her why she would do that, but Haylee didn't want to say it was because of the bruises her mother had left. She'd get beaten more for being weak. So her excuse was 'I felt ill mama.'

        But more insults came with that excuse, 'Ill? Ill?! You pathetic little weasel... Get a grip or I'll slap you.'

        Louis, on the other hand would say, 'Well maybe you should learn to cook properly. Pathetic excuse of a girl... Can't even cook.' He'd tut and walk away, not caring that the child may actually be sick. 

        Why would he care? He wasn't even her real father! But he'd punish her as though he was, like he felt it was his job. She would have to put up with this for the whole summer holidays. Then after that, only after school until she went to bed, she would have to put up with it. God knows how the child has survived so far!

        Haylee had been in hospital twice this year, due to her parents. It was only June! The first time was in February...  Haylee had been at school and as soon as she walked through her front door to do her after school chores, her mother came at her, screaming.

        She was drunk again, so Haylee wasn't too worried. She knew her Mother would end up asleep soon. She always passes out after getting too drunk. But Haylee had mis-judged her mother today.

        Instead of being wary of her, Haylee let her guard down and when she was tidying, she'd forgotten to remove one of Vicky's make up bags from the middle of the living room floor.

        That's when Haylee's viscious mother went crazy, and hit Haylee over the head... With a vase. The vase shattered and Haylee fell down, hitting her head on the corner of a wooden chair while she fell. Soon, she was knocked out cold. 

        Hearing the commotion, the neighbours rang an ambulance and that's how she got to the hospital. If it wasn't for them, her mother would have just left her sprawled out, bleeding, on the living room floor. Unfortunately for Haylee, those neighbours were evicted from their house, and the property was all boarded up, no one was living there. No one to save her.

        Maybe one day Luke will help me more than now. All he's doing at the moment is shouting at people for me, but that gets him in trouble!

        I just want me and Luke to leave... Get out of here... Haylee thought at 7 years old.

        Too depressed for a child. Kids should be smiling, laughing, running around and having fun. Not living like this! Of course though, if Haylee was to say anything about it to anyone, somehow her mama would know it was her, and beat her more. there was little Haylee could see she could do right now.

        Unless she just ran away... When her mother and Louis were passed out from drinking too much, she would sneak out. Easy!

        But where would she go? The first place they'll look is at Sasha's house. They don't even know Joel exists though.

        As if! She's seven, they'd surely just bring her back here. Nothing she'd be able to do about it. She can't tell anyone, the abuse would get worse. Like the last time she said something. Someone had asked her how she got one of her bruises, and she answered with, 'Mom did it.' She was 5 at the time.

        Her mother had then said, 'We were play fighting.'  She smiled down at Haylee but her eyes looked evil. She knew she was gonna get beaten bad later when they were alone. She did. That time she had to have two weeks off school because of the black eye she was given.

        Her mama couldn't risk her blabbing at school if someone asked how she got it. Which they probably would. And she'd probably blab!

        After the front room had been tidied, then occupied by Louis and her mama, Haylee and Luke sat quietly in the kitchen, trying to avoid being screamed at, and ordered around like slaves. Vicky had gone for a shower before going out with her friends. As she was leaving, she stopped off in the kitchen to tell her mama she was going out. She hadn't known she had moved to the living room.

        'Where's mama?' She asked flatly.

        'Living room.' Luke said back, equally as unenthusiastic.

        Vicky and slammed the kitchen door, making little Haylee jump. Luke turned to her and said, 'Don't worry. One day, I'll get you out of here.' He smiled. 'I promise...'

                                               *****

        The next morning as Haylee was getting ready for school, she could hear her mama downstairs getting stressed because her morning wasn't going as perfectly as she'd wanted. For a start, she'd ran out of beer... 'Vicky!' She was shouting. 'Wake that lazy lump and get him to go to the shops.' She shouted, referring to Louis as the lazy lump.

        Vicky promptly did as she was told and headed upstairs to her parents bedroom to wake Louis, who just groaned and shouted. 'Shut up! I'll get the beer when I fucking want to!' As that was said, Vicky stomped out, slammed the bedroom door and came back downstairs.

        'Next time, get that brat to do it!' She stropped. Haylee overheard all of this and wished her brothers words would just come true. Get me out of here, she thought to herself, I hate it here...

