The Act of Absconding

A girl named Valerie DeAngelo experiences a series of ecstatic and depressing moments at a boarding school in Florida.

Chapter 1

Leaving Pittsburgh

I couldn't wait to get out of Pittsburgh and move to Florida. In Pittsburgh, the weather is unpredictable, civilians are rude and perform inhumane actions while standing in the middle of a crowded sidewalk, and items in stores are ridiculously over-priced. If you want to visit Pittsburgh (which I doubt you do, but just in case), don't let me influence you; I'm most likely biased. Florida seemed like it was going to be paradise; warm temperatures year-round, bright beams of sunlight causing shadows to dance on the shaky branches of the palm trees, and a wide array of different people. In that period of time, I believed that the boarding school I was going to attend there was going to allow me to experience close friends, wild parties with things that your parents warn you to never try, and grades that would make Isaac Newton proud. I should've known that nothing is ever perfect.

On the day of my departure from Pittsburgh, my mom and dad couldn't seem to stop their overpowering sobs. I feared that the house was in danger of flooding, for my mom's tears quite literally made a miniscule puddle on the carpet. My dad repeatedly blew his nose so loudly that it made my ears ring.

"We'll miss you, sweetie! I hope that Florida brings you tons of fun! Since I'm not going to be there, you'll have no one to protect you as strongly as a mother's love allows you to, so I'm going to give you tips about how to stay safe." My mom proceeded to give me the dreaded talk about intercourse and how to perform it safely. I'll leave those details out for your sake.

"If you ever need anything, you know our numbers. I set them as your speed dials. Have fun!" my dad said monotonely, though he was smiling. My dad never expressed emotions when he talked; his eyes said it all. His tone of voice could be utterly normal, but at the same time, his eyes could show such strong sorrow that you want to hug him and wish him well. His eyes appeared to be happy yet nervous for obvious reasons.

"Thanks, Mom and Dad. I'll be safe and have fun. Promise," I reassured them with a smile, not nervous in the slightest, for I was living in a child-like fantasy that nothing could possibly go wrong in the state where Disney World and Universal Studios are.

After plenty of hugs, wet kisses on the cheeks, and exchangings of goodbyes and see-you-soons, I ran into the cab parked outside my house that would drive me to the airport. It smelled strongly like ashes and something burning, causing me to inquire that he's a heavy chain-smoker. I coughed, not sure how my lungs would react to the unhealthy conditions, and buckled up.

"Welcome to the cab of Bernie, the vehicle that will lead you on your journey!" he beamed, grinning at me via the mirror on the windshield. I could practically see smoke crawling out of his throat, since I could smell it on his breath.

"Um... I'd like to go to the airport, please," I murmured, avoiding eye contact. Episodes of Law and Order clouded my thoughts, making me fear that I was going to be murdered before entering what I thought would be heaven on Earth. Just in case, I deciphered an escape plan.

"Ignoring my clever catch phrase, eh? Ah well. Off the airport we go!" And with that, he speeded off, gleefully ignoring the traffic lights and signs on the side of the road. How he didn't get fired from his job for reckless driving, I had no clue. The entire way there, he told me irritatingly cheesy jokes, and I was too polite to tell him to cut it out. When I finally arrived at the airport, I couldn't be happier: I was free of my parents and that dreaded cab driver. I was free of my problems, or so I thought.

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