A Ship To Freedom

Death and destruction, though catastrophic and tragic, are sometimes the only things that can set us free.

Chapter 1


by: raegirl15
I wasn't supposed to be here. It wasn't my plan to spend my sixteenth birthday hiding on a smelly boat. But, plans never turn out the way we think they will. I was supposed to be at home in Boston, having a party with my best friends. I was supposed to be showing off in my brand new car. But that was before she died.

I, Maia andrews, was a normal child. I had the trademark blond hair' blue eye combination, and I used it to my advantage. I was a cheerleader and the smartest kid in my grade. But I wasn't mean or snooty. I volunteered at the homeless shelter and the hospital, and one of my best friends was a brown-haired, round glasses nerd, though I loved her. Her name was Mandy. I don't know why this had to happen to me. I was kind, hard-working, and a good kid. From the outside it seemed that I had it all, but that was the farthest thing from the truth.

My mom and dad were once in love. I can remember it. Dad would bring Mom flowers, and they would have special date nights. I would stay home with a high school kid named Lizy Olsin. She was nice, always playing games with me and Melony, my baby sister at the time. I was around seven then, and Melony was one.

At the age of five, Melony developed brain cancer. It was hard on all of us. It was that type of cancer that couldn't be removed for fear of permanently damaging the brain. That's when my parents relationship became rocky. Despite the inability to cure the cancer with chemo, they tried it anyway. Melony lost all of her baby curls. Dad didn't agree with the procedure.
"She's going to die amelia, nothing you do can change that." he would burst out when he thought neither of us was listening.
"She will if you have your way," mom would spit back. Despite her illness, me and Melony were as close as our ages allowed. She could never play sports, so Mom would buy both of us dolls that were sports oriented. I had a basketball doll and a soccer doll, while Melony had a baseball doll and a volleyball doll. Melony would always imagine herself as the doll, training for the olympics. Thatwas her favorite game to play.

When Melony reached the age of six, she was too weak to go to school. Mom homeschooled her. We began to drift apart then. So did Mom and Dad. Dad was almost never home, always at a friend's house, or working super late hours. I began to feel neglected by them both. But I had no resentment towards Melony, I could see how sick she was and I knew that she was not enjoying the attention she was receiving. It was a huge price to pay for it.

The day before my sixteenth birthday I was actually excited. Dad had taken off for the next day, and Mom was letting me have a party at home and then I could drive a few of my friends to the docks. Even Melony was feeling better. She was walking around that day, teasing me.
"You're never gonna guess what I got you for your birthday Maia."
Though melony was ten, she was as short and thin as a five-year-old.
"It better be good," I teased back and she smiled.
That night, before bed, I went into Melony's room.
"Good night Maia, You'll still never guess what I got you," she said sleepily.
"I won't have to, I'll see it tomorrow," I replied.
"I love you. You're the best big sister ever."
"Duh, I know this. And your not so bad a little sister either." I smiled, turned out the light, and closed the door.
That night was the last time I saw Melony alive.

I woke up the next morning to heart-wrenching cries and screams of accusal.
"You killed her! You killed her!" my mom was screaming over and over again. My stomach dropped, sweat beginning to pour down my face. I cracked my door open to see my parents standing in the doorway of Melony's room. I could barely make her out. She was pale and unmoving. I felt it in my heart, in my very soul. She was gone.
"How dare you accuse me of killing her," Dad screamed. he seem demented, a demon from another world as he advanced on my mom.
"Because, you never wanted her to live! You resented me for trying to save her," and my mom smacked my dad in the face. From there, a fight began. It was terrifying, my mom was being smashed into the walls of the hall, and Dad's face was being ripped open. In fear, I tiptoed over to my bed, and dialed 911. When the dispatcher answered, I didn't say a word, just put the phone through the crack of the door. After a while, I hung up, and took the battery out. Then I hid myself. There was a little room under my bed that no one but Melony and I knew about. It must have been built for the cold war or something. I hid in there until the police came. They arrested my parents for domestic violence, and the ambulance was called for Melony. Then, the house was searched for anything suspicious. Thank God the trap door blended in so well with the floor. I waited there until the cars were gone. Then, I got out and raced to Melony's room. I searched it, looking for something to remember her by. I couldn't even mourn for her, I had to hurry and leave. Under Melony's bed, I found a beautifully wrapped box with "For maia," on it. I ripped off the wrapping paper and saw her volleyball doll and baseball doll fall out. with it was a book of drawings of me, her, and all of our dolls playing together, like a scrapbook. On the very back page was a note.

Dear mai,
I love you so much. You and I both know I'm going to die. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. Just remember me, and take care of yourself. Mommy and daddy are very broken people. my sickness has broken them, and I'm truly sorry for that. They were such good people, but now they are ruined. But don't let me ruin you. Be free. Don't read this to them, just be free Maia..

I took the book and the dolls and ran into my room to find a rucksack. I put all four of our dolls, and the book in it. I raced to the kitchen to stock up on water and crackers. Then, I left the house. I sprinted onto the street and prayed to God that no one would see me and recognize me. I made it to the Boston harbor. There, in the docks, was a barge. It looked to be abandoned. I checked carefully, making sure I hid myself. Then, I got on and buried myself in some boxes of cotton. Within an hour, the boat began to move, there was no going back.

Now, I have been on this boat for a week, maybe more. My crackers are all gone, and I only have a half a bottle of water left. All I have to my name now is four dolls and a memory book and life instruction from my dead little sister. In a way, it's better than a kiss goodbye from my parents. Like Melony said, they were broken people. I wonder if they miss me, or know I'm gone. Or maybe, they are too far damaged to care.
Finally the barge stops and I position my rucksack on my back. The exit opens, and the men look in with shock as they see a blond haired girl jump from the boat and run across the dock. I'm in a new country, a new land. I don't know where, but I can be free now.
"Thank you Melony," I whisper to the sky as I run to freedom.


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