Though the grammar from the original was terrible, the raw emotion was still very powerful. I would like to think the grammar is somewhat better now but probably still needs work, so just be patient and please, try not to nit-pick…This may be offensive to some, but my intention isn’t/wasn’t to offend. Rather it is to relive memories of what my writing was like in the early days…
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of pure fiction. I began work on this story when I was 16 in that wonderful summer of 2003. However, what I thought was a good idea at the age of 16, I sometimes no longer think so. I’m just trying to relive that time in my life because of the recent unfortunate events that took place. For all the troubled children and teens out there: Meeting people online isn’t always a good idea, so be very wise and careful when doing so.
Furthermore running away, breaking and entering, and boarding freight trains is NEVER a good idea. It is dangerous and illegal! If you are being abused at home tell the police or a trusted professional at your school. Don’t do the activities that take place in this story, they can put you in more danger than you already are. Now that I’ve said this, please try to enjoy the following: This story is about two teens who find each other online. They end up running away together and become soulmates.
…Schriever, Louisiana… …Late November/Early December 2002… Thanksgiving break was coming to a close on this chilly but dry Sunday night. Jakob Newman was looking at other peoples’ ICQ profiles on his family computer. He was an awkward sixteen-year-old with many friends but none of them that were very close. His family was extremely strict and held him to high standards. In fact, if they would have known he was trying to talk to girls online instead of being in bed on a school night, he would have been whipped and grounded. However, everyone in the house was dead asleep. Jakob, despite this, was a very kind-hearted and affectionate individual. He only wished he had someone to show his kindness and affections to. The previous summer, he had developed an interest in freight hopping and began devising a plan that would allow him to get away from everyone by riding the rails for free. He read many online articles on the subject and also subscribed to several local railfan publications to find out what trains passed through his town. He had memorized the timetable of the BNSF Lafayette Subdivision. After becoming quite learned on the subject, he bought a portable scanner and tools to assist him in one day secretly boarding a freight train, such as bolt cutters for getting into freight cars, a utility knife and a long metal flashlight for protection. Jakob also stockpiled as much candy and soft drinks as he could secretly hide. Finally, he acquired a heavy-duty duffel bag to store these items in and be ready for when he decided to make his move. As the months went by he became more and more serious about getting away from it all and ending up on another side of the country. Jakob continued to look at ICQ profiles and he came across one that belonged to a fifteen-year-old girl named Klara Holden. Meanwhile, Klara was online writing. She was editing some of the work on her Express Page website. Like Jakob, if Klara’s family, especially her step-dad, knew she was not in bed and online both writing such incriminating literature and talking to boys online, she would have been severely beaten and grounded. But, like in Jakob’s house, everyone was dead asleep. She had discovered writing the previous spring as she found it to be an outlet for the pain and suffering she experienced at home. She also secretly hoped that someone would discover her work, recognize it as a cry for help and then rescue her. Despite all of these unfortunate events, Klara still remained to have a very free and unbreakable spirit. All of the violence that she suffered was never able to break it. However, she had no one to love her and felt as if all of her affections were going to waste.
Jakob decided to message Klara. “Hi. I was looking for other people who live in Schriever and I found your profile. Do you mind if I add you?”
He patiently waited for the reply, then suddenly he heard his computer say “Uh-Oh.” This meant that he had received a message.
“Sure I don’t mind.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you at school. Where do you go?”
“I’m home-schooled. My mom and my step-dad decided that because they don’t want me talking to boys.”
“Well, I hope I don’t get you in trouble.”
“If my step-dad knew I was talking to you, he’d be livid.”
“Would he hit you?”
“What does your real dad think about that.”
“Nothing. He’s dead.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“That’s all right.”
“I understand, but I definitely want to get to know you.”
“So do I. What do you do for fun?”
“Oh, I like to travel, but can’t afford to.”
“Maybe one day then?”
“Maybe sooner than later. I’ve been researching ways to travel for free.”
“Train hopping. A busy railroad line passes right through Schriever, so I can get on easily and quickly. I just haven’t worked up the nerve to do it. What do you like to do for fun.”
“Write short stories and poetry.”
“Nice. I wish I could do that, but I know it takes talent which I don’t have.”
“What is your family like?”
“Strict as hell. That’s the reason why I want to get away.”
“Does anyone hit you too?”
“Not too much anymore, but definitely when I was younger.”
“Who hit you.”
“Basically every adult. They still come down hard on me, but they don’t hit me as much.”
“You seem like a good guy. I don’t understand why they would want to hit you.”
“Well, I almost caught a charge for hacking someone’s ICQ account.”
