Little Darling, a small innocent child of 5 years old, turns and looks back and wonders where she is going? She thinks will I survive? Her brand new shoes are really making her little feet hurt. She is chilled to the bone and getting what her mom calls blisters on the back of her tiny heels. The young child realizes she should have worn her comfy winter boots and a much warmer coat, after all, it is winter. The confused little girl with tears running down her cheeks thinks about the last thing they said, “if you leave never to come back”. This was the turning point when Little Darling lost her self worth. The two large suite cases she packed were so heavy, her little arms were burning. One at a time she moves the large suite cases a little further up the long sidewalk through the blowing wet snow. The frightened child looks back and realizes everything she knows and cares about is suddenly gone.

Meanwhile, her new baby sister is lying all snuggled in her warm crib. Her older sister is probably playing with her shaking a rattle and getting her to coo, while our parent’s poured their first drink, sit down at the kitchen table and complain about her. Everything happened so fast! No one told her anything about a new baby sister arriving. Little Darling can only remember her mom coming home one day from the hospital with the new little bundle of a baby and everything changed after that. Little Darling felt abandoned, even though her family was right there. When there is a withdrawal of attention and affection a child’s thought will be I am all alone. The child thinks about the nasty drunken looks she receives all the time, which relayed the message “You are not wanted” “You are worthless” “You are a little bother that should be seen and not heard”. Little Darling sums up just a little more strength picks up a suitcase and moves a little further up the path.

The tiny cold girl sits down on a case and starts to cry, she thinks about her older sister who is 3 years older than Little Darling. She is so happy about the sweet little arrival. She gets to hold the baby and feed the baby her bottle and even feed her in the highchair now that she can eat baby food. She gets to pick out pretty dresses and dress the baby, while Mom sews all the time for her curling friends. Her sister doesn’t want to play with her anymore. Little Darling has to play alone now, her sister doesn’t even want to play barbie’s, one of their favourite fun times. She is to busy helping mom. Another tear falls as she remembers her sister did give her some of her barbies when she told her she was running away today. Maybe she thinks she is to big for them now that she has the baby to look after and play with. Her big sister gets all the praises, she is the helper. Little Darling remembers she is always in everyone’s way. The suitcases are getting so heavy the snow is blowing and the sidewalks are drifting. Little Darling thinks she should not have packed all the barbie’s and left some of them behind, but she was told she was not to come back if she left. She really liked barbie’s and her older sister had nice ones.

Little Darling keeps moving up the sidewalk one at a time moving her cases. She remembers the story the little engine that could and gives it all she’s got because it is starting to get darker and the snow is getting much deeper. She is getting chills now but keeps thinking about her sister and the new baby and that she didn’t care Little Darling was leaving. Her sister was the good one that dad and mom like, so she will not have to leave. Little Darling sees she is nearly at the church, after the church, she will turn at the corner and head to her friend’s house. She starts to cry again and is feeling so cold the snow is blowing harder in the tears are freezing on her face. The street is so quiet and the street lights are coming on. She thinks everyone must be at home having their supper. Little Darling’s tummy is starting to rumble, she didn’t think to pack any food. Her older sister is probably feeding the baby in her highchair in the kitchen, while Mom and Dad have another cocktail while watching their sports on television. She wonders if her sister might miss her now because they would sit at the kitchen table together and eat supper. Now it is just her big sister and the baby. Little Darling is feeling so sad.

Finally Little Darling makes it to the front of the large church building, she is so tired, cold and hungry the corner still looks so far away to the little child. She cries again and hopes her friend’s mom will let her stay with them. They do not have a new baby sister just the two girls the same ages as her older sister and her. Her fingers in the thin gloves are so numb. She is just about to the corner and bright headlights blind her vision and a car pulls up, Little Darling is so frightened. A tall man gets out of the car and comes toward her. As he gets closer she recognizes him to be the Pastor of the church because he has that collar they wear. He asks Little Darling her name and where she is going? She tells him she is running away and her family does not want her anymore. Tears are rolling down her cheeks. The Pastor reassures her they do love and want her and he will take her home and everything will be alright. Little Darling was so exhausted and trusted him because he was so kind to her. He loaded up her heavy suitcases and drove her home.

Little Darling does not remember what was said when she was brought to the door with the man.

Little Darling learned to run away in many ways in her adult life to protect herself.

 

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