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Before I begin, I joined the Military DEP (Delayed Entry Program) at 17 years old, still in high school of course. I was given a ship date for the beginning of August, but I didn't know what type of commitment the Military was until after I signed up. I didn't hear about the truths about the military until after, about how overseas is mandatory, being shipped around the country, not getting the job I want, the endless training, the isolation from the outside world, I had my reasons. I signed up in August, changed my mind at the end of the month.

School began, senior year, come December I actually get interested again and do some training. Changed my mind soon after, got interested again around April, spent of time with the recruiters until June. Failed school, had to go to Summer School in order to graduate. My parents soon learned that I didn't want to go to the Military. They told me I wouldn't be able to live there anymore if I didn't have a plan for my life. I told them my plan is to live a normal life, with a Job and such, but it was more of my dad's girlfriend's decision. She threatened to leave with my little half-brother Austin if I didn't leave, so I was the mature one and decided to leave. I bought a Bus Ticket and packed my bags. My dad, I had never seen him like this before, just silent, depressed, long faced, concerned, hopeless. He helped me through this whole process, brought me food while I slept outside in the Trailer because Jen (dad's girlfriend, mother of Austin) didn't want me in "her house" as it was actually my Grandmother's and has been for decades. My dad set me up with some money and a hotel reservation, the Red Roof Inn. I remember my luggage was packed in my orange backpack, that black/blue luggage bag with the handle and roller, with another side carrier bag that matched. I wasn't sure what was to come of me, or if I'd even meet Devin (didn't plan to) but I had to leave, and nobody else would take me in. My mom and stepfather were the ones who originally kicked me out, I got to sleep there a couple nights before all this. My only real brother TJ, visited me often through all this. I remember it was the first time in our lives we ever hugged each other while crying, I never knew how much he cared since we hadn't been living together for a while. We always used to be just there, strangers. I remember he spent some time hanging out with me in that trailer, and getting pretty mad at Jen, and my dad. The 3rd night in a row that I had to sleep in the trailer was the coldest night of the summer, I woke up shivering with only a pillow and a tiny blanket. I heard my dad's footsteps as I waited for his routine wake-up call at 7:30am to go to my online summer school course. I was going to take my final in Earth Science. This course I had waited until the 2nd to last day to do, and amazingly completed 14 out of 18 lessons that they originally gave me a month to do. i received an Email shortly after, that I was being granted an extension. This was on Friday, so I couldn't go back to the Library until Monday. Come Monday morning, my dad was making a pot of coffee, I walked in as he poured the water into the coffee maker from the pot, ever since I started using the pot for measurements, the coffee had been more watery. I went downstairs to the computer I secretly had got online with (had been grounded from internet) and checked emails. My dad came downstairs and noticed it was online, I told him it was so I could finish the Summer School Course, but I wasn't really able to get onto the Course from that old computer. I remember my dad reminding me to put stuff in these boxes that he would ship to me when I got to Delaware. But I kept stressing about the things I needed to pack at the moment. To this day I still wonder why he cared so much about that...

I got on my motorcycle and headed for the school, my Honda 1981 CB200. I got to the school early to finish my final lessons which took me 30 minutes, and I started my Final Exam at around 10am, which had 176 questions. Luckily they were mostly repeat questions from the Lessons, so it was fairly easy for me. At around 11am I was on Question 136, which was when the other teacher came in, I had to stay a little late because of the extra lessons I had to finish and I completed the Exam at about 11:15am. I surfed the web while she checked and graded it for about 5 minutes, to then find out I pass with a solid C for the year, a 75. We then talked for about a half hour about my future life and careers, job opportunities and things like that. We said goodbye for 20 minutes and I promised to keep contact when them, they were very impressed and pleased about my accomplishment. I rode my bike back home worried about the little gas I had left in my tank.

