“Please, don’t! Todd, I’m serious!” I cried, as my older brother, Todd, balled his fists. My twin brother and I always cower in the corner, as he beats us up. There had been a few times where one of us had stood up against him, but he just beat that one up harder. Our parents had died a year ago. Aaron and I were sixteen when they died. Todd was twenty-four, so he took custody of us.
“Oh, stop it, Ana. You’re fine.” He replied. Aaron was shivering next to me. He never played sports, so he blamed his bruises on his clumsiness. I blamed my bruises on lacrosse and basketball.
Todd came towards us and raised his fist. I was tired of him. He shouldn’t be so abusive. Before he could plunge his arm, I pulled back my fist and punched him hard in the nose, but in an upwards motion, hoping to fracture it. He doubled over with his hands covering his face. He was crying out in pain. I grabbed Aaron’s wrist and ran past the kitchen, to the front door. I flung the door open and dragged Aaron out the door, and down the street. I soon had let go of his wrist and we were running side by side. We lived in a small city house, in Columbus, so by the time we had run two blocks, we were by a clump of stores.
We slowed down and sat on a city bench to plan out what to do. We decided to go to a Wal-mart store, which was three and a half miles from our house. It took us thirty minutes to get there while alternating between walking and running.
“I am so glad that Wal-mart is open 24 hours. It is the perfect place to hide out.” Aaron said. We walked around for a while. I fished my phone out of my pocket. I had 14 new messages. The messages were all from Todd. I showed Aaron the messages, so he pulled out his phone to check if he had any. He had twenty-seven messages.
“One of mine says, ‘I will lock you in the basement and let you starve if you don’t come home now.’ I really don’t believe it though. What about you?” I said I was curious to see what he told Aaron.
“He said, ‘If you don’t come home soon, I will force you to cut Ana’s skin with a rusty bottle top.’ Wow. Does he think that will make us come home faster? God, he would probably just do it anyway.” Aaron said with a slight laugh.
“Yeah, he’s such a masochist. If he truly understood what happiness was, then he would not do what he does.” I said agreeing with Aaron. We were in the main aisle and we could see the doors from where we were in the store. It was about 10:30 p.m, so there weren't very many people in the store. Suddenly we see car lights, so we duck behind a box filled with popsicles. Just in case it happened to be Todd.
About five minutes later, we hear a voice. It yells, “Aaron, Ana! Are you there? I’m so worried about you!” The voice was Todd. Todd was not worried about us. He was lying. He turns left and starts running. I grab Aaron’s wrist once more. I drag him towards the garden area of the store at full speed. I figured that we could leave from there because it was an outdoor area.
We saw many flowers in the garden area. We couldn’t see all of the vibrant colors of the flowers, due to the dark night. It took a little while to find the front of the garden area, where they had the check out station for the customers that bought flowers. We sped up when we got closer to the doors, which were about 25 feet from the check out station that was farthest away from us. When we reached the doors, the automatic opening feature was turned off. Aaron and I tried to pry open the sliding doors, but they just wouldn’t budge.
“Aaron! Ana! Come out, come out where ever you are! I know you are here, Aaron. Your location is turned on!” Todd called. He was in the garden area. I punched Aaron in the shoulder.
“Why would you leave your location turned on?” I hissed at him. He shrugged as I spotted a suply closet that happened to be across the room. I figured that it would be the perfect hiding place. We tiptoed to the closet.
“Stop right there you little maggots!” Todd screamed. He had seen us. We sprinted to the closet and opened the door faster than we ever had before. We slipped in and locked the door. Todd’s screaming and pounding on the was suddenly muted and was gone. Aaron and I turned around and there wa another door in the closet. We opened it, and we were in a large room with another door at the end.
The room was plain; it had a plywood floor, subway-tiled walls , and the door was wooden. There was four tables and each table had four chairs. We walked slowly to the other end of the room and opened the door. The sun was shining bright, and it was day time. How long were we in that closet for? I thought.
