“When you see me, please pretend like you don’t know me. You don’t know me, you don’t know me,” I thought. I closed my mouth and hoped that I didn’t actually say that out loud. Nobody around me seemed startled so maybe I did just think it to myself.
Mr. Garcia, my Calculus teacher, had just entered the small restaurant on the outskirts of Santa Fe and I was just hoping he wouldn’t see me. If he did or if he did anything that made it seem like he knew me, everything would be ruined. I was trying to make my escape and if anyone knew I was here and if the staff of the restaurant realized my name wasn’t Danielle, everything would be over.
I wasn’t really running away, but I also wasn’t staying home. I was leaving for my new life and since I was eighteen, my parents couldn’t do much about it. I think. I had saved quite a bit of money before I left, but I knew I could never have enough. The owner had offered to pay me in cash so he could get around the taxes and I just didn’t want to be followed.
Mr. Garcia saw me and at first balked. I wasn’t sure if he was surprised to see me or not. But as he reached for his phone, I grabbed my bag and ran out the back door. I had to run hard. And fast. He was calling my uncle.