The Runaway

Once in awhile, Seattle reminds me that it isn’t merely a cultured, educated, progressive place with good coffee and microbreweries. Instead, I am confronted with the harshness of someone else’s reality, someone else’s hysteria, someone else’s pain. She is scared, scared enough of home to brave the streets and abandoned buildings this city has to offer, scared of the men intruding on her illusory haven. She is even scared of herself.

And that’s where I see her, in her desperate state, squad cars arriving as a clean-cut young man stands just outside the foray, vainly trying to get a signal. Her face is bloody, and there are stalky, less clean men corralling her. One of them is yelling for the police.

She is standing now. No one is pinning her down, like before. Someone, not a man, is comforting her.

I leave as soon as the officer steps onto the scene. I was only there for a minute, after all. Best not to get needlessly involved. She will be taken to a place where men don’t sit on girls. She will be safe now, I hope.

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