I have run away twenty-six times in my lifetime so far.
I'm currently hiking across the uneven sidewalks of my tiny forgotten hometown alone, a leather backpack slung over one shoulder and a camera over the other. I've got leather pants cut into shorts on, dusty red beat-up Converse, and a maroon shirt, my hair loose and wild in the slight wind.
The whole thing put together creates a rather odd look that has a rather odd effect but I don't care because I like this shirt, these shoes, and these shorts. So I'm gonna wear them.
A car approaches me, slows, and the window rolls down to reveal the person inside.
River, a police officer's kid, was unofficially put in charge of keeping track of my safety and whereabouts at all times. I suppose that's what happens when you're an experienced runaway.
He raises a brow at me from his spot in the driver's seat and gestures casually toward the backpack.
"It's summer, White. Where're you going?"
I break off my path to approach his car, which is so old and run-down it's practically falling apart. I don't tell him this, though. Here's something you should know about River: you don't talk shit about his car. In fact, you don't talk about his car at all.
"To the beach." I reply smoothly, throwing my backpack into the passenger seat of his car.
"Running away again?"
I tilt my head. "Yeah, with you. Why?"
"Wait." he holds up a hand as though to stop me. "I'm taking you to the beach?"
"You're taking me to the beach." I repeat.
"I've never been to the beach." he finally says, reaching over to unlock the passenger door.
I smirk and shrug, climbing in.
He locks the door and starts driving. "But I'm not going to take you." and he turns toward the police station.
"Shit." I swear at him.
He smirks. "You couldn't have honestly thought I would. I would never-"
"Hey, never say never." It was worth a try, anyway. I flick the car door and smile sweetly. "You should get a new car, River. This one's so shitty I'm surprised it even works."
He slams on the brake. "What did you say?" he says it all calm, but that just means he's so much more upset. "What the hell did you just say, Vaughn?"
"I said," I smile. "Your car is shitty."
"Shut up, Vaughn. Shut the hell up." he glares at me. He only ever swears when someone's insulted his car. Because his car's the only thing he really cares about.
I smirk. "Just saying. I mean, the paint's peeling."
"God, Vaughn. Shut the fuck-"
"Wait a minute." I hold up my hand and he stops. "Whatever happened to being the good guy? Y'know, never swearing?"
He shuts up and continues driving, and after awhile he calms down enough that I'm temped to make another remark about his car. But I'm not entirely stupid, so I stay silent.
When we reach the station, I swear. "I don't feel well." I say. "I think I'm sick. Maybe I should just wait-"
"Get out of the car, Vaughn." he stands there, holding the door open, bored.
"Fine." I slide out of the car, and then flick the peeling paint. "Shitty excuse of a car." I mutter.
River just smiles.