        Avoiding her parents and walking straight out the door, Haylee checked she'd saved enough of the little amount of pocket money she had to get some dinner later, seeing as she couldn't have breakfast without a side order of a beating. With one hour to get to school, she decided to dawdle a little. Walking behind her was Luke who, when he eventually caught up with her, he said, 'Hey slow down! You have ages till you have to be in class.' He smiled at her.

        'I know. I just didn't want to be at home.' Haylee said quietly. 'It's...'

        'I know. But remember my promise. I won't break it.' Luke said, looking down at her and smiling.

        'You promise not to break your promise?' Haylee asked, sadly.

        'I promise.' Luke said, putting his hand on her shoulder. They were about 10 minutes away from school, but they didn't need to be there for half an hour. They stopped on a bench just up the street to their school, and Luke shared his dinner that he'd packed with Haylee, because she'd missed breakfast.

        'I was wondering where you were at breakfast. Lucky I caught up with you.' He said.

        Haylee weakly smiled. 'Yeah...' She said. 'Thanks.' She said, holding up the ham and cheese sandwiches Luke had given her.

        ''No problem. I have money for food anyway. You have these too. I'll buy dinner for myself, you save your money.' He said.

        Haylee smiled again and said, 'Thanks. I'm gonna get going. Sasha will be here soon.' She stood up, smiled at her brother, and walked off quickly towards school.

        This school was a big school, it was easy to get lost. Haylee did when she first got here. It taught all ages instead of just being a Junior or Senior School. As she was crossing the courtyard, Haylee saw her friend Sasha and walked briskly over to her, smiling happily at her. She greeted Sasha with a hug and said, 'Hi, you OK?'

        'Yeah, course!' Sasha said, smiling widely. 'You?'

        'I'm OK, I guess.' Haylee lied. Of course she wasn't OK. At all. Haylee just wanted to be able to go home, to  nice home, with people there who actually care about her, want her.

        But she must settle for this. Abuse... If only she could tell someone... She could, but she was just too scared to even think about telling. Her mother would sure as hell beat her. And Louis would make her feel even more miserable.

        Some of the things he'd say to her would make anyone's skin crawl. He was disgusting. Luke always told Haylee, 'Don't listen to that Muppet, Hay. He's scum anyway. He has no right to call you names.'

        Haylee would always feel better after Luke consoled her. He would tell her nice things. She wasn't worthless, a waste of space, waste of air... All the other things Karley and Louis said to her on a regular basis. Luke sometimes scolded himself for not being brave enough to stand up to them. For Haylee's sake, he wished he could.

        It could save her life... Haylee was often feeling jealous of her friend Sasha.

        She lived with her parents in a nice big house, in a nicer part of town. Her parents loved her and cared about her, didn't beat her up daily. Sasha didn't know what it was like for Haylee at home. She did though, often wonder why Haylee had never invited her round.

        Maybe she wasn't allowed people round, Sasha thought. Bit weird... They started walking together to class. Their teacher, Mrs Lawson, had just come out onto the playground to call her class inside.

        After everyone was sat down and settled, Mrs Lawson could continue her class and call out the Attendance Register. Children whispered to each other defiantly, despite their teacher asking for silence.

        Sasha and Haylee sat quietly, waiting for Mrs Lawson to finish the register. Once she had, and they were allowed to chat while Mrs Lawson handed out work books and pens, Sasha turned to Haylee. She said, 'Do you think I'd be able to come and hang out with you tonight? My mums kinda doing my head in a bit, I wanna get out for a while.'

        'Well I guess we could hang out later but I have to go home first.' Haylee said. 'We can't go to my house.' 

        'Oh, that's OK. But why not?' Sasha asked, finally. She'd wanted to ask this for a while.

        'Just my mama's a little... Strict.' Haylee said. Total and complete understatement though.

    Sasha wondered just what Haylee could mean, but decided not to pry too much and risk annoying her friend. 'Fair enough. Want to go to the park then?' Sasha asked. 

        Mrs Lawson plonked Haylee and Sasha's work book and a few pens onto their table which they sat at with a boy called Mikey and his brother Martin. They were 8 year old Twins, originally from Long Island.

