I was writing a letter to Grandma when I heard it.
Banging on the front door
Muffled orders spoken by the police
“The parents are injured and the boy is gone, the girl must’ve done it. Search the house for a girl with black hair and about yea tall, about 10 years old. GO!”
I realize the police were looking for me, not for witness, but for crime.
I grabbed my letter writing kit, a hoodie and a bag of Cheetos. I beckoned my golden retriever Farah to follow me to the back of my room. I yanked open the window and leaped out, pulling on the hoodie and stuffing the Cheetos in my pockets. Farah followed and tried to cover me while I closed the window just as the police burst into my room.
“There she is! She’s getting away! GET HER!”
I sprinted, looking back every few seconds to make sure Farah was right behind me. I was scared and panicked, so I let that fuel my energy. The police were on our tail for a bit, until Farah led me off into a forest that looked dark and menacing. Once we entered it, I looked back and saw the police stop at the edge of the forest. Farah and I hid behind a weeping willow and watched the police retreat into the night.
That forest was our refuge for a while, foraging for berries and crafting bow and arrows. Farah followed me everywhere, sniffing the ground for food that could be hidden underneath. We built a shelter out of leaves, Farah finding them and me building. I shot a squirrel or two so we could eat, roasting it on top of a small fire, making sure the smoke didn’t give off our location.
Farah was my friend, my guardian and basically the only thing that was keeping me alive. She nestled with me in our leaf hut at night and barked at any strange animals that came our way. She helped me survive the forest, bringing me any sticks or dry roots that could be used for a fire. I even taught her some tricks like rolling or shaking my hand, purely out of boredom. It was Farah and I, I and Farah.
One day we were just out on another hike, trying to find some flowers to decorate our hut. I was specifically looking for a wild rose because they were an elegant pink colour but had very sharp thorns so that no one would be able to steal them. I was basically a human wild rose; beautiful and strong.
It was a perfect day; the sun was peeking through the forest leaves and a light breeze was brushing through my hair. All around us was green: moss green, neon green, olive green and mint green. Every possible shade of green was in that forest, so many that Picasso would struggle mixing them all.
It was about 5 pm, the sun was setting and the light was a deep, rich golden. Farah and I went in a circle, partly because there were wolves and such, deeper into the forest, but mostly because we didn’t want to forget where our hut was and get lost.
Farah suddenly started barking loudly, so I looked around and scanned our surroundings.
Nothing, but she continued barking.
Farah ran in a direction away from our hut and into the darkness. I called for her to come back but she just paused for me, waiting for me to follow.
I sighed and ran after her.
Farah raced into the night, going a little slower than normal so I could keep up. We ran for a while until we came into a clearing, and Farah stopped barking.
The forest opened up to a pond lined with grass, like trim on a bedsheet. The water was a deep blue and mysterious looking, as if the bottom could’ve reached to the underworld and back. The sun was on the horizon now, the sky lit up into a blur of lavender, orange and yellow. Two little rainbow fish jumped out of the pond as if they were playing tag.
Farah ran towards the fish and jumped up and down, happily barking.
I figured out that she led me here to hunt the fish, but I just waved Farah over so we could admire the view. She gave the fish a last look and then bounced toward me, her golden fur shining in the last lights of the day.
She shoved into me, taking me by surprise. I tackled her, grinning and running my hands through her smooth fur.
No matter how dirty I seemed to get, her coat always stayed clean.
I wonder how she did it.
Once Farah got tired, we settled in front of the pond, the sun now asleep and the sky a navy blue.
Farah said something that sounded like a purr, which is ironic because Farah hates cats, probably because she thinks they will steal her spotlight.
While Farah drifted of to dog la-la land, I realized that ever since I ran away, I never used my letter kit.
Slowly sliding out from under Farah, I sat next to her and reached into my pocket for my things.
A pink pen, some white lined paper, and some stamps.
I was surprised that they hadn’t fallen out of my pocket, but then again, there were buried in the deep crevice of my pocket, so it probably couldn’t escape even if it wanted to.
I looked at my unfinished letter to Grandma and put it aside, folding it into a paper crane for Farah to play with later. I thought long and hard about who I wanted to write a letter to, and after I got it, it was obvious.
Why? Just why? Why did you leave me, why did you do that to Mom and Dad, just why? What was your purpose? Were you mad? Were you depressed? You didn’t even tell me where you going, when, why or how, so I don’t know how this letter will get to you, but if it does, write to me back and answer all these questions, because I’ve been dying to know.
I’ve been running away from everything, my life, the police, even you. I’m scared of you, Cody. You’re not the kind, caring brother you used to be, the one that would hide gummy worms from our parents and share them with me, or who would let me play hide and seek with your friends and not even care. You were kind once before Cody, but something twisted you up into an insane knot that might never get untied again.
I really hope you receive this Cody, I want to meet you again so we can start over. I want to be friends again, siblings again, family again. I’ll be waiting at the edge of the big forest near our old house in case you want to visit.
I’ll be waiting.
Your sister (not gonna name names in case this gets in the wrong hands)”
I finished reading my letter aloud and looked to Farah for approval. She just stared back at me with her chocolate-brown eyes, swirly and mesmerizing as a lollipop.
I folded the letter into another crane and wrote To: Cody on the wing. I stood up into the evening breeze and took a deep breath.
I let go of the crane, letting the wind glide it into the night, into the sky and the eyes of the moon.