Slowly, I packed my things. I didn't want anyone, especially Javin, to notice the sudden cleanliness in my room so I packed little by little every morning. By Friday, I was ready to go. During the week, I had my last dance classes with Sam and visited Moonstruck. Before I leave town, I want to drop by the diner. I haven't been there in a while. Maybe I'll meet Rosa.

***

This morning I decided today I'm leaving. I made sure to be extra quiet as I snuck out the house through my bedroom window. I left a note behind for someone to find. I really hope they understand...

This morning was beautiful. The temperature was cool and there was a light breeze. The forest floor was patched with thin batches of soggy snow. For March, it was beautiful out.

Yesterday, I went to the bank and withdrew $1000. It may seem like a lot but I don't know if I'll come across another bank any time soon. Also, it's enough to rent a motel room for a week and get some decent meals.

Anyways, I wasn't able to take everything with me. I tried to fit everything into my backpack but it was impossible; there was just too much stuff. I thought my backpack was going to explode into a million bits like a volcano. Sadly, I was unable to fit most of the stuff Sam gave to me. I left behind the dagger Javin gave to me for protection... Probably should have taken it but whatever, I didn't.

The only thing I didn't consider leaving behind was the necklace Javin gave me for Christmas. How could I not take it? It's one of the few things that I just couldn't leave behind.

Tossing my backpack on, I made sure it was secure before running. The wind felt great as it whipped my hair. Running quickly, I decided I ought to try running through the tree tops. Gaining momentum, I pushed my body forward and jumped through the air. Landing roughly against a tree, I dug my fingertips into the bark and fought to gain my balance.

Pushing myself up, I climbed a few feet higher and started jumping onto more trees. Before long I was standing across the road parallel to the diner. From the east, the sun was peeking over the horizon. Morning was here.

I knew someone was at the diner because there was a bike resting against the side. Maybe Roger's here, I thought. He'd let me in. Knocking on the front door a couple of times, I waited until I heard the door unlock and open. A blonde girl with brown eyes opened the door. She must be Rosa.

"Sorry, but we don't open until seven." She said, looking a bit startled.

"Oh, I'm here to see Roger. Is he here yet?" I asked.

"No, not yet." She looked me over silently and smiled. "If you want, you're more than welcomed to wait for him inside." She opened the door wider for me to enter. Politely, she moved over to the side so I could enter.

"Thanks. Is Sophie coming in today?" I asked, sitting at the counter. I took my backpack off and placed it on my lap. Walking behind the counter, she grabbed an apron from the side and tied it around her waist.

"Yep... You're Ella, right?" She asked, plugging in the coffee machine on the back counter. Looking at me as she scooped some coffee into the machine, I nodded and leaned back in my seat.

"Yes, I am."

"I've been wanting to meet you. I'm Rosa, but you probably already knew that. Roger told me a little about you. Told me to keep alert." She said as she unscrewed an poured a few bottles of water into the coffee machine.

"He warned you about me? I didn't realize I was that much of a hazard." I commented friendly, trying to carry the conversation. She seems nice.

"No, he wants me to watch out for you... What's under your nails?" She grabbed my hands and observed my fingers.

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