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There I was, running, my heart was pounding, trying not to make a noise and trying not to tell my secrets. I threw myself into the nearest alley and got behind a dumpster. Were they gone? I wondered if my parents had noticed that I was missing. Yesterday was my seventeenth birthday so today I ran away my home isn't safe. I didn't want to be there.

The alley smelled strongly of old cat food, and I had a monster  headache. Very slowly , I stepped out realizing where I was or really where I wasn't. I headed into a store called Dawns Delights. The outside looked as if it had frozen in time, the sign was red and

I walked inside the smell was comforting, like fresh baked cookies and a lavender body spray. At the time I hadn’t got much on me : my phone, a charger, drivers license, and my credit card. All just lying in my mini backpack that I had got out of the donation bin at the church, the bag had come from Forever 21 which is a step up from kroger .

As I sat down at a table I heard a unfamiliar , yet calming voice ask me if I wanted anything , when I looked up I saw a lovely young woman with beautiful blue eyes and red hair.  She gave me a menu and a glass of water.  I'm not sure how long I was there but when I woke up I had 5 empty purple plates on my table. I had to find a place to stay so I looked up hotels in the area, no way I was going back home after that, that catastrophe If you even call it that. It was about 3 so I had some time, I ended up at a clothing store called Eleventeen a pretty place,  I was gonna stay here for a few days so I bought two sundresses, two pairs of shorts, three shirts, fishnet tights, a purple tote, a cheap pajama set, and 2 pairs of sunglasses that smelled slightly... off. Next I went to a nearby CVS and picked up: the basics toothbrush, toothpaste, hair  brush, hair ties, a lufa,and some gum as I checked out the cashier looked at me weird like I hate you. weird . Was that just me? i kinda hope not.

I  headed to my hotel called Texlahomslaw it wasn’t that far away so i walked about eight to ten blocks before i saw it. When I got to my room I was so happy, My stay was for a while how long i wasn't sure yet but i wanted to be prepared. so I looked around shampoo check, conditioner check, mouthwash check, towels check , what I needed was a face soap but I could get that tomorrow. In the meantime I hung up  my dresses , one was purple with a white lace rim, the other a yellow floral pattern with black ribbon. Next I made a list for tomorrow

  • Get some shoes (flip flops, adidas, flats)

  • Buy granola bars or some sort of food

  • Face wash (Lush? But it’s not cheap)

  • Look for a job

It was now five pm , I decided it was time to get some food, Briefly remembering a burger king down the road off I headed. On my way my best friend called I was so glad to hear Emily's voice I almost screamed with excitement. I told her where I was, and the fact that my parents were abusive, and alcoholic , and that if she wanted to come visit she could not tell them or anyone where I was. She of course promised not to tell , and said she was going to come tomorrow with some ‘goodies’ I am both excited and scared about what’s  gonna happen.
As I headed back to the hotel after the amazing burger king I realized that the hotel had a pool! Man I was so excited I headed back up to my room and threw on a  lilac sports bra and some black athletic shorts I bought at Eleventeen. It was kinda sorta a swimsuit , I didn't care , heading down to the pool I passed an old lady stroking her fat cat, 2 boys heading off to the pool, two very embarrassed moms watching their husbands have a stroller race did they even know each other?. As I got into the pool all noise faded, I could no longer hear kids screaming, or smell the strong smell  of the chlorine. That all disappeared it was just me in that room , the other 50 or so just , just left I don't know how to state it any other way. I set a timer on my phone for 30 minutes , after that I Was going to shower and get the first good sleep in my life for the past 3 years , before the alcohol, before I lived in a hallway closet. after I left the pool I headed back to my room ,  I didn't even mind the yelling from other rooms , I got in the shower and let everything just slide off of me, for once I didn't hear “hell no Krystal don't play that game”, or vomiting in the background it was peaceful. Soon after I was all in my pajamas sleeping , without a care in the world , but early the next morning I was awoken with a loud ring of the phone, it was the front desk asking if I wanted a young woman named Emily coming up to greet me , I said yes while trying not to scream into that tiny gray phone. Surprisingly, the first thing Emily said to me was breakfast , apparently she had to get up at like 4:00 am to see me and she was starving. We had waffles, pancakes, bacon, eggs, and about 10 bowls of cereal . Each. when we got back to the room she gave me a huge bag of clothes and she rescued daisy, my  mini pomeranian dog. God I was so happy to see her golden fur , and Emily even got me a new collar. Trying to hold back tears I managed to force out a thank you.

Next on the list we went shopping!!! First on the list we stopped at a petco to buy Romans’ dog food, a travel bed , and a leash.  At Lush Emily got me bunny moon a moisturizing face wash and a shower jelly man. Those things are so freaking cool! We stopped at Lulu's Latte Spot for lunch, and Dairy Queen for dessert. When we got back the first thing that came out of Emily's small purple mouth was “the police are looking for you, they asked me where you were I said that you were in a secure location away from your terrible parents, but they want to come and check on you and get evidence for bruising and such like that , I said I would ask you. Ash, I really think you should I mean anyone could see that they abused you , your mom has forced you on diets and workout plans, there was one point where to lose ten pounds she just stopped feeding you, and don't even get me started on your dad Ash he hit you he kicked you he's even tried to sleep with you and me! Please press charges please. daisy waggeled at my feet , tears rolled from my eyes . I held my breath pack an outfit for tomorrow I'm going to the police. I didn't really want to do this but I knew I should, my parents scare me so much I haven't even come out yet. I hadn't even told Emily “Emily I have something to tell you, my mind raced but I had to do it Emily … I'm gay, well demi pansexual really, but its not that bad its just, she cut me off  ash… ash thats fine im totally ok with that and im proud you told me , who else knows? You”. “well girl when’s the parade im gonna wave that god dang flag and support! I’m here for you do you really think i'd spend like 100$ and clothes and then hate you just because of who you like , girl you can fall in love with a leaf  for all I care as long as that leaf  treats you right.