        Sasha and Haylee always sat together, and were partners in their spelling group.  They were hoping that when they start a new class next year, they won't be split up. Haylee would go insane without her best friend! If she was still here by then... Luke was going to take her away, some place safe. Away from her mama and Louis, away from that evil Vicky too. Just Haylee and Luke...

        Haylee was pulled out of her thinking by one of the twins. Martin. 'Hey! Haylee!' He was saying.

        'Sorry...What did you say?'

        'Can you pass me that pen please?' He asked politely.

        'Course.' Haylee said flatly. She passed Martin the pen and turned to Sasha. 'Hey, at break, I need to go find my brother. I need to talk to him but I'll catch up with you later.' She smiled.

        'OK, that's fine. Everything OK?' Sasha asked, worrying about her friend.

        'Yeah, everything's fine.' Haylee faked a smile while she lied.

        She hated having to lie to her best friend. She hated having to lie to everyone who asks if she's OK. Opening her work book for English class, Haylee paper-cut her finger. 'Ow!' She moaned.

        'You OK?' Sasha asked.

        'Yeah. I just paper cut my finger.' Haylee said, watching as a thin trickle of blood dripped down her finger. She raised her hand and asked Mrs Lawson if she could go clean up. 

        On her way to the toilets, she walked by her friend Joey's Classroom. Catching a glimpse of her as she walked past, he smiled through the window. Haylee smiled back and continued on her way to the toilet. In there she caught a glimpse of the bruises on her arm where either Louis or her mother had grabbed her to make her listen, look at them... Whatever reason they had for doing it. It only made her feel sad.

        Washing her finger while tears were stinging at her eyes, Haylee sniffled and tried hard to fight back tears. Making sure she looked OK to go back to class without people being able to tell she was about to cry, she dabbed at her finger with some tissue and took one last look in the mirror. She left the toilets and went back down the hall. Settling back down at her table she realized she'd forgotten to pull her sleeve down fully after leaving the toilets.

        Panicking slightly, in case anyone had seen, she whipped it down as fast as she could. Her sudden movements caught Mikey's attention. 'You alright?' He asked.

        'Yeah, thanks. Just got a bit of a cold shiver.' Haylee, once again, lied. Avoiding more questions, Haylee opened her work book and started answering the English questions that Mrs Lawson had written down on the white board at the front of the room.

        Haylee decided to keep her head down, and she finished the questions in no time, held up her hand and waited for her teacher to come over and check her answers.  Haylee was much better with English than she was with Mathematics. She'd gotten all her answers right, and was allowed to sit and wait while the others finished their questions. 

        She started thinking about the class trip they had arranged for next week. They were going to see some old Gothic cathedral for their history class. As excited as Haylee was about it, she knew she wouldn't be able to go. Her mother wouldn't pay for that, she'd spend all the money on booze and drugs before she'd even think about Haylee.

        Anyway, who's to say she'd still be here for the trip? Luke was taking her away...

                                           *****  

        As the front door slammed shut at 5.30PM, Haylee jumped, realizing that would be her mother. And she'd most likely be drunk again. Staggering down the hallway, past the living room, not even taking a look at her daughter, Karley went straight to the fridge. Haylee heard it close and then a can opened. 

        That'll mama on the beer again...   Great... Sighing to herself, she rose from her knees, as she was tidying up...again, and eft the room. She went straight upstairs, being careful not to make too much noise on the creaky stairs, or her mother would collar her for something.

        Closing her bedroom door as quietly as possible, she could feel her heart beat in her throat. Why should she be so scared of her own Mother?

        She turned around and sank into the old stingy mattress on the floor, which was Haylee's 'Bed'. Hating the fact she didn't even have a proper place to sleep, she started to weep silently to herself, until she fell asleep under the thin blanket she used at night. It had never kept her warm. What with all the holes in it... There was no way that thing will do!

        At half past 6, Haylee was woken up my her step father shouting at Luke. She heard his shouting bad words at Luke, and Luke didn't hesitate to shout back. Then she heard them mention her name...

        Again, Haylee's heart started going crazy! Why are they talking about me?! I haven't done anything! But, today, Haylee was feeling brave. She sneaked out of her room and onto the landing. Now the voices weren't so muffled, she knew why they were arguing. 

