Thom's dad made him a promise, but Thom didn't understand that it would never be kept. His dad told him to run and that he would find him wherever he was. He never said how far, never said how long he should keep going, all he said was run. The sirens from the black and white cars in the distance were plenty enough to motivate his feet to move.
It had been a few months and there was rarely a night he didn't go to bed hungry. He was always on the move but kept close to the main roads. He was sleeping in the woods most nights, the black and white cars would come if he slept in one of the many towns he passed through. That was ok though, there was food out there. Berries, mushrooms, and even though he hated the way they wiggled and squirmed, the occasional bug helped fill his belly. That wasn't enough though. He'd occasionally rummage through the dumpsters behind restaurants and grocery stores.
On one of his hungrier days, Thom decided to risk heading into town again. He went early in the morning hoping to find some leftovers from the night before at a restaurant. He had only just started sorting through the trash when he heard a whimper. To his surprise when he moved another bag he found a girl who had stowed away there overnight. Her name was Rose.
Over the years Thom thought less and less about his father's promise. His whole life now meant protecting Rose and keeping her safe. He kept moving, but now he wasn't so alone. He and Rose met others on the way as well. Kids like them, who felt like they couldn't handle what life had given them. As time went on, it got easier to live and less risky to go into town. They were nearly grown now and no one seemed to notice them on the streets like they would have when they were younger. Nowadays, they just looked like some young folks that liked to camp a lot.
They were grown now, but the winters were never easy. The group stood together through them, but one year was especially taxing on them. Rose had caught a serious case of pneumonia. Even laying right next to the fire at night couldn't keep her warm enough. For the first time since his father told him to run, Thom decided to stay in one place. The group of young nomads that he and Rose had traveled with for so long continued on, and it was just them again. Thomas picked up odd jobs here and there to try and pay for an apartment. He couldn't seem to get himself a proper job as he had no way of proving his identity. Thom scrambled up enough cash to finally get them into a place,
February 20th, 2017 was the day that Rose Died.
He didn't cry, he couldn't.
All he could do was run.
By March, he was on a boat to the other side of the world. Soon he'd face something he would never be able to outrun.