She sprinted down the street, past Mr. Mgan's house, and to the grocery store.
Once she pushed past the loads of people in the "Christmas Rush" line, she flew to the back wall, behind the cat food, dropped down and sobbed miserably. She sat there for a half an hour before Mr. Mgan made his daily route around the store to make sure there were no "hooligans", or as he called shoplifters, causing trouble.
Mr. Mgan was probably Yvonne's best friend. It was kind of weird to have a 62 year-old being the best friend of a 9 year-old, but she didn't care. He gave her free gum sticks left in the back storage room, that the irresponsible employees who restock the front cash registers had dropped.
To be honest, Yvonne was making a lot of racket, and it was obvious she was there.
"Yvonne, is that you back there?"
She just sobbed louder because she finally found someone today who cared about how she felt.
"Come out Yvonne, people are going to start staring."
She crawled out of the piles of cat food and looked up at Mr. Mgan. She began to cry even louder.
"Too much happened!" She started to raise her voice. "He just had to come along and ruin everything, didn't he?!" She hit the sack of cat food lying next to her. "How is it so impossible to have a normal life for me?" She grabbed her bag full of the things she had gotten before she had run out of the house to get away from her father, and pulled out some of the food she had shoved in there.
"It isn't, calm down Yvonne and tell me what happened." Mr. Mgan's only goal at the moment was to shut her up so someone didn't call security.
"I don't want to talk about it," she said, calmed down a little, and started to devour a bag of trail mix.
"You have to tell someone, or it'll just stay there, nagging at you in the back of your mind until someone finally gets you to tell them. And that information could fall into the wrong hands, if it's bad enough."
"It's not that kind of bad, but I don't want to go to CPS. Don't make me go to CPS, please." She started to sob again.
"What? What's CPS?"
"Child Protective Services, and my friend went there and they took him away. I never saw him again. Please don't make me go! I don't want to leave you, or Aaron, or Karen, please, please don't."
"I won't let you go, but if that needs to happen, I can't stop them."
She grabbed his arm desperately.
"I'll tell you at your lunch break."
When lunch came around, Mr. Mgan had brought the best tasting cookies she had ever had in her short life, and a thermos of milk. They found a decent enough park bench to have their cookies and milk.
"What kind of cookie is this?" Yvonne was curious, it was too good to let slide by. She nibbled on the edges while he talked.
"I'm not quite sure, the boss made them."
The boss was Mr. Mgan wife, but her real name was Patricia Mgan. He called her the boss because she ordered everyone around. He didn't hate the fact she did that kind of stuff, it's just she needed a nickname that made her feel more in control.
Patricia was a nice woman, she was a little chubby, but that made her seem more lovable. Like the grandmother Yvonne never had. Yvonne's grandmother was deceased and she had never met her, but Yvonne didn't care. Patricia, she was sure, was a better baker and a nicer woman.
"I'll be sure to give you the name after I ask her," Mr. Mgan promised.
"Kay. I guess I have to keep my promise too." Yvonne told him the whole story. From when she saw her mother's bruises, to when she ran out of the house with her bag to the grocery.
"Oh my. Where are you going to sleep tonight, and what will you eat, where will you go?" He had millions of questions to ask.
"I don't know, anywhere without that so called father."
"Do you need a place to stay, because we have an extra bed in our spare room?" He was so surprised at the things that this little girl he was sitting next to had gone through.
"Yes, I don't want to be any type of disruption or get in anyone's way. Are you sure?"
"Of course, come on. We need to get you back to my house." And they walked to his car, to start her new beginning.