Stay With Me

by Caroline Marshall, age 11
Stay With Me Caroline Marshall is a rising sixth grader at Saint Patrick's Episcopal Day School in Washington, D.C. When not writing fiction she enjoys biking and dance. She lives in Washington with her parents, two dogs and two cats.

“Logan woke up at 12:55 at night and slowly tiptoed down the stairs. She was almost always up, whether she was reading or drawing, so even if it was super early in the morning, she could function normally.”

Logan woke up at 12:55 at night and slowly tiptoed down the stairs. She was almost always up, whether she was reading or drawing, so even if it was super early in the morning, she could function normally.

Her dad was passed out from a night of drinking with his friends. She slowly opened the cabinet where her father kept the notebooks. She grabbed her phone that her dad had taken. Suddenly, she saw a notebook covered in paper flowers. She looked at the cover. In bold letters and fancy script it said PASSWORDS! She shook her head in disbelief.

Wow, she thought. I knew he wasn’t bright, but this looks like the work of a five-year-old, not a fifty-five-year-old.

She ripped out the paper with the bank PIN and stuffed it into her phone case.  She tiptoed upstairs, grabbed her dad’s wallet, and took out his credit cards. She climbed up another flight of stairs to her attic room, got her duffel, and packed all of the clothes from her half-empty closet. Even though she planned to travel light, she picked up the photo album of all the memories of her mom, who died of cancer when she was five. She laced up her combat boots and put on a gray sweatshirt. She looked at her phone. It was now 1:30 in the morning.

She grabbed her bags and pulled her long, blonde ombre hair into a messy bun. Her violet eyes shone with determination. She took one last look at her living room and flashed back on all the memories one last time before she left for good. Logan pulled out her earphones and listened to “This is Gospel” by Panic! At The Disco. She had planned the escape journey so many times: the bus ride, the short walk to the Metro, stealing her father’s money, and leaving forever.  

She pulled her hood down farther and exited the empty Metro. She slowly made her way to an ATM and pulled out the credit cards. She decided to check the balance of all of them.  Five minutes later, after she did the math on her phone, her mouth fell open. Over one million dollars. Logan stood there in shock. Over one million dollars!? she internally yelled.

“Holy crap,” she muttered. She then transferred all but five dollars into a secret account she created. She didn’t feel bad, because it was hers to start with, and so walked away.

She bought a ticket to New York, then boarded the train. She couldn’t sleep on the five-hour journey. She remembered the pain her father caused her when he beat her, the sadness she felt when the doctor pronounced her mother dead, having no friends in school, being called a goth, emo, and a freak. She felt all of the anger, depression, and hurt flow into the blank piece of paper on her notebook. She tore the paper out and ripped it to shreds. The only other person was a man who looked at her as if to say, “Geez gurl! Calm it down like twenty notches.”

After the long journey, she exited the train and entered Penn Station. She pushed open the door and exited Penn Station into the cool, winter air of New York City. The horns and loud sounds caught her by surprise, as did the bright lights from billboards and lights from the hotels and offices. The steam pipes billowing smoke and the sound of construction were all in the air.

Is this what freedom feels like?

As Logan walked along the crowded streets, she walked into a Starbucks and saw on the bulletin board an ad: “Looking for a roommate, cheap, two people currently there, female preferred.”

“Excuse me?” Logan asked the barista, a girl with bright blue hair and a tattoo on her hand.

“Yes?” said the barista.

“Do you know where this address is?” Logan asked.

“Oh, that address is right around the corner!”

“Thank you!” Logan said.

Logan walked to the address after using Google Maps. She stared up at the five-story brick apartment, then buzzed the button for room C-14. She made the very weary climb to the fifth floor, approached C-14, and knocked on the dingy, brown door. Wow, is this what all doors look like in New York? I’m nervous about the inside. A girl who looked about eighteen with brown hair and blonde highlights opened the door.

“Hello,” said the girl cheerfully.

“Um…hi,” replied Logan. Oh god, this awkward. I was expecting a group of girls.

“Did you see the poster of us looking for a roommate?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Would you like to come in?”

“Okay, sure!”

When Logan walked in, she was in shock. She saw a beautiful sight: an elderly woman with two cats was knitting on a white couch. She looked around and smelled the sweet pastry aroma and the cozy looking furniture. This is so cozy! The woman saw her and smiled.

“Hello there deary, how are you?” the old woman asked.

“Good. How are you?” Logan politely asked.

“Been better, but very good,” the woman replied. “You are very kind and polite.”

“Thank — ”

Before Logan could finish her sentence, the old woman asked, “Would you like to live here?”

“Ummmmm…”  Logan, come on, this is what you’ve wanted almost all of your life. Choose wisely.  “Yes.”

“Well then, we will show you your room and then you can get settled.”

Logan followed the old woman, whose name she found out was Adele.

 

December 10th

Her room was cozy. It had a white bed with a mint carpet and a desk with a Macbook Air and a lamp. It also had white and mint sheets on the bed. The curtains were white, and the walls were white-painted brick. She exited her room and almost ran into Tess, the girl who had buzzed her in and opened the door when she first came.

“Oh, sorry!” Logan exclaimed.

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” Tess responded.

Logan and Tess sat down over coffee and Logan told her the true story of how she got here. “So that’s why I ran away,” Logan finished the story.

Tess ran over to Logan and wrapped her arms around her and gave her a big bear hug. Logan was in shock. No one for almost 13 years had hugged her and truly meant it.

Then Tess smacked Logan on the arm.

“Holy crap, Logan, you stole one million dollars from your father’s bank account!”

“Actually, the money was left to me. It said so in my mom’s will, and my father stole it from me.”

“Oh,” Tess responded. “Maybe you should take him to court?”

“I’m gonna talk to my dad before and see if he has changed.”

Tess hugged her and told her to be safe. She went onto her computer and bought a ticket for the train home. As she left her safe haven, Adele yelled goodbye.

 

A few hours later

As she walked up to the door, all the anger shut up inside of her started to boil.

“YOU,” her father yelled. “Thinking you could just run away.”

“Yeah, nice to see you too, Father.” Logan’s voice was laced with sarcasm.

“Whadda ya want! Money, forgiveness?”

“No, you stole my money that was in Mom’s will. You didn’t report me taking the money because you knew! All along you knew. You were afraid that I would shoot down your skyscraper of an ego. I came just to tell you that you are a thief and that you have no heart at all.” She gave him her sweetest smile and walked out.

 

December 20th

So close to Christmas, thought Logan.  Just have to finish the article and I’ll be done for the week.

Logan and Tess were in their local Starbucks working on a magazine article together for Vogue. Logan had been hired by Vogue as an editorial assistant, and Tess as a photographer. Adele was there giving them helpful hints while knitting. Logan then realized how lucky she was to have these two people in her life. Without them, she wouldn’t have gotten this amazing job and found her true place in herself and society. She looked into the mirror on the wall and saw the image of three grown women together, but to her they were family.

 

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