I was mad at my mom… as mad as I had ever been. I called my boyfriend, Doug, and told him I was running away from home. I guess, in his own way, Doug was trying to protect me from whatever he thought I might do and offered to go with me. Had he not offered, I would have probably taken a long walk around the block and come home because barely sixteen, I really was afraid of most things. I had been a sheltered, protected child all my life. I knew nothing of the world I was about to venture into. Doug was four years older than me, so I figured he knew alot about alot.
Doug came and picked me up in his bright red Ford Fairlane 500- a pretty cool car, I thought. He was tall and thin with brown hair and eyes He had dimples right under his eye. Because he was from Quebec, I called them “Canadian dimples” because I’d never seen dimples in that particular spot. He had been getting ready for work when I called and he dropped everything for me. Love? I thought so. In real life, probably not so much. Probably more a case of lust, adventure and romanticism. Even at this early age, I was a hopeless romantic.
That day was payday at The Plum Tree, a children’s clothing shop where I worked. So, after taking a loaf of bread, some peanut butter and jelly and one of Mother’s butter knife, we went to pick up my paycheck. I don’t remember if Doug had any money- probably not, but I wondered how far we could get on my $32.00 check. I was afraid we wouldn’t get far, but we did, after all , have food and gas. He had friends in Minnesota where he grew up and went to high school. So, we planned to head for Minnesota- St. Paul to be exact. Thus, our journey began.
We drove for what seemed forever until it got dark and we stopped for the night. I can’t even remember what state it was in, but it was a lady’s house and we rented a room for the night with a bathroom down the hall. I can’t imagine what we might have paid for the room since money was, uh, tight. Anyway, I know it wasn’t much. It felt good to be there with him and the lady was older, so oddly, I felt safe.
Little did we know my parents had already called the police, had words with his parents and filed charges against Doug – such as taking a minor across the border, statutory rape, kidnapping and other charges. We slept good in that little room and got up early the next morning to make St. Paul before dark. I had never been to Minnesota, so I was kind of excited and scared all rolled into one. I wanted to make a good impression on Doug’s friends, so I asked him questions about this friend and that one- things I could use to converse with the unknown exponents.
It was cold in March in Richardson, but much more cold in Minnesota and more snow on the ground than I ever saw in Dallas! I had never seen so much snow. I don’t know what I expected with Minnesota so far north it was almost Canada! I don’t even think I thought about stuff like that. I’m sure I didn’t take many, if any clothes.