“Why’d you do that.”
“Because he was spreading false things about me.”
“They try to monitor what I do on the computer and if they knew I was on ICQ right now, they’d be super angry. It’d be worth it for you though.”
“You’re making me blush.”
“No, don’t be. It’s a wonderful feeling.”
“Okay. Now I think I’m blushing too.”
“You said you like trains, right.”
“My step-dad hates them. Many times they wake him up and he starts yelling and cussing. If one passed right now, he’d wake up catch me on the computer then beat me to a pulp.”
“I can let you know when one is coming, so you’ll have ample warning.”
“I have a radio that lets me hear the conversations between train crews and dispatchers.”
“Cool. I didn’t know there was such a thing.”
“Yes. I can also hear the cops on it. I bought it to help me run away.”
“Oh, okay Neat! Turn it on, so you can alert me.”
“Now when you alert me and I suddenly go offline, don’t be offended. It’s because I’ll unplug the computer. I’m just trying to not be caught by my step-dad.”
“I understand. Hey, do you think I could read some of your short stories and poetry?”
“Sure. It’s on my Expage site. I’ll send the link.”
“Awesome. I’ll read when you sign off.”
“I hope you enjoy them.”
“What’s your step dad’s job.”
“He does something on oil rigs, but he’s away for two weeks then home for a whole week.”
“And unfortunately he’s home now, right?”
“Yes. You can say that again.”
“Well I have my radio scanner on and I will let you know if anything is coming.”
“Thank you for looking out for me.”
“I’d do anything for you.”
“I’m blushing again.”
“So am I!”
Suddenly Jakob’s scanner began talking. It was a combination of the dispatcher and engineer, “BNSF DS 209 to BNSF 7022 West.” “BNSF 7022 West, go ahead.” “What is your head end location?” “Milepost 50.” “Okay roll up West Siding Switch Berwick when you can.” “Will do.” “Thank you very much, DS 209 out.”
Jakob became highly distressed.
Quickly he typed a message to Klara, “Please be careful there is a train that will be in Schriever in a little over five minutes.”
“Okay, I’ll get off and I’ll be back as soon as I can. Thanks for the heads-up, you’re very sweet.”
“It’s the least I can do. I would love to do more for you!”
“Thanks. I’ll go lay in my bed and pretend to sleep, but I’ll be thinking of you. What are you going to do?”
“Read your work.”
“Now you go make yourself safe.”
Klara then went offline. Jakob looked at her Expage site and began to read her stories. He was highly focused on them. Everything around him seemed to disappear as he read. He discovered that she wanted someone to love her and take her away from all her trouble and now wanted deeply to be that person. Jakob realized that the only thing that kept him from running away just yet, was the fact that he always wanted someone to run away with him. He knew Klara was that someone. Meanwhile, Klara got into bed and pretended to sleep just as she heard the train approaching the town. She covered her whole body from head to toe and listened for if her step-dad would wake up. The rumbling and the whistle got louder and louder.
Like clockwork, her step-dad woke up and began ranting and raving.
He was walking through the house and suddenly started shouting, “Why is the computer unplugged?”
Klara heard his footsteps approaching her bedroom. They were getting louder and louder. Soon he was banging on her door, “Klara, you were on the computer weren’t you? You were talking to a boy. I am going to beat your butt!”
Klara pretended to sleep until he kicked the door down.
Her mom was woken up by the loud noise. “What’s going on?” She asked in distress.
“Klara is talking to boys on the computer.”
“How? She is sleeping in bed.”
“Then why is the computer unplugged.”
“Honey you need a Xanax. Now take one.”
“I’m going to beat Klara’s butt first.”
“Don’t tell me what to do.” He stormed into the room with a belt, pulled the covers off of her bed. Klara was shaking and awake in her bed. “I know you were talking to boys online and you’re getting a beating for it.”
He struck her five times as she let out cries and shrieks. She couldn’t take it anymore. The thoughts of Jakob somehow taking her with him on his adventure had become very real to her.
Klara’s mom intervened “If you don’t take a Xanax and go to bed, I’m going to call the cops.”
“I got connections, you don’t scare me. I’ll just say I was disciplining her for trying to meet a boy online.”
“I’ll divorce you then and I’ll take your house if you try that.”
“You bitch. You wouldn’t.”
“Oh, I would unless you take a Xanax and go to bed right now. I’m going to need one as well because of the stress you put me through.”
Klara secretly watched as they both went to the kitchen and popped the pills.
Soon they had crashed and Klara got back on the computer.
“I’m so scared,” She typed to Jakob.