A girl came up to me and said, “Hello! You look like someone my brother knows! Is your name Arina?” I wonder why this girl thinks she knows me. I have never seen her before.
“No, sorry. My name is Ana.” I replied to her. I didn’t want to tell her that my full name was actually Ariana. Arina, was only one letter off from Ariana. I was really confused. I looked over my shoulder at Aaron. He wasn’t there. I was starting to get the feeling that we had escaped, but we hadn’t ended up in the same place. At least Aaron was safe.
“Well, do you want to play with me? My sister is too old to play with me anymore. It’s because she got married, and she is going to have a baby soon!” The little girl said. She grabbed my hand and led me to a large house. The house was all pink; the curtains were frilly and the shutters had glitter. Every flower in the flower bed was pink or purple. I froze in awe as the little girl stopped.
“Is this your house?” I asked. What person would love pink that much as to make everything they own pink. The little girl giggled and shook her head.
“No silly! This is my play house! I live in the castle! You must be new to Firia!”The girl said, opening the door to her play house and pushing me in. “Oh! I forgot! I’m Princess Jonita! You can call me Jone! Are you ready for my tea party?” She led me to a light pink room that had a pink table. The table was filled with sweets, finger sandwiches and a teapot. She turned around and stared at me for a good twenty seconds.
“You need a dress. Come with me.” She left the room through the doorway on the left of the room. I followed her reluctanly. We went up a stair case and she led me to a huge room. It was filled with dresses. There was a vanity in the corner, and it had jewelry falling out of the drawers.
“This house used to be where my sister, her friends, and I played dressup, had tea parties, and had fun playing games. After my sister left, my brother played with me for a while. These are my sister’s old dresses.” She said. I felt sad for her. I wondered how old she was.
“How old are you?” I asked, curious to know.
“I’m eleven. My sister is twenty one. The last time she played in this room with me, she was seventeen.” Jone was getting super sad.
“Hey Jone, Why don’t you go pick me out a pretty dress?” I asked her She picked one out that was light yellow with a dark purple sash around the waist. I put it on and it fit me perfectly. She picked out a pearl necklace with an amethyst jewel pendant. She unclasped it and put it around my neck. She let me look in the full sized mirror.
“You look beautiful!” She exclaimed with a gasp. She picked out a purple pair of flats and handed them to me. They were simalar to ballerina shoes; however, they were plain old flats that laced up my calf. She took out my pony tail and brushed my hair. She braided my hair into a French braid. “Perfect! You look lovely, Ana.”
“Hello? Jonie? Are you there? I have an extra guest for your tea party!” A voice called. Jone’s eyes lit up and she smiled.
“That’s my brother. He has an extra guest! I’m so excited!” Jone squealed. My heart sank. I missed my brother. Aaron was my twin, how could I not miss him? “What’s wrong, Ana? Did I offend you?” Jone asked.
“No, I just miss my brother. I lost him on the way to Firia.” I replied to Jone. She gave me a tight hug and then she took my hand.
“After my tea party, we will go look for him, okay?” she said. I smiled at her and she giggled. She pulled me out of the room and down the stairs.
“Rowan! I have an extra guest too! She is so great!” Jone exclaimed. As I looked up, I saw her brother, who I assumed was Rowan. He had blonde hair and blue eyes, much like his sister. He was wearing a fancy suit, with riding boots, and his shirt even had golden epulets.
“Hello, I’m Rowan.” He said, taking my hand. He bowed and kissed my hand. “And what shall I call you, my lady?” He was very charming.
“My name, is Ana.” I say, “It is very nice to meet you, Rowan.” I said. Am I supposed to curtsey? I think. I quickly curtsey before it is to late to decide if i should or not.
“You don’t have to curtsey, my lady.” Rowan said with a small laugh.
