Tess took off running as soon as she knew the traveling nurse was there to check on Gran. She supposed she did it out of instinct than anything else. Her grandmother didn't want her around, anyway. While grandmother loved to talk, Tess would rather not. She was shy. Always had been and it hadn't been any easier as she'd grown up. She hardly ever gave herself a chance to stutter because she was afraid she would. It grabbed her like a superstition now. There were a lot of things she didn't do. Dress like a normal teenager for one. She never wore jeans. Instead, she had on her thermal leggings and a prairie skirt. Of course, it was her trusty scratched up work boots that she only took off at bed. Perhaps she didn't look normal at all, but this was all she had to choose from the old clothes in her grandmother's closet. Anyway, no one saw her. Not even the nurse. Tess made sure of it as she ran through the floor of the forest.
She'd ran a good bit before she tired. It felt more like a skip or a dance. Not running. She'd paced herself over the boulders, through the leaves and then she ended up in a tall field of grass. As she waded through it, she came upon an old house. Perhaps much better than her own, for it was just a hunter's cabin. They didn't even have an address. Not that she was looking for one at this house, either. But it was quiet. Not a dog around to snap nor a vehicle of any kind. And the door was unlocked.
Tess tiptoed through the kitchen. There was loaf of white bread on the counter. Peanut-butter and honey. She couldn't resist a snack. So she made one and ate her sandwich as she walked from room to room very carefully.
She went back to the kitchen for a glass of milk. It felt comfortable here to her as she sneaked about. And then she found the room she wanted. It was foolish to think who might live here. She didn't really know. But she liked it. The plaid comforter. There were a couple of trophies from some sport she supposed. And there were the trinkets that she couldn't quite make what were, but so interesting. Tess could have stayed longer. But she heard someone coming in a wheel chair.
It startled her. She hadn't been alone, after all. She left the half drank glass of milk on the dresser, and for a second, she saw a picture of him with some girl. She held her breath and crawled carefully out of the window. Tess supposed it was time to get home.