If ever there was a prime example of how much things change in a year, well, I've got it.

A year ago today, Father's day, or a year ago tomorrow to be precise, well, it was the turning point for a lot of things.

My father and I were at the peak of our resentment for each other. Since February last year when he threw me into a bedpost, we'd been avoiding each other, and when we couldn't, we exploded. And then today, a year ago, everything just crumbled, and for the second time in my life, I ran away, knowing I couldn't return for a good number of days. And he watched me as I ran, with no more than what I had on me- jeans, socks, shoes, and a ill fitting shirt I had on simply because it was the weekend and I'd done nothing all day. Perhaps, somewhere in there, was a sweater, but I can't quite remember.

It was the first weekend of the summer.

Two days after a minor explosion witnessed by one of my friends. Two nights after I'd broken up with my boyfriend, for good. The night before I planned to plead for a spot at Weil's for co-op.

So began my days as a runaway.

I admit, I had it pretty good, though. I stayed the night at M's house, watching infomercials on repeat until we fell asleep together on either side of her bed. I woke not knowing where I was for the first time. Pleading for my co-op placement was out for today.

I called Sara, whom I would have went to had it not been so late at night and that for the longest time, "Come whenever you need it" meant "Call three days beforehand, only stay for a couple of hours, and never, ever, call during breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or after 8 PM." She offered to shelter me that night.

We sneaked into my house as if we were petty criminals, baked M's birthday cake and made icing, and was out of there before the earliest time my father could ever come home. I'd picked up my cellphone, which had been taken away and left on the desk, a change of clothes, my hair brush, and as much money as I had, which wasn't much at all. Took a shower, left, with Sara helping me carry my things, hustling down the street as fast as possible until we were out of sight of my house. Safe.

I spent a lot of time at the library, as I never was comfortable in Sara's house alone. When she was at work, I walked up a block to TBL, and though I had lost my library card long ago, I used Sara's to get onto the computers when I needed, and read books when I didn't. And then, when Sara was getting off work soon, or I got too jittery to stay any longer, I went to meet up with my ex-boyfriend, or M, or I'd text the people I knew, who had quickly heard of what happened when I could finally contact them.

I refused to go home, even when my mother called me, upset and angry at the departure she helped cause. I'd had a plan, I'd come home after riding that Thursday. No sooner.

Wednesday, I'd had no place to sleep. No. That's not true. I had a place to sleep, something that the crazed ideas in my head supported, and the logical one's of my friend's refused to believe were safe. But they couldn't house me. Sara's mom said that there'd be no shelter for me anymore. M's mom said much the same. Others had heard my plight, but denied me lodgings, and before I went to a youth shelter, someone had offered me a place to crash.

Who knew it'd come at a price? Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. Things not even my best friends at the time knew. In the morning, I sneaked out, grabbing my newly charged phone, which my lodger had a charging cord to, and set off into the early, early day, putting on a mask that wouldn't come off for quite a while.

Good things and bad things have happened since then. My friends both got into fights with their parents, trying to make me stay with them for one more night. That, everyone, is the big miracle. They still fought for me. I was still worth fighting for.

I had some of the happiest times while I was an exile from my own family.

Now my dad and I only get in fights when we're both tired and stressed. But my friends stopped fighting. They stopped fighting for me, stopped fighting for anything. Shrugging became their typical answer. Keeping secrets quickly became our favorite pastime, and no one would ask for the truth. No one but me. And when I tried to tell people about what happened, they ignored me.

This time, these few days that started a year ago, well, they were probably the strongest displays of friendship since I can remember. How did it become that we hate each other so much now?

Typing this out, reliving it all, it makes me want to knock on their doors and say some sappy thing about how we once were, and how we can be that way again. It makes me want to dig out that friendship necklace we bought that same year to hold each of us together.

But once were and are now are two very different things. And I don't think, from how far we've come, we can ever get back to that.


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