I think there’s a story here, I just need to develop it a bit.
I escaped from a home when I was 13. It was a “holding” place for juveniles. I was picked up when a friend was involved in an incident with a crazy boyfriend and a gun. It was an incident of my circumstances. The cops brought us in to call our parents. My friend’s parents came in to pick her up but mine weren’t around. I was moved to a juvenile home in Portland, Waverly, until a relative was found.
Steve Beven/The Oregonian
The home was nice enough. I may have even ended up in a nice foster home, but my trust was waning and I kept open the possibility of other plans. I stayed for a few days, enough time to make a friend. In our dramatic 14 year old fashion, we decided to escape. Funny, we were from the same neighborhood (of course we were). The place had a bunch of staff always roaming around. We decided the best way to be able to leave unnoticed was at night.
When the night assistant put the baby to sleep, my friend and I slipped through the back door and quickly scaled over the tall fence. I nearly jumped over the 5 foot barrier, but had to stop to help my friend that got snagged up. We got ourselves free and ran down the street toward the bus line. We jumped on the next Division line bus toward home. Why I ran back to this disaster area, I can’t figure out except to say that it was the last place I knew my family.
It didn’t take me long to figure out how ill equipped I was and I knew my couch hopping and squatting was getting both over welcomed and unsafe. After leaving my home a month earlier, I returned to an empty apartment. Mom was living downtown and Jason had been handed off to a family he did not know. I broke in the sliding back door and barricaded it shut once I got inside.
Although it wasn’t unusual to see the cops cruising through the apartment complex, I noticed the frequency of their visits had increased. I tried to stay out of their site just in case they were looking for me, and ventured out very little during the day. It’s not that I was so afraid of changing my circumstances, I just didn’t want it to be through the cops. I was so afraid that not only could my mother not take me, but also that my father wouldn’t want me.
After about a week of squatting, I was heading back to the vacant apartment through the common courtyard between apartment buildings. Just as I turned stepped around the corner the cop car appeared. I’m sure I evoked suspicion as I instinctively bobbed back into the shaded courtyard. My first instinct was to run with the confidence that they wouldn’t catch me. I turned and ran, through the courtyard to the edge of the building kitty corner the basketball court sized grass. I was fast and escaped their line of vision through the next courtyard and through the fence.
I waited until dark to sneak back to my apartment. The cops glided by in their car later with a car flashlight sweeping through the complex, not an uncommon event, but worthy of noting.
I called my grandmother the next day. I believe she was aware that I had been missing. She connected me to my dad and I was on a plane the next day to live in Houston with Dad and Vicki.