Thank you em thank you I was so scared that you would hate me or something like that and I’m so glad that you don’t hate me. “Believe me ash it’s fine but,I heard this hotel has a pool… fine by me , do you have a suit? “No but you have three” HUH? “Check the bag silly” I looked down to see bags of clothes and goods thank you emily really thank you.

Man we went on the slide so many times I counted the bolts one hundred and thirty two! “Fine Ash!I guess we can go to bed my parents are out of town so I guess I can stay” YES!!!! I shouted this as we headed back, She helped me hang up a beautiful coral long sleeve dress and a black romper with an adorable matching purse. she folded the new clothes and hung the skirts.

Then handed me an envelope “it’s not much but I wanted you to have it” “thank you, your the best” “I know” when I opened it I almost screamed three hundred dollars lying in my hand. Now come on we have a lot to do, and we will need lots of energy tomorrow let's get some sleep. BEEEEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPP! There goes the alarm, I hopped out of bed Emily was still sleeping so I let her be, I brushed , and washed.

I didn't want to get my nice new clothes ruined so I grabbed an old sweatshirt that em had grabbed when she got daisy and got the leash. Not wanting to scare her I left a note “dog needs to pee” , and headed on my walk… Not many people were outside, it felt weird but daisy had to pee and i didnt want to ruin another rug. It was a little chilly, I could tell because daisy's little legs were shaking Then i knew why...

I'm not sure if he saw me but there was victor one of dad's drinking buddies  I Didn't like him because he was the one who got him started with the whiskey and the assaulting. I got DAISY and ran , back to the hotel I didn't look back he could have been chasing me but i couldn't look back. my number one rule was don't turn back, if you even look back you're weak. When I  got to the room emily was in the shower, that could take a while. I locked the door and watched the peep hole no one was there maybe it was just my imagination but maybe not i decided to get room service for breakfast so he couldn't hide in a crowd. But one problem daisy still had to pee i was gonna have to go out anyway today we were going to the police.

Finally after i gained my courage i walked out side i had a full stomach so i wouldn't run out of energy, i knew basic self defence, what could go wrong?

When i walked daisy i was still really nervous but i didn't want to show it so instead daisy , me , and emily kinda went in circles until daisy finally peed. Nothing happened so i relaxed, i started to breathe normally again. I felt calm, but something was still bothering me so i decided to just let it go, it probably wasn't victor. Maybe it was but he probably didn't see me. As we headed back to the hotel, i started thinking : what if i go through all this work to press charges and it doesn't help, if they need evidence just look at my face , there's a scar when dad threw a empty bottle at me and screamed “GO AWAY YOU PAIN AND GET ME MORE WINE FOR KATY” I never did know who Katy was.

But that's behind me now it's time to focus on bringing them down, wow that sounds weird to say about your parents. The car ride was short and silent both of us were scared but i wasn't gonna show it , I Ashley Miller was finally stand up to Kristal and Brad miller i was actually gonna do it , a wash of excitement and fear surrounded me there was most definitely more important cases out there what if they didn't listen what if my parents took me away again all these terrible things could happen. Because really i was a 16 year old girl sitting in a cab with my best friend and a container of yogurt. Emily could tell i was getting nervous , she leaned forward “it's gonna be okay” i knew it if I kept telling myself that it was gonna be okay because if you hear something a matter of times you believe it because that's how the world works. When we got there it took them probably ten minutes to realize we were there but not because it was busy, the room was so quiet it was scary in a way. “Hello , do you need assistance?” I stood up and told the whole story the woman's heart dropped , I could see it in her eyes. The assistant said she would have someone see us and to just sit tight, well that part wasn't hard the chairs in that room were so tiny I thought they were from a kids bedroom. But nonetheless we sat down and began the wait it was going to be hours , days months-Ashely Miller oh heh nevermind.officer bruno asked me questions like why was I here? When did this happen? And why is there a blonde standing behind me eating yogurt? After she gathered information we went to the hospital I had to sit on a cold metal table and have a nurse named nancy take photos of me for evidence of bruising I also had to take a pregnancy test that was scary but im glad emily was there I couldn't do it without her.

I'M NOT PREGNANT YAY!!! I kinda figured that but I guess I should be happy for that. They told us that I would have to talk to my parents. I wasn't happy but I knew I had to so I raised my head and said “bring em in”. but inside I was terrified, what happens if they lie?

This idea from bruno was genius: I would go to their place to talk to them about what they did and how they mistreated me while being recorded then they would never know. The next day came and at about ten I walked up and knocked.

My heart skipped a beat when they opened up the door.

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