        Vicky had seen Luke give Haylee some food that morning. And their mother and Louis weren't too happy about it, apparently. 'If we'd have wanted her to take dinner, we would have given her some!' Louis shouted at Luke. 'You interfering piece of s**t!!' 

        'No you wouldn't! You never provide any of us with food. Not even yourselves! You're too wrapped up in your disgusting lives where needles and bottles are your best friends!' Luke shouted at his parents. That's when Haylee heard a thump, and Luke wailed. One of them, most likely Louis, had hit him.

        As Luke slumped to the floor, her mother screamed, 'Now where is that little bitch?!'

        'Upstairs.' Vicky said, smugly.

        It was Haylee's turn next. And she could hear footsteps banging up the stairs towards her... At first she thought about hiding, but that would only infuriate them more. Never mind, they were already pissed off enough, Haylee thought to herself.

        She ran into her room, opened her window, climbed out onto the living room roof and jumped down onto the overgrown front garden. Waiting a few seconds until she ran, she held her breath. Soon enough she was speeding off down the street, no shoes, no jacket. Only a T-shirt and shorts.

                                          *****

        Part Two:

            It would take them a while to find her. They don't know where she's going. She just wanted to run forever if that was ever possible. She shot off round the corner and up the street, dodging other pedestrians, cars and as she ran down the back streets, glass.

        She had an idea. I'm glad I ran this way! She knew he lived round here somewhere, and knew he hung out on the skate park with his older brother. But would he be there?

        Haylee sprinted across the park and looked over the field to the skate park. No, he wasn't here. Nobody was there. The place was completely deserted. She had been looking for Joey. Maybe he could help her. She could call the police from his house! But she couldn't find him.

        She thought about going to Sasha's, but she lived at the other side of town. Too far for Haylee to walk, and it would be getting dark soon. And just when she thought she was alone, she heard footsteps running behind her...

        Oh, no! They followed me!

        But around the corner came Luke.  'Luke!' Haylee cried in relief.  She ran over to her older brother and hugged him tightly.

        'Let's not hang around here. I have money for a bus...Let's go.' Luke said. It almost sounded like a demand.

        'Where?' Haylee asked, slightly puzzled. She knew there wouldn't be anywhere for them to go. But maybe Luke had some friends they could stay with. Maybe that's his plan.

        'Anywhere.' He said flatly. 'I don't have a clue where, or how we're going to get by, but... I promise I'll try my best for us... I will.' Luke then smiled sweetly at his younger sister and they started to cross the field to the main road at the other side. After Luke helped Haylee over a small ditch she grabbed hold of his hand and walked quietly beside him.

        'How did you know I'd be there?' Haylee asked Luke.

        'While they were upstairs in your room, I snuck out the front door to go get help. That's when I saw you running down the street, near the corner. So I followed you.' Luke explained. They came to the gate leading to the main road, but it was always locked, so Luke helped Haylee climb over. He handed her a bag, then he climbed over. 

        'What's in the bag?' Haylee asked.

        'Oh, I brought your shoes and a coat for you, in case it gets cold later on.' He said, handing her a pair of black trainers.

        She swiftly put them on and said, 'I don't need the jacket yet, I'm not cold.'  She smiled. 'Thanks.'

        'I heard them saying they thought you were hiding somewhere upstairs, so while they were looking I grabbed some stuff because I was planning to get you out of there right then. But then I saw you running down the street. You have some speed, kid.' Luke said, giving her a pat on the back.

        'Where are you going to take me?' Haylee asked.

        'I don't know. Yet.' Luke said, looking disappointed in himself. 'I didn't have time to think that far ahead. But I'll think of something.'

        'Before they find us?' Haylee sounded scared.

        She looked up at her older brother, who looked down at her, his green eyes glistening with tears, his brown hair being blown by the breeze.

        'Of course. I promise.'

        It felt as if they'd been walking for hours. They hadn't, but the day had taken it's toll on the siblings now, they were exausted. Luke was trying to find the nearest bus station, to see how far away he could get them with the money he had.

        Haylee had begun to think they'd never find a bus. Never find a bus station! The main road had been dead for ages! She hadn't seen any more than 3 cars the whole time they had been walking. It was now nearing 8PM.

