Hiding in a cargo truck in the middle of winter, with night approaching was very quickly looking like an extremely bad idea. The tuck was hard, cold and ceaselessly rocking and bumping the boys about like rocks in a cement mixer. They felt increasingly cold and nauseous…they bounced harshly, to and fro, up and down. Hungry writhing stomaches and disillusionment are nasty comrades on any trip, but, especially loathsome in a teenage boy. Neither had thought much about their actual plan of escape and after a very long hour of being juggled about, they started to become frightened.
“We should have packed some food.” said Simon “And, some warmer clothes and blankets. We are going to freeze in the back of this truck if this keeps up and we don’t even really know where this truck is headed.”
Devin was a quieter thinker and was already planning their next move. He knew that this truck would likely stop for gas eventually. “Don’t worry Simon,” he said “My Dad drove a truck and I know that truckers are usually nice people. We have lots of time to figure out our next move and make decisions.” Devin had been into the city before and knew the trip would not take long. He tried to reassure Simon by placing his hand on his shoulder and telling him that everything was going to be alright.
Fortunately as the truck rambled down the road, they could hear a radio promising warmer weather and playing music that was uplifting. Their excitement grew; could they allow their hearts to soar with anticipation? Were they free? For the first time in both their lives there seemed to be the promise of hope. But, they wondered, how long can we endure this cold uncomfortable truck? “What will we do when we get there?” They had so many questions and as they hit a bump in the road they held on to handles secured on the wooden boxes to avoid being jumbled into the air.
“Are you alright Simon?” asked Devin after several minutes. “Do you think this is a good idea? Won’t our families miss us?” Simon knew that he would not be missed for several days, even the school didn’t always expect him to arrive, so he felt reassured about that angle of events. However, he couldn’t help but wonder what on earth they were going to do when they got to whatever city this truck was heading! Although he was excited the initial burst of adrenaline was slowly wearing off and reality was setting in. Fortunately both boys were used to adversity, so the rattling truck and frigid temperature were annoyances they hoped they could cope with. Both boys were easily able to hide their worry. They’d been doing that all their lives.
“We have to hold onto our plan,” said Devin. “We must remember our dreams. We can’t stay in that town any longer. We need to escape the stereotype that everyone already has of us. It doesn’t matter how hard we try, it will never be enough to give us a second chance. We’re only 15 and I think this is our only option. We are street smart and we can do it Simon! We have to, otherwise I’m afraid things are just going to get worse.”
“Ya, maybe you’re right”, replied Simon, “Look at our Dads ~ they never stood a chance right from the get go ~ always being laughed at, never measuring up, being yelled at by their parents. Nobody trusted them. And then my Dad doing time in jail. That story follows him wherever he goes, even though he was only 18 when he got caught. We need to make a change, we need to fight back. I can’t stand the constant criticism. I have to get out and this might be the only way we can escape.” Perhaps they would never go back and they could start their lives all over again.
“Don’t fall asleep Simon ~ that’s important. As soon as this truck stops we need to escape. We must stay alert.”