Feeling high on happiness and friendship, Grace and Sophie headed into the backyard.
“What’s in this shed?” Sophie asked.
“Oh, just left over stuff from kids that got adopted over the years.” Grace answered.
“Let’s check it out.” Sophie said, excitedly. Stepping into the shed, Grace saw that Alex and Hazel were inside. Alex was bent down and it looked like he was packing something.
“Oh, sorry, we’ll just leave.” Turning around quickly, Grace bumped awkwardly into Sophie.
“No, stay. Have a seat. Hazel and I want to talk to you guys about something.” Glancing around, Grace could see that it looked like they were definitely packing for something. Looking outside to make sure no one could over hear him, Alex leaned in and spoke.
“Hazel and I are running away tonight.” Alex said, barely above a whisper. Grace was shocked. She didn’t know that was an option. Sure, she had dreamed of running away, but actually doing it was another thing.
“Wait, what?” Grace asked, confused. She couldn’t hide the shock on her face.
“We’ve been planning this for a while now. We’re going to hop the midnight train that leads out of Oasis Springs.” Hazel said, excitedly. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
“But where does the train go? Where will you live?” Grace asked, concerned.
“Does it matter?” Alex asked. “It’s not like Miss Derby will notice us gone.” Alex said.
“Sophie, you’re welcome to come with us.” Hazel offered. Grace put her head in her hands. This was all moving too fast. Alex and Hazel were leaving. They were actually packing. And in less than four hours, they would be gone.
Grace thought for a moment. Even though things were tough at the orphanage, she still had a roof over her head, a bed, and a shower. Eating was inconsistent, but she had friends at school that would give her bits of their lunches that they didn’t want.
“Grace? Are you coming with us tonight?” Asked Alex, bringing Grace out of her deep thoughts.
“No. I’m staying here.” Grace said, shocked at her own decision.
“I’m going to stay here, too.” Sophie added.
“Okay, but if you change your mind, we leave a few minutes before midnight.”