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All I've ever done is run. I run from my problems, I run my mouth, and I run in and out of trouble daily. The fight or flight reaction is the only thing that's kept me alive. Until now, that is. Am I dead? Well, the last memory I have is hearing the thunk of my body hitting the cold pavement and the warmth of my own blood seeping through my shirt. Now, all I see a translucent light brighter than moonshine and all I hear is my own thoughts screaming at each other hoping to secure a spot in my busy mind. I certainly hope I'm dead, because I've spent my time in hell. I stand up only to see my pale, lifeless corpse still on the ground beneath me. I hear sirens approaching fast from around the corner so I turn to do what I've always done- run. Except I can't. I can't leave myself like this. I can't run from me. I stand helpless as I watch them pick my stiff body up from the ground and watch my needles fall to the floor. This is the life I left behind for the world to see. This is it. I ran away from my home for the first time when I was 9 years old. My father had been addicted to blow since I can remember, and my mom got drunk every day to ignore it. We lived in a tiny apartment in the backstreets of Seattle. It was small enough to hear my mother's screeching and take it as a sign that I should shimmy out the bathroom window before Dad came for me. As I grew older, I could only realize more and more that life is a game and I happened to get dealt a bad set of cards. I tried heroin for the first time when I was 15 years old. I was living with my boyfriend of the time, a 26 year old lowlife who told me to call him Daddy. I didn't start using regularly until I was 16 when I left home permanenlty. I've been couch surfing since then- mo... ... middle of paper ... ...ffort to limit the pain but it does nothing. When I reopen my eyes, things are different. I look down my body to find an infant, not me. I look around and see the faces of doctors and nurses. I look up and see a woman with sunken in eyes and injection marks racing up her skinny arms. Everything is starting to slip away, when I tune into the doctor's conversation and hear, “I'm sorry Maam, our fears came true. Your daughter was born paralized from the waist down.” My first thought is 'oh, that poor girl will never be able to run.' Then it hits me. My heart beats a little faster as everything lines up in my mind. I try to wiggle my toes, and nothing happens. I can't breathe now as I try again and again to shift my legs and nothing happens. I close my eyes and squeeze them tight to keep the tears from escaping, just like my mother taught me. Then it all goes dark again.

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