        They were nearing what looked like a town centre. Maybe there'd be some buses still available here. Luke grabbed Haylle's hand and walked with her across the busy road. They came to the doors of a shopping centre, which was closed. But inside there were cleaners.

        Luke frantically tried getting their attention but they didn't hear or see him. Haylee started tugging on Luke's hoodie, and he said, 'Hold on a sec, there are people in there. If I could just get their atten...'

        Haylee tugged harder, 'Luke!' He turned around and was greeted by Louis's fist.

        How did they find us?! Haylee braced herself for a beating, but to her surprise, they didn't hurt her. Instead Louis picked her up, handed her to Karley who then strutted off towards their car and threw her inside on the back seat.

        Louis had grabbed Luke by the scruff of his neck and was shoving him towards the car. He was then forced inside and they were locked in, and driven home...

                                    *****

        Part Three:

             When Luke woke up, he was in so much pain. The beating he'd got from his parents for helping Haylee escape was horrendous. It felt as if it lasted for hours. He remembered being hit in the face by Louis as they entered the house. He'd tripped and fell to the floor.

        While down, Louis kicked him several times in the stomach and back, before punching him once more in the face. On the floor he could see Haylee being dragged by her mother into the kitchen. He witnessed his mother viciously slap Haylee around the face, then the dingy kitchen door slammed shut.

        He heard her scream, and cry. But there was nothing he could do to stop it. He glanced up the stairs as something caught his eye. His sister, Vicky, was sitting there, smiling widely as she watched this unfold infront of her.

        Sick Bitch! Luke thought. It was the last thing he thought, then he passed out.

        In the kitchen, Haylee was bleeding from the lip, and cheeks where her mother had scratched her with her long nails.

        She pleaded with her to stop, but it just carried on.

        Eventually, Haylee's mother had hit her so hard, Haylee's head was knocked back into the cupboard door. Then she too, passed out. They were then taken upstairs and placed in their bedrooms. The doors and windows locked. Haylee came around after a few minutes but could barely move.

        Her head hurt so much, she could feel a lump beginning to form on the back of her head.

        There was no way she could go to school like this, people will know something is up. Now she'll have to stay here.

        I'm going to die here... I don't want to die here...

        Haylee cried to herself, knowing she couldn't do anything to stop this.  Please, Luke... Please take me away from here.

     

        Chapter 2:

             Part One:

      Luke's Final Straw.


           Luke had been locked in his small  bedroom for two whole days. The only time he was allowed to leave was to school and the bathroom. Even then Louis waited for him in the hallway.

        The door was only opened to pass him some dinner, which was mostly porridge or toast once, or maybe twice, a day.

        He'd never heard his stomach grumble as much as now. 

        The same for Haylee, but she was stuck in there all day.

        She wasn't even allowed to leave to go to school, because her parents were now too scared about the teachers and Haylee's friends seeing the bruises.

        And when Haylee wanted to go to the bathroom, her mother came with her and watched while she bathed, or used the toilet.

        Of course, she had to make sure Haylee didn't try climbing out again.

        Every now and then Karley and Louis would get a little drunk, and get angry at little things, come upstairs and take it out on Haylee and Luke.

        Just randomly hit them, push them and shout insults at them.

        Luke was made to go to school with no food, or money.

        But he'd made up some lie to his friends that he'd been mugged and they'd stolen his wallet, so his friend Karl had lent him a bit to get food.

        Luke hadn't told any of his friends what had really happened. A couple had asked him, but he couldn't bring himself to do it.

        What if his parents found out he'd told, and beat him more?

        Luckily Luke had a growth spurt recently, he was now almost as big as Louis, he'd noticed Louis wasn't as bad with him as he used to be. 

        Ever since Luke had hit Louis and knocked him back once, Louis always thought twice now. Until that few days ago when he was caught trying to run away with Haylee...

        That was a bad beating. He'd passed out!

        He talked through the wall to Haylee, seeing as they weren't allowed out of their rooms.

        She sobbed every night before sleeping and it broke Luke's heart to hear her. He let slip a few tears too, glad she couldn't see them.

        He knew he needed to be strong. If not for himself, for Haylee.

        After three days, he was allowed out, but made to do everything. So was Haylee. Cooking, when there was food to be eaten, cleaning up, laundry... Even scrubbing the toilet.

        They even had to clean up Vicky and their parents bedroom.

