A pathetic escape

It was too late to block the door so I went for the stairs, my tears making a fog of the room. I paused to reclaim my gun, the broken fox dropped, its glass eyes empty.

My parents’ room was at the end of the hall, I’d only been in once since I arrived. I couldn’t face the small tokens they’d left, photographs on my mother’s table, my father’s threadbare fishing sweater on the bed. I closed the door behind me and opened the window onto the balcony.

The moon was bright, the trees shining milky white only fifty yards from the house. The ground was clear, the balcony looking up towards the mountains. Sebastian must have led his friends up the drive, they hadn’t reached the rear of the house yet.

I grabbed the railing, dropped, my knee flaring in pain. I’d twisted it at football only a few weeks ago, but I kept my balance and limped under the overhanging canopy of leaves. My refuge for the last two weeks lost because of an only half-remembered love.

I hoped I’d never see anyone I recognised again.

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