Imagine being sixteen all over again back in March of 1974. On the run hitchhiking from state to state. That’s exactly what I did. Back in the seventy’s, it wasn’t uncommon to hitchhike. While it was dangerous it wasn’t illegal in most states, and you didn’t hear of too many tragic stories. I’d never hitchhiked before, but I remember my father giving rides in the back of his old blue pick-up truck to hitchhikers. I always thought that was super nice of him.

I wasn’t happy at home, two weeks prior to running away I had gotten grounded for missing a ride to get pizza after a basketball game. My father didn’t believe I ever went to the game much less want to go for pizza. It’s true I was known to lie on occasion to save myself from the consequences. But this time I was telling the truth. Upon arriving home my father proceeded to take his belt off and spank me with it over his knee. I was stubborn and refused to cry in front of him, so he kept hitting me until my mother told him it was enough! Naturally afterward I went upstairs to my room and cried my eyes out.

I had a rage inside of me after that. Oh, he held his temper most of the time with me, but I was sweet sixteen. I was too old to be spanked. That wasn’t the only reason I ran though, there were several. There was the sexual abuse I endured during my childhood as well. For the sake of not harming the innocent, I will not mention who molested me only that it was a family member. I had major trust issues all my childhood. And this was just one more kink in the chain.

I had a boyfriend back then that used to hitchhike all over the country. So, when he asked me if I wanted to go with him the answer came easy for me. Yes, I wanted to leave and get away from everything! I never really gave it much thought I was reacting to my environment.

I had just gotten off being grounded for two weeks from the last fiasco. So, I called my dad up and asked permission to go to the shopping center with a friend. He him-hawed around but I finally got a yes out of him. Well, I did go to her house but from there I left town with my boyfriend Basil. Basil was short like me about five’ 5 and had short brown hair. He had muscles that looked like he’d been lifting 250 lb. weights. Huge and firm. His skin tones a bronze color that glowed in the sunshine. I thought I was in love! Looking back, I realize I had no idea what love was all about.

I thought it would be an adventure. It started pouring down rain before we ever left town but the first Semi truck that stopped was going to Rockwell Illinois. So, we accepted it as we had no destination set. We both had little money and I only had a small bag of clothes, with me. I remember Basil having me sit by the huge truck passenger side door, he always sat in the middle. My stomach started hurting and I could feel the fear as I swallowed the lumps in my throat. My heart was racing a mile a min like a train moving down a track. He did carry a big buck knife with him for protection that he showed me after we had gotten into the truck. Just in case! It gave me a sense of assurance; I never rode in a Semi before. It was so giant! I had trouble getting up into the slate gray cab, after all, I’m only five’ 2 inches. I had long brown hair, and blue eyes, and was petite, all of 110 lbs.

The truck driver that picked us up was nice! When we pulled over for gas, he bought us both something to eat. I felt so alone at that time and helpless. Not even having any money for food. I started to have second thoughts about having run but I was more afraid of facing my father’s wrath. The consequences of leaving in the first place were so scary that I remained silent keeping my thoughts to myself. Basil on the other hand seemed very relaxed and that gave me a sense of security.

He dumped us off at a truck stop in Rockford Illinois. It was still pouring down rain and we went up to the interstate stuck our thumbs out and waited for another ride. We were lucky after about a half hour a red car came by and stopped, “Where you are heading, they asked?”  “Where are you going?” Basil replied. “Just so happens we are going to Batesville Missouri!” Basil then told him that was great we were heading that way. So, we got in the car and once again I sat by the passenger door. I remained quiet throughout the ride as Basil continued a conversation with the guy driving. He was heading to see his mother and daughter. She lived with her grandmother in Missouri. I shivered and just sat there staring out the window. My clothes still dripping wet from standing in the rain and my thoughts were a mile away from there wondering what my parents were thinking by now they figured out I had run away.

To be continued …


Eva Marie Cagley
Eva Marie Cagley
Eva Marie Ann Cagley was born in 1958 to Frank and Priscilla Cagley. Raised in Waterloo Iowa, U.S. She spent most of her time working with teenagers as a counselor. Working with teenagers gave her immense joy, having had none of her own… She came from a large family having nine children. She has always had a passion for writing and believes it is a gift from God… There's little else to say about her as her writing reflects who she is. Her beliefs, perspectives, trials, tribulations hope and despair, dreams of all her life’s journeys…She currently has five poetry books published and a Miracle story. Her poetry and essays are on various ezines and blogs. Her poetry books can be purchased, on Amazon and Lulu. Book titles: “In the Garden of My Mind,” “Dancing in Heaven,” “The Airwaves of My Soul,” “Where Poets Dream,” I Shall Always Think of You,” “God's Miracle Story.” Her personal web page is She is in the book “To Be or Not to Be a Writer” by, Sweetycat Press publications. Available on Amazon. Who's Who of Emerging Writers 2021 published by Sweetycat Press. Also available on Amazon. The Beacon Ezine, (Poetry). Spillwords (Poetry) Honor of Socialite of the year 2021. The Academy of the Heart and Mind, (Poetry and essay). Wink Writers in The Know Magazine & Blog (Essay and poetry). Journey of the Heart, (Poetry). Wildfire Publications LLC, Inc. (Poetry and articles). Grey Thoughts, (Essays, Poetry). The New Zealand Blog (Articles and poetry). She has also been found in numerous anthologies. You can find the links to all her published works at She currently authors articles for Wildfire Publications LLC quarterly Magazine. And is a Featured Contributor for BizCatalyst 360°. She has always had the desire to write and takes her work seriously. She has just recently become aggressive by submitting her work. She is pleased with her success!

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