        They were lucky, thought Haylee. 

        They actually have a bedroom, mine's just an old cramped cupboard really, it could pass for a loft.

        Maybe... Just big enough for a mattress and a little room to walk.

        Luke's room was small too, but much bigger than Haylee's. Of course Vicky and their parents had the bigger rooms...

        They were actually cared about.


                                             *****

        Tuesday Morning ~

              8:15AM


          Luke was making his way to school when his friend Karl shouted his name, and ran over. 'Why you limping dude?' He asked, a little worried.

        'Just from the mugging. I'm fine.' Luke smiled, a fake smile.

        He was in so much pain, it was almost unbearable. He might just ask for the day off school, but where would he go?

        Could go to Karl's, get him to bunk off with me... Thought Luke, as he glanced over at his friend.

        'Dude, listen, there's something I need to do today. Let's just bunk off and go to yours. It's important.' Luke said.

        Knowing Karl wouldn't need much persuading to bunk off school, Luke smiled cheekily at his friend.

        'Yeah alright then. But promise to explain when we get there?'

        'Of course.' Luke said.

        They turned back on themselves and started walking to Karl's place.

        'My mom will be at work by now and my dad went out for groceries 4 years ago and we haven't seen him since.' Karl laughed. 'So no need to think of any lies.' 

        Not quite sure what to say to Karl's comment, Luke chuckled along with his friend and they turned the corner to the small, but nice, estate that Karl lived in.

        Passing rows of gorgeous houses, Luke wished he'd thought of this sooner.

        Maybe, he could stay up here with Karl, in a nice house... Nope just another fairy tale.

        But what about Haylee? He couldn't be selfish. He had Haylee to think about... And there was no way he was going anywhere without her.


                                         *****

         Haylee ducked as the vase narrowly missed her head.

        She'd been cleaning all morning, and 2 days before her birthday, had heavy vases thrown at her for missing a speck of dirt.

        Not that it mattered much, it was only going to be messed up again in an hour, when mama and Louis were done drinking and passed out on the floor, like normal.

        If they're not drinking, they're either fighting, or taking their boredom out on Haylee and Luke.

        Admittedly, Luke's abuse has been getting worse since he started sticking up for Haylee.

        Which had made the both of them think...

        What has Haylee done to deserve this? Why wasn't Luke allowed to stand up for her?

        Why were they doing this?


        When they were younger, Luke remembers, feeding Haylee her bottle, changing her diaper, washing her clothes, clearing up her sick when she was ill.

        Which, as a baby, was most of the time. She was very unhealthy...

        When she grew up a little, Haylee remembers always running around. A  very energetic child. It helped with her strength, but she was still getting violently ill.

        For no reason at all, she'd have crippling stomach ache, pounding headaches and she was vomiting.

        Of course Luke helped her through it. Only when his parents weren't around to see him helping.

        If they were he'd just grab her a glass of water, pretend it was for himself and tell her to be strong, she can pull through it.

        That's all he could say at the time. Now he's 16, and it's time to do something about it...

        Haylee ran past her mother and out of the room. After racing up the stairs she realized Vicky had left her phone on the banister at the top.

        She quickly picked it up, hid herself in Luke's room, and rang him.

        'Luke... Come back please? She's scaring me...' Haylee sobbed.

        'Stay hidden as long as you can, sweetie. I'm on my way.' She could hear the urgency in his voice and knew that she must be in danger.

        Why does my mama want to hurt me?

        She didn't have a clue where Louis was though. Most likely out getting beer, or drugs... Probably both.

        He'll come back completely out of it, as always.

        She also heard someone else in the background when she was on the phone to Luke, and got her hopes up

        She smiled widely, thinking he must have gotten help somehow, but unfortunately, when she heard the front door close, he was alone.

        She sighed, but at least he was here now. She knelt down at the top of the stairs and whispered, 'Luke!' He looked up and quietly walked upstairs to see her. 'Come in here.' He whispered.

         He sat her down on his single mattress and said, 'Listen, we're getting out of here soon. I won't break my promise... I'll get us help.'

        'Luke?! Get your ass down here!' His mama shouted from downstairs.

        'Dammit! She must have heard me come in...' Luke sighed. 'Never mind, I can handle her.'

