Weeks ago, that had been Michelle's whole life, her whole world revolved around that one special name, her identity.
Now it was just a name.
It wasn't just a word for a snowstorm, it was the name of one of Michelle's best friends. Now it was just a name.
Few pedestrians noticed the girl in a grey jacket as she hurried down the street.
Her cap was pulled low as she made her way around town, avoiding crime and crime fighters alike.
She had one objective: Get away.
She had to discard all former associations with her friends.
Michelle had two options. She could either stay and risk discovery by friend or foe. Or, she could leave town and destroy all hopes of regaining her former life.
She chose to leave.
Michelle picked up her backpack and took out her wallet. Inside her wallet, there were a couple hundred dollars, the remainder of her life savings. Calculating in her head, Michelle estimated enough for a bus ticket about a hundred miles away, and save some money for food.
Soon, she had her ticket, and was waiting underneath the overhand, watching for her bus.
As she embarked, Michelle glimpsed two blonde girls hurrying to the station.
Ducking her head, Michelle fumbled with her jacket as the bus started up.
As the bus began pulling away, Michelle looked up and locked eyes with the taller of the two blondes. They opened their mouth in surprise and started forward.
The bus was soon down the street and Michelle turned away.
That life was over. Gone. Destroyed.
Someone took a seat next to Michelle when they boarded at the next city. They glanced at her curiously.
Michelle returned the stare and glanced out the window when they turned away.
The clouds had rolled in and provided a dark screen over the pale sky.
Michelle rose to disembark at her stop, but the passenger next to her stopped her briefly.
"It's never too late to start over." They said to her.
"I apologize, something inside me told me to tell you that."
Michelle got off of the bus, making her way to a park.
Finding her way to a bench, Michelle sat back.
There were people everywhere, and each one had the potential to kill her. No biggie.
As the day passed, Michelle found herself becoming hungrier and hungrier, with not a lot of money to spare.
No, she couldn't steal, that would be going against her morals, everything she's taught herself to be.
No, the Crays couldn't strip her of her identity, not now.
Stubbornly, Michelle chewed on her cheek. Out of the corner of her eye, she glimpsed a familiar old Toyota.
Sighing, she stood and melted into the city life.
Hazel Bend. Ah. How she missed this place.
Michelle thanked the farmer before making her way through the fields.
Michelle pushed open the tattered door and took a seat on a dusty chair.
Her family was murdered here, right in front of her to see.
The hatred that formed was the passion that drove her as she sought after the killer.
Frank Garret. Oh, how she abhorred him.
The night he killed her family was the night Michelle followed him to Athens. She had so many chances to kill him then, but was unable to complete it successfully. Eventually, she just waited. Her time will come.
Michelle ran her hand along the wood of the table.
Now that she was an adult, the land was hers, house and all.
There were a few remains of her former life, the life she had three years ago. The old pots and pans that sat on the stove, contents already rotted.
Michelle made her way upstairs. Her brother's room lay untouched, the only visible difference being time.
Passing his door, Michelle went to her room.
There was her bookshelf, or what remained of it. Pawing through the remains, Michelle found a thick book.
She pulled out her wallet and knife.
Michelle sighed and sat back.
On her arm, there were four scars that she never showed anyone. Not even Sarah.
Each scar represented her murdered family, her father, mother, brother, and her sister.
Oh, Alice, you were so young.
Michelle gripped her knife. She could only stay here for a few days before someone found her.
But she couldn't run forever.
Michelle sat back and closed her eyes.