My life started three years ago on a Monday that wasn't my birthday. To tell you the truth, it was just an ordinary day in March. Well, of course it wasn't ordinary for me, but I'm sure that the day didn't even register for you. Maybe you've read the story about how I escaped, how I stopped being my parent's prisoner, but you haven't read this story. This is the story where I live.

When you last left me I had just left Denny's where my former boyfriend was clutching his nose and what was left of his dignity. My life has evolved from there. At first I was scared, terrified really. I had to give up everything I worked my entire life for. All the hours studying meant nothing when I had to go into hiding. My parents were crazy and I couldn't take a chance that somehow they would find me. It wasn't worth the risk. My first day of freedom was spent freeing myself. I went beyond just emptying my bank account, I had to become a different person.

Becoming a different person didn't come easy and it didn't come cheap. All I had wanted to do after escaping was go home and lay in Jack's arms, but I knew that I had to move quickly if I wanted to charge my parents credit cards with a few of the things I needed. I had never before shopped there, but the twenty-four hour Wal-Mart seemed like my only option. I found a world that I never knew existed. I couldn't believe it. There was a place where you could buy jeans for $20 and they weren't even on clearance.

Jeremy and Jack tried to dissuade me from going on this shopping spree but I wouldn't be denied. I was going to do it whether they liked it or not. I couldn't just expect them to buy me everything I needed, although I have to tell you that four carts worth of merchandise may have been overdoing it. I shopped myself out of anger towards my parents however. I got everything I needed for a new apartment including a new futon and a very large television. I got an entire new wardrobe, which not only included clothes to hang out in, but a few pieces for going on job interviews. I got enough groceries to keep us all eating quite well for at least a month. I got every different household product one would need to start out fresh. I got so much that Jack and Jeremy had to leave to go get Jack's dad's truck.

"Do you think this is wrong?" I asked Ginnie. She laughed a little and looked at me.

"I think that your parents owe you this and I think that if you feel bad about it later you can always find someway of paying them back."

"Haha, and I thought that's what I was doing. Now let's go get some panties while the guys are gone. My treat."

"You're crazy."

"No, dear. I'm finally sane. I feel better than I have my entire life. I'm living a life I never thought I could have. I can't imagine that I would have felt even this good at college."

"Look, I've known for years how crazy your parents are. I mean, I guess not to the extent that I know now. With Jeremy they pretty much let him go, but you, well I have to say that I'm afraid we might not have heard the last of this."

"Yeah, I'm afraid that you're right."

"We'll get through this. No matter what happens Jack and Jeremy love you."

"I'm scared that love won't be enough. I'm not going to ruin your lives because of me. Look, if I have to move somewhere far away, I can't ask you guys to do that for me."

"You don't have to ask me," said a voice from behind me. "The truck's outside. I think we better conclude our business before your cards get canceled." Jack came up and kissed me on the forehead. "Besides, you look like you need a nice warm bed and about twelve hours of sleep." I couldn't argue with him, because my eyelids were starting to droop and we were pretty far from the apartment.

I finished up my shopping and we went to the register. I held my breath as the clerk rang up all my stuff. It took nearly an hour and she wasn't very happy about it. I held my breath as I slid my credit card. I knew that I was going to have to run for it if it didn't work. The minute it took for it to approve was one of the longest minutes of my life. My hand shook as I signed the credit slip, but I somehow managed to dot my "i" with a smiley face. I couldn't help but put one final dig in. I looked up and smiled. Ginnie and Jeremy were holding hands next to overflowing carts of bagged merchandise.

"Let's go home." We each pushed a cart towards the vehicles. Once all the stuff was loaded, everyone got into the vehicles. Jeremy and Ginnie headed home in the truck and I smiled at Jack. "There's one more thing that I have to do before we get home." He lifted his eyebrow and looked at me strange. I opened up my purse and got out my check book, my drivers license and my social security card. I placed them on the seat next to me and got out of the car. I walked to the nearest garbage can and I threw away the purse with everything else in it.

"Look, I now that I'm not a tragically hip and stylish guy, but wasn't that purse really expensive?"