        'I know you can.' Haylee smiled.

 

                                                       *****

        Haylee's 8th Birthday :

               Thursday morning, 10.20AM.


        She was still there... She'd almost promised herself she wouldn't be, not on that day. She'd hoped they'd have been long gone by this point...

        With no way of their mother finding them. Just Luke and Haylee.

        Haylee had started to give up hoping that she would get out of there.

        Every time they'd had an opportunity, something has stopped them. ..

        But Haylee's 8th Birthday, was going surprisingly well... Luke knew something had to go wrong:


                                             ***


        'Happy birthday sis.' Luke said, standing outside Haylee's bedroom, waiting for a reply from the crying 8 year old.

        Luke had no idea she was crying. He took the silence as her still sleeping.  I'll give her ten minutes...

        She fell asleep.


        Haylee eventually woke up at almost 11AM. The last few days had taken its toll on her, and she was feeling drained. Luke noticed as soon as she left her room.

        'Hay, are you feeling OK? You look a little pastey.' He asked, feeling worried.

        'I'm fine, Luke.' Haylee smiled.

        Luke handed over a birthday card he'd brought for Haylee's birthday. The only card she did get this year...

        Last year she got two cards. The other being from Sasha, but this year Haylee wasn't at school to recieve her card. Hopefully she could go back soon, see her friends, have fun...

        'Thanks, Luke. But you didn't have to. You know I don't usually get many anyway, I'm not bothered.' Haylee said.

        'Your my sister, so your getting a card.' Luke said firmly.

        Haylee hugged her brother tightly and said, 'Why is it that you're the only person who cares?'

        'I don't know hun. I really don't. But we don't need anyone else, we have each other.' Luke smiled. 'That's all we need.' 

        Luke stood Haylee up and patted her back. 'You're the best brother ever!' Haylee almost squealed when she opened her card.

        Inside he had written;


                Haylee :) x

Have a happy birthday baby sis.

And here's your present...

I told you I wouldn't break my promise.

        Love, Luke :)

                xx


        Stapled to the card, were two train tickets, which would be taking them to Grand Central Terminal, 42nd St, New York.

        'Does this mean we're finally getting out of here?' Haylee looked up at Luke, her eyes wide and sparkling with tears of happiness.

        Luke slowly nodded and said, 'Now pass those tickets here. We don't want those three finding out about this.'

        Luke went into his room and hid the tickets under his tatty old pillow. Hopefully they'd be safe there.

        He then advised Haylee to go downstairs and do as her parents asked of her, to avoid looking suspicious. As they both went downstiars there was a smash coming from the kitchen.

        A few seconds later, Haylee's mother screamed, 'Haylee!? Get down here and clean this shit up!'

        Haylee guessed her mama had probably dropped a bottle of beer or something. She looked up at Luke. 'Go,' he whispered. 'It's OK. I'll come with you.'

        Haylee got to cleaning up the beer while Luke took care of clearing away shards of beer soaked glass.

        Every now and then he'd prick himself with some, and his mother would say, 'Serves you right.'

        Luke would just ignore her and carry on helping. The quicker they got this done, the quicker they can get out of here. Luke was planning to leave tomorrow...


                                                         *****

        The house was quiet that night. Karley and Louis had both passed out, looking rough as hell, snoring as loud as possible.

        Vicky hadn't even returned from her friends house that night.

        Luke was silently sleeping in his bed, dreaming about making his escape.

        Haylee, however, was having trouble sleeping.

        Not only could she swear she kept hearing footsteps, but she just wanted to get those tickets, wake Luke and leave right now.

        The night went by slowly for Haylee, and befor she knew it, the sun was rising and the birds started singing.

         That could only mean one thing...

        It wouldn't be long until her Mama and Louis woke up.


                                                       *****

        Haylee was almost dropping to sleep, at nearly 9AM on a friday morining. Then she was jolted awake by Luke.

        'Haylee! Wake up!' 

        Haylee looked startled at Luke who was looking rather worried. 

        'What's wrong Luke?' Haylee asked.

'The tickets are gone!'

        Haylee jumped out of bed, quickly dressed and went into Luke's room, as he was frantically searching all around for those tickets.

        'They have to be here somewhere! I don't get it, they were right here yesterday!'

        'Vicky? Mama? Louis?...' Haylee reminded him.