When I got back home, I told my dad the good news about graduating and he gave me a big hug. He reminded me about talking to my mom about the money in my bank account, which I had been putting off because every conversation with my mother ended up in an argument about going into the Army. I didn't want to talk to mom, so my dad drove me to her house, the house I had lived at for 8 years before getting kicked out and living at my grandmother's. My mom drove me to the bank, and kept asking about what I'm going to do in Delaware. The reason for Dover, Delware, was because I had a friend who lived there that said she would find me a job and help me out when I got there. It wasn't much, I didn't really care because it was the only thing I had going for me. The girl's name was Devin. You'll understand why I said "was" later on, but my mother continued to accuse her of being a sexual predator or a cop. Since my mom was the assistant manager of the bank, the process went by quicker. We got into the bank at around 1:45pm, and had to pick up my younger step sister Kelsey from Driver's Ed at 2pm. When we picked Kelsey up she talked about hanging out with some guys from the Hockey team from my school, which I knew wouldn't turn out well. She had been turning into a party animal getting drunk and flirting around a lot, but looked like an angel in my parents eyes. When we got back to the house, I sat around waiting for Jen to leave for work back at my house, I didn't want to go back until she was gone. Before she could take me home, another argument got violent, and she eventually started relaying messages to my step-dad over the cell phone, mocking me, and laughing at everything I was trying to talk to her about. It became clear that she was accusing me of being a *****, and that I wasn't good enough for her. I decided to walk home. I screamed some harsh words for half the neighborhood to hear, and walked down the street, and answered my cell phone as my brother called to talk to me. We talked about how she could trust Kelsey, but not me. I hung up when my dad found me walking on the side of the road, reminding him that I told him it wouldn't turn out well.

It was because of the recruiters that I got that extension on the Summer School Course, but not before my recruiters found out about my bail. They offered to let me stay at the recruiting building overnight until my ship date, and do some training. Strongly convinced me for hours that it was the right thing to do. I was supposed to leave for Dover, Delaware that night, and they knew that. They were going to pick me up tomorrow at 8am. I remember them coming to my house, I actually saw them pull up and I yelled at my dad for ratting me about, but I guess they had found out some other way (online stalking). I escaped through my window and hid in my huge yard somewhere as they searched for me, but I ended up just coming back in and talking. We talked in their silver Dodge Avenger for most of it. I don't remember the full details of what they said, because I had already made my mind.

My dad hadn't smiled in a very long time, and I had no idea why at the time. I was optimistic about all this.

The day of my leave, early August (ship date), my dad drove me to the Bus Station over on Exit 5, the P&B station that would take me to Boston to get on a Greyhound. When I got there, I had noticed I forgot to bring my favorite sweatshirt and MP3 player, and was really mad about it. I had enough to be upset about. My dad offered to quickly run back to the house, but it was too late, the bus was going to arrive any minute, which it did. When the bus arrived, I gave him a huge hug, few times, and a solid goodbye with no hard feelings on my side. I was dull-minded at the time, didn't really care what would happen, clueless, lost from reality. I got on the bus and looked for a seat, which few were available. After the bus driver loaded my luggage into the bottom storage, I walked on with my backpack and handbag that matched my luggage bag with wheels. My feet were obviously in the isle as to avoid close contact to the public, embarrassed at the same time because of my heavy load that I had to bury myself in while seated, backpack between my feet and my handbag in my lap. Passengers boarded and left throughout the trip to Boston, and when we arrived, everyone got off the bus as I carried my luggage into the station. It looked like an airport, but empty, terminals, fancy desks, checkouts, lines, poles, big open area, and actually a food court in the south end. I waited at the bus station for quite a while for my bus, along with other people, amounts increasing as the bus got closer. The schedules were never right, buses came early and late all the time, which didn't work out too well because my dad called me when I got there and said that he's on his way to give me the things I forgot. I told him, no, stop don't you don't have to and I'll probably be gone by the time you get here, and that it was a waste of a trip. He had my brother there with him and I talked to him too, but mostly my dad. I told him that I'd be getting an earlier bus than usual, and for him to turn around and don't worry about it, he said it's alright and that he'll mail the items to me when I get there.

I never knew how my dad felt, he hadn't smiled since he found out I was leaving. I was too afraid, of having doubts, while he was filled with them. We held in tears as we hugged goodbye at that bus station in Plymouth. It took me a very long time and only recently I realized that the reason he drove to the bus station with my brother, without me knowing, wasn't to hand me a couple items that I forgot. It was because he wanted to see me one last time before I left...

I know this... because even after I left and got on my bus he kept driving, even when I told him to turn around.

He arrived at the bus station and looked for me with my brother, but I was gone.

My dad didn't care, he just wanted to see me one last time...

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