“My step-dad beat me because he suspects I’m talking to a boy online.”
“God how I wish I could protect you!”
“Maybe you could.”
“How? Name it!”
“You can take me with you when you decide to run away.”
“You would really want to come with me?”
“I have a confession to make, Klara. When I read your stories and poems, I greatly desired to be the one to take you away from all of this. I just didn’t know how to ask.”
“Well, then all the more reason, take me with you!”
“When do you want to leave?”
“How about tonight?”
“Okay, I guess. Can you meet me at the Jubilee Food Store on the corner of Main Project Road and Highway 20?”
“Yes, my house is only a few feet from there.”
“Awesome, pack whatever you can and meet me there. Just sit down and wait for me in a dining booth! I have food drink and supplies.”
“I guess the next time we talk will be in person.”
“Yes. I cannot wait!”
Both logged off of their family computers. Klara packed her clothes and flash drives into her backpack, then headed out.
Jakob grabbed his duffel bag with all of his supplies and headed out. Both were filled with anticipation and excitement as they headed to the Jubilee. Klara soon arrived and sat down in the booth. The cashier was fast asleep.
She looked out the window waiting for Jakob to come walking through.
Finally, she saw a teenage boy walk in with his duffel bag.
She smiled at him and said, “Jakob?”
“Yes, Klara, it’s me,” He replied blushing.
They embraced and then stood there in an awkward silence.
Jakob then said, “My God, Klara you are so beautiful!”
“Thanks. You know you’re quite handsome, yourself!”
Both hugged again, blushing.
Klara whispered in Jakob’s ear, “Why don’t we get out of here before we get caught.”
So they exited the building and began walking East on Highway 20.
As they were walking, Jakob said, “I figure we can stay under the Schriever Overpass and wait for the next freight train that parks on the siding. I wouldn’t dare try to hop on a moving train and I sure as hell wouldn’t make you do it either.”
Klara kissed him on the cheek and smiled. After a few minutes of walking in an awkward silence, they made it to the Schriever Overpass and hid underneath it. It was getting cold, so they snuggled next to each other.
“I’m glad we found each other,” Jakob said.
“So am I,” Klara replied.
Powerful hormones began to overtake their minds and bodies and they began to kiss and pet each other with great passion.
Suddenly Jakob’s scanner began talking again, “BNSF DS 209 to the UP 4739 West, over…”
Jakob and Klara couldn’t hear the response as the train was too distant.
Then, the dispatcher came back on. “Track Warrant, when you’re ready, over…”
Jakob told Klara, “This might be the train we get on, depending if it stops in Schriever or not.”
There was another silence as the train was too far away for the scanner to pick up the train crew side of the conversation.
The dispatcher came back on, “Track Warrant Number 827-1, eight twenty-seven dash one. Addressed to the UP, Union Pacific 4739 four seven three nine West, double you ee ess tee. X in box 2 tee double you oh proceed from West double you ee ess tee Siding Switch Raceland, to the West double you ee ess tee Siding Switch Schriever on the main, em ay eye in track. X in box 3, tee H are double E, clear as last named point. This warrant has two boxes marked, 2 and 3, over…”
The conductor repeated the warrant, but they couldn’t hear.
The dispatcher, then said “Track Warrant Number 827-1, addressed to the UP 4739 is in effect at Midnight Twelve, Zero Zero One Two. Dispatcher MWU.”
There was a silence, then the dispatcher said, “Let me know when you get to Schriever.”
Then a silence.
“Thank you, DS 209 out.”
Jakob told Klara, “This train will indeed stop in Schriever. Thus our new life together begins. Our train will be here in less than a half hour. Are you sure you want to come with me on this adventure?”
“As sure as I’ll ever be,” Klara replied with a kiss.
“I’ll try my best to take care of you with the little that I have.”
“I know you will!” Klara said as she held his hands.
They sat together under the Schriever overpass and waited for the train.
The scanner talked again, “Union Pacific 4739 coming to the East Siding Switch Schriever.”
The saw the headlights and ditch lights of the locomotive.
Soon afterward, they saw the stature of the conductor as he threw the switch. The train then entered the siding track. When it came to a stop and Jakob saw the conductor get back into the locomotive he searched with his flashlight for a decent freight car. Finally, he saw an old boxcar. He cut the lock on it and discovered that it was empty.
“This is our chance!” Jakob exclaimed.
“Let’s go!” Klara replied with puppy dog eyes.
So Jakob helped Klara into the boxcar then entered and closed the door behind them.
Thus they began their new life together and soon became two young lovers on the run…