When I was about 13 years old, we still lived in Springfield, MA. Anyone that has been 13 at one point in their lives knows enough to know that these are the most difficult years for a teenager.
Domestic Violence was a very common situation in our house. Almost every weekend I was calling the cops, my father was getting arrested and released the next day. He lived in his car for about a week and then I would beg my mother to take him back because it broke my heart to see him living in that situation.
Now, I will tell you, if you worked with my father you would never know this was the type of person he was. My father was very careful about letting anyone having the slightest idea of his behavior or his living situation.
Being that I was daddy’s little girl, the one he never fought with or even yelled at for that matter, I thought I was the only one who had the power to change my dad. So I decided to run away from home. We lived close to the projects and everyone there were my friends. I spent 3 nights out of my house. The first one was easy, my friend let me stay at her house. I did call my parents and let them know I was alive but that I wasn’t coming home until dad promised to stop drinking. The second night was bad I can’t even remember where I slept. The third night was the worst. One of my friends told me to catch a bus downtown and he would pick me up there so I could stay at his place. When I arrived downtown, I called my friend repeatedly but he wouldn’t answer. I was broke and stranded downtown, somewhere that I was not familiar with at all and had no friends in that area.
I started to beg for a ride. Everyone kept telling me no. I begged this one man so much, he started to run away from me and got in his car and left. At that point, I started to cry, I was helpless and wishing I was home with my family, even if they were crazy. I would’ve rather that than being cold and alone in a place I didn’t know.
An older gentleman, he was a taxi driver, approached me and asked me where I needed to go. I told him and he said “I will take you”, I told him I had no money, he said “I will take you free of charge, I just want you to be safe”. I got in the taxi, still scared something could happen to me with a total stranger, but nothing happened. He took me to the projects and gave me his card just in case I needed him. I remember his name was Angel. That night, he was exactly that, an Angel sent to safe me from sleeping out in the streets. Remember I was only 13 years old. I thanked him so many times, he kept telling me just to take care of myself and get home.
I returned home the next morning. Needless to say, my plan didn’t work because my father continued to drink but I never ran away from home again.
Stay tuned for the next story!!!