“You don’t have to call me ‘my lady. You can call me Ana” I say back. I feel like I am wanted here and that makes me feel good.
“Rowan! Where’s your guest?” Jone asks with an excitement that only a child could contain, multiple times a day. Rowan looks behind him and beckons over his guest. I couldn’t beleive my eyes. I rush over to the guest and give him a hug.
“I missed you, Aaron!” Jone looked up and asked me where I knew him from. “This is my brother, Jone!”
Jone squealed. “Yay! We both found our brothers!” She clapped her hands together. “Okay! To celebrate, let’s start the tea party!” She sat down on one side of the table. “Ana, you can sit by Rowan. I will sit by your brother.” We all sat down where Jone told us to sit. Jone poured us all some tea. Rowan cleared his throat. “So where do you guys come from? I though the clothes that Aaron came in, were interesting.” He asked. Aaron was acting shy, so I spoke.
“We are from Ohio. I pretty much opened a closet in Wal-mart and ended up in Firia.” I said
“What is Ohio like? Who is your king? Is it big? Where is it? How long will you be in Firia? Are you guys royal?” Jone asked, all at once.
“Well, we don’t have a king. We have a governor, but he still isn’t the leader of the country. The president is. And we aren’t royal, though that would be nice. We probably will stay in Firia for a while. We have successfully escaped our brother. He wants us dead.” Rowan and Jone were quiet.
“Rowan will protect you if he come to find you, right Rowan?” Jone said.
“Yes, you two are now under royal protection, since Jonie has taken a liking to you, you may stay in the palace when we get permission from our parents.” Rowan agreed with Jone. Aaron and I shared a glance. I put my hand on Rowan’s shoulder.
“Thank you so much. You don’t know what this means to us.”
One Year Later
I loop my arm through his. We walk through the feild where I first arrived. We unhook our arms and he picks a beautiful yellow wild flower. He puts it in my auburn hair, behind my ear. We started dancing through the grass. He was perfect.
“Are you excited for Aaron’s wedding next week?” He asked. Aaron was getting married to Elisiana, the princess of Airithia.
“I am going to miss him when he moves away, but I am still excited for it.” I reply. I see someone stumble out of the woods. They are getting closer and closer. Rowan and I move to meet the person. The face is familiar. It is a face that I didn’t hope to see ever again. I look up at Rowan, nervously. He understood my silent message, and nodded solomly.
“Hello, Todd. What are you doing here?” I ask him, standing next to Rowan for comfort.
“I have been searching for you for a year now, Ana. You missed me getting married to Lucy. You missed your graduation. Your friends miss you. I miss you. If you go find Aaron, I will take you back now.” He said, reaching out his hand to touch mine. I flinched back as Rowan reached for his sword. I stop him from grabbing his sword. Todd’s frightened eyes softened. I quickly unsheathed Rowan’s sword. I hold it in front of me. The anger exploded out of Todd.
“How could you even think of such a thing! After I cared for you; I took you under my wing, and you wan to kill me?” Todd blew up and was so close to me that I could smell his breath. He slapped me across the face. Rowan was angry. He started to go after Todd but, again I stopped him. However, this time I handed him his sword.
“Todd, How could you say that! Everyday, you beat me up. Physically and mentally! You have no right to be mad at me for running away! You were a masochist and a psychopath! And --” I was cut off by Todd. He lunged at me and his hands were around my neck. I couldn’t breathe.
“Leave her alone!” Rowan shouted as he plunged his sword into Todd’s spine. Todd rolled off of me. He was dead immediately, due to where Rowan stabbed him. Rowan stared at Todd. He dropped his sword and helped me up. He pulled me into him, and he wrapped his arms around me.
“I’m sorry, Ana.” He said.
“Thanks to you Rowan, I finally get my Great Escape.” I say. I kiss his cheek. Happy that I am free from the control of my brother. The closet that led to Firia was the best thing that had ever happened to me. This was my life now, and I loved it.