        'But how would they have known they were there?' Luke asked, confused.

        'Maybe they were just being nosy and found them, and took them.' Haylee said quietly, almost speaking in a whisper.

        'Maybe... I'm getting them back!'

        'Luke?!' Haylee called him back as he was about to leave his room. 'How did you even pay for these tickets?'

        'I can't tell you. It's not something I want you to know about.' Luke said flatly. 'Now i'm going to get those tickets back.'

        He stormed downstairs and opened the kitchen door. Sat at the table was Louis, for once, drinking a cup of coffee. 'Morning Luke. Sleep well?'

        'Where are they?' He asked.

        'Your mother and Vicky? Out doing some er... Shopping.' Louis said.

        'You mean you sent them out to get your drugs and beer?! Give me those tickets back. I know you've taken them.' Luke raged.

        'I burned them... What did you think you were gonna do? Run away with Haylee? Don't make me laugh! You'd treat her even worse than we do. At least here she has a home, running away with you, she'd be sleeping on the streets!...'

        'No she wouldn't! I'd look after her, not like you two!' Luke started shouting so loud, his voice started crackling. 'Give me them!'

        Then silence.

        Haylee heard footsteps banging up the stairs about 3 minutes later.

        She stuck her hands over her ears and sat curled up in the corner, her eyes squeezed shut. Her door burst open and she screamed at the shock.

        Looking up she saw Luke, his lip bleeding and his knuckles, grazed and red. 'Let's go. Now. This is the last time either of us get hurt. We're leaving now!'

        Luke picked up his little sister, sat her on his bed while he packed two bags of clothes, not that their clothes were decent enough to wear. But they were clean.

        'Where's Louis?' Haylee asked.

        'Er, he's... Asleep. That's why we're leaving now. Mama and Vicky are out at the moment. We have time to leave now.' Luke said.

        Grabbing her hand, and tossing a bag over his shoulder, he walked with Haylee down the stairs and out the door.

        Quietly Luke closed it, looked around for his mama and Vicky coming back, saw no sigh of them and they ran.

        This time, they ran the opposite way, turning right at the end of their garden path instead of left.

        They did, however, turn left at the bottom of the street onto the main road.

        Somewhere along here, there'd be a bus stop to take them somewhere far away.

        Hopefully, they'd be able to get to New York no problem.


                                                          *****

        Back at home, Louis woke on the kitchen floor, his nose streaming with blood and his head pounding.

        What had Luke done to him? Whatever it was, it was a good job he did it. He'd finally managed to het Haylee to safety.

        After beating Louis to the hard kitchen floor, Luke went searching through every drawer in the kitchen, every pocket on Louis' clothes and even in his mothers spare handbag which smelt awful as he opened it.

        Beer, cigarettes and a hint of Cannabis. In there was where he found the tickets.

        He took any change he could find around the kitchen and in his mothers purse.

        There wasn't much, enough to get them some dinner and a night in a cheap hotel or something.


                                                            *****

        Part Two.


              Luke and Haylee managed to find themselves a bus to catch to a train station.

        As they arrived they found someone there so that Luke could explain they were trying to get to New York.

        A man, in his 40's at least with a balding head and a beer belly, pointed them in the direction of the right train.

        They hopped onto the train an prepared themselves for a long journey to New York.

        Eventually, when they got there, they'd be safe. Mama and Louis will never think we actually got on the train...

        Haylee sat by the window.

        She liked to, she always had. She loved to sit, looking out at the scenery speeding by.

        They were travelling so fast, Haylee thought they'd be there in no time.

        But eventually she fell to sleep, and when she woke, Luke was looking down at her, softly saying her name.

        As her eyes opened, Luke said, 'We're here. Time to get off.'

        Haylee smiled widely and Luke picked her up off the seat where she was laying, and grabbed their bags.

        As they exited the train, they looked around.

        With no idea which way to go, Luke stood and thought for a minute.

        He then decided to just take a guess and they ran up a set of stairs leading them into the main part of Grand Central Station.

        As they left, many people rushed by them, almost knocking them over, almost as if they were invisible.

        'Welcome to New York...' Luke said grimly.

 

 

*********************

        Ginni

Xx The x Fallen x Angel xX

 

 

 

 

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