Emma Swan has run from Minnesota and Ingrid, her foster mother. Lost in Chicago, she meets
Neal Cassidy, another runaway teen with a longing for a home, and
decides to travel with him. Together, the two teens make a decision:
Either they find their home, or they become each other’s home.
Fear wasn’t a new feeling to Emma, having been through many foster homes with various degrees of success, but this sort of fear was something else, and if there was one thing Emma Swan knew how to do, it was run.
Before when she’d run from a foster home, it was because she was being ignored, or malnourishment, or some other type of mistreatment. All of the adults involved were viewed as crazy, in her young mind, because, how could anyone treat another person, especially a child, in the way she was treated?
Never had she run because she actually thought they needed to be locked up in a psych ward. Not like this time.
This time, Emma Swan was running because Ingrid was completely and utterly insane. None of her other foster homes had ever shoved her in front of a moving car, expecting her to do magic like Harry Potter in order to stop it.
She’d hoped Ingrid would be the last home for her, the place where she would finally find a happy ending, but Ingrid had to go and destroy that dream when she’d lost her mind and started babbling on about Emma having magical powers.
So she had run. She knew Ingrid would be stunned, would probably be delayed in following her. She had time to run back and grab some things before she was on the lamb again. Hopefully for the last time. She was already sixteen after all. In high school, yet old enough to get a job.
She could make a start of it on her own.
So that was what Emma did.
She grabbed what little she could from Ingrid’s house and ran to the bus station, buying a ticket to the next bus to Chicago.
Emma supposed she should have felt bad about running, and she knew that there was a chance the other kids in the house could be in danger from Ingrid, but Emma was so scared of her, she didn’t want to ever see her again. She hoped the other kids would be safe though. Even Kevin, and he’d made her first day there a living hell.
Resting her head against the bus station’s glass wall, Emma sighed. She hadn’t wanted to run away, not really. Not after knowing that Ingrid was going to adopt her, but what other choice did she have? Ingrid had shoved her in front of a car and started babbling about her using magical powers to try and stop the car.
No normal people did that. Even her worst foster home hadn’t done such a thing to her, so why would Ingrid have done the same thing, when she’d been so nice to Emma up until that point?
"4:20 bus to Chicago, now boarding," the voice said over the loudspeaker.
Emma grabbed her bag and boarded the bus, finding a seat closer to the back, her head down, buried in a book her friend had gotten her for Christmas, just in case Ingrid managed to show up before the bus left.
Thankfully, she didn’t. And soon, like with many, many other foster homes, Richfield Minnesota soon became a distant memory.