Last Hit by Jessica Clare

Description : Last Hit
I have planned for this day in secret for six long years, I think as I wake up and stretch, a giddy burn in my stomach that might be nerves.

Today, I will escape.

The day starts as any other. It's like the world can't see how excited I am inside, but I'm practically vibrating with anticipation. Freedom is so close I can taste it. I get out of bed and dress in a dark, floor-length skirt and matching blouse. I throw a sweater on over it, so every inch of my body is covered. Then I go to my mattress and pull out the disposable cellphone and the small wad of cash I have saved up.

Seven hundred dollars from six years of saving. It has to be enough. I tuck them both into my bra to hide them.

I go to the bathroom and pull my dark hair into a ponytail and then splash water on my face to cleanse it. I stare at my reflection. My face is bleach pale, but there's a flush on my cheeks that betrays me. I don't like it, and I wet a cloth and press it to my cheeks, hoping the color will fade. When I can't delay any longer, I leave the safety of my bathroom.

My father is seated in the living room. The room is a dark cave. No lightes in. There's a chair and a sofa, and a TV. The TV is off, and I know it's only programmed to broadcast happy, chaste channels like religious TV or children's shows. If I'm lucky, I get to watch PBS. I long for something edgier, but my father has removed everything else from the channel list, and I'm not allowed the remote.

As usual, the only light in the room is a small lamp beside his chair. It halos his recliner, and my father is seated in an island of light in the oppressive darkness. He reads a thick hardback—Dickens—and closes it when I enter the room. He's dressed in a button-up shirt and slacks, his hair neatlybed....
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