Updated: Nov 21
Grace had the volume on her head phones turned up to full blast. The ride from the emergency shelter to the safe home wasn’t a long drive, but it was long enough that she would have to make small talk with the ladies who picked her up and she just didn’t feel much like talking.
What would she even talk about anyway?
Not that she wasn’t grateful for them. She was. She knew they were trying to help her, and she wanted them to. But she was used to doing her own thing. And going to a place with new rules and new people? It just wasn’t something she was thrilled about. But it was better than where she was before, and where she would have to go if she didn’t go with Her Song.
Anything was better than prison at this point.
The car pulled up to a decent sized house with a small green door. It wasn’t an obnoxious shade of green. It was lighter – calmer.
“Sort of a weird color for a door, though,” she thought.
But all in all, it looked nice enough. It was an older house, but it was nicer than any house she had ever stayed in before.
She turned off her MP3 player and slid her headphones around her neck.
“We’re here!” one of the coaches announced.
Grace hesitated for a minute and then walked around the trunk to grab her bag.
As she walked up the steps to the door with the coaches, she could almost hear the door calling to her.
“Don’t go in,” it warned. “You’ll be trapped! You’ll hate it there. Say goodbye to your privacy.” it threatened.
“I know,” she thought in response to the door’s plea. Her hand suddenly felt sweaty. “But where else am I going to go?”
“You can run!” said the door. “You can go, right now! No one will stop you.” it exclaimed, trying to tempt her.
She pushed past the thought, turned the knob and walked inside.
There were several ladies gathering in the living room and a couple in the kitchen cooking. It smelled so good, and immediately made Grace forget about everything the door had said to her. She was nervous to be in a house with strangers, but she was even more hungry than she was nervous, which worked in her favor. The ladies invited her to join them at the table for dinner and they all sat down to eat.
“I can do this,” Grace thought.
Days went by and soon turned into weeks. Every now and then, the door still spoke to Grace as she was walking by.
“All you have to do is open me and run,” it said. “You know you can’t stand to listen to your roommate’s snoring anymore. You’re tired of the rules, of the classes and the people,” it said in a sympathetic tone.
She was tired, but she thought about where she was before Her Song and the fear she felt. Suddenly, snoring roommates didn’t seem so bad. Grace ignored the door.
Weeks somehow turned into months. The more Grace ignored the door’s pleas for her to leave, the less she heard it. Slowly, the door’s voice faded away. As time went on, Grace noticed an even bigger change than the door’s silence. She felt lighter, open and hopeful for the first time. She made new friends, began setting new goals, and realized that she wasn’t missing out on anything in the life she left behind. She was building a future.
Until one night, Grace heard the door’s voice again. But this time, it was softer.
“You’re safe here,” said the door.
“There’s no need to run,” said the door.
“One day you’ll leave here when you’re ready,” said the door.
With a glowing smile, Grace knew at that moment that one day she would be ready, but she was grateful for the time she had to heal and grow.
*This story is inspired by true events.
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