"Well, yeeah actually it was. A present froom my former life. I don't want anything to remind me of that life."

"Ok, I know that because you haven't ever had to think about this before it didn't occur to you, but for future reference something like that could be sold on ebay."

"Oh, I'm so sorry. It never even occurred to me. I just want to be so far from that place in my life I didn't even think how much that could help us."

"I'm not going to take any of your money, so don't even offer it."

"But what about my share of the bills?"

"Don't you worry about the bills. Jeremy, Ginnie, and I can cover all of them easily for now. You think about where you want to go from here and we'll work on it."

"But Ginnie doesn't even live with you. I can't let her pay bills for me."

"Well, she does now. Remember that we don't live in the same place anymore. My sister rented us a pretty big house. Ginnie's been wanted to move away from her parents for a long time."

"I have to pull my weight."

"You have to finish high school. We all already talked about this."

"Well, gee I'm glad you all sat down and had a nice chat about my future without me. Makes me feel so much at home, people controlling me and all that.""

"Now, it's not like that. You won't get anywhere without a high school diploma. There is absolutely no reason for you not to go to high school. Granted, you high school experience will be pretty different, but you're a survivor if I ever saw one."

"I can get an after school job."

"We thought about that too. It's no doubt to any of us that your school will be less challenging than your old one. We want you to sign up for some internet classes, from serious colleges."

"Why are you guys so set against me getting a job?"

"Well, I have to tell you that I think that that would be a way for them to find you. You know, tracking your social security number."

"But won't they be able to track me registering for high school."

"Well, you see. That's a kind of shady area that we're kind of in luck with. Ginnie works in school administration, remember? Well, you'll be attending a high school in her district and she's going to fake your transcripts. I'm sorry, babe, but it looks like you won't be head of the class after all."

"That never really mattered very much to me. It was good, it felt good, but in the end it was one of the things I did for my parents."

"You did just about everything for your parents huh?" He looked me and I smiled back at him. I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.

"Everything until you came along. You completely changed my whole world. You saved me."

"You saved yourself. I could have been anybody."

"That's not true and I hope you know it. You make me feel like no one else ever has. It was fate."

"Yeah sure, fate."

"Don't you believe in fate, Jack?"

"I'm not thoroughly convinced of fate. Meeting you at the Gap was a coincidence."

"And I thought you were a romantic. You sure fooled me. Here we had this great forbidden love affair sparked by fate and you think that it was just a coincidence. Perhaps you think I would have fallen in love with the next guy through the door."

"I didn't say that."

"You were in a store that you'll probably never go into again. I think that that might have been divine intervention."

"Maybe. Or maybe I just needed a different kind of clothes."

"Believe whatever you want to believe. I'll believe that it was fate that brought us together."

"I love you." I smiled at him, leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. I attempted to stifle a yawn, but he caught me. "Go to sleep. I'll carry you inside when it's time."

"I can't let you do that. All this other stuff has to be brought in and put away. It's my stuff. I can stay up to make sure it gets put away. Is it very far from here?"

"No, the house is pretty close. Ginnie and Jeremy will have a lot of it put away before we get there."

"I hope not. I don't want them to do all that work."

"Well, they'll put some of it in your room for you to sort out later."

"My room?"

"The house is a three bedroom. I thought that it was a much better idea for you to have your own room. I think we've rushed enough things. You can sleep in my room as often as you want, but I think you might need your own space."

"Jack, you are so thoughtful. Thank you."

"Well, there was Jeremy to think about as well. As much as he loves me, I don't think he's quite ready for the idea of us really shacking up."

"So it was his idea."

"No, it was my idea. I think he was going to let it up to you. I wanted to make sure that you both know that I'm respecting space and boundaries."

"Oh my god. You are so sweet. Thank you." I kissed him on the cheek again.

"The place is just around the corner now. I think you're really going to like it." He pulled up in front of a pretty blue house. I could already see Ginnie and Jeremy's cars in the driveway. The truck was parked pretty close to the front door and I could see that most of the big stuff had already gone inside. My futon, however, was still on the back of the truck.

"Jeremy must have needed your muscles, hot stuff."

"What do you think about the house, babe?"

"I think it looks like home."