Faith looked back at the house sitting on the hill behind her, the house that held all of her childhood memories and nightmares. She hated to leave her sisters behind but there was no longer any choice for her. Today was her twenty first birthday and everyone knew what that meant. Today would be her wedding day.
Her father had made it clear that since he had nothing but stupid daughters that he would get out of them what he had always wanted most. Sons or at least the equivalent. So on their twenty first birthdays they were to be wed to whatever person he had already chosen for them and become someone else's problem from that point on. But Faith couldn't do what was expected of her, was tired of even trying. So today was the day that she left this dead end town behind and faced her future on her own. The only thing she regretted was the four sisters she was forced into leaving behind.
Hope would be the oldest now, but at least at eighteen she would still have a few more years to look after the others before she was placed on the marriage block. Then there was Charity who was just sixteen and already the beauty of them all. Prudence was fourteen and all long legs and arms. And baby Destiny was just twelve and still so much a needy child that it broke Faith's heart. She had tried so hard to be the mother they had been denied. But there came a time when you either had to give in or take a stand, and Faith was ready to take a stand.
She brushed the tears from her eyes and turned back toward the woods beside the edge of the drive. No more looking back. No more dying a little more inside every day that she stayed with him. Finally it was her turn to find a life of her own as far away from Daddy and his rules as she could run. All she needed was a little faith.
She barrelled through the woods close to the road so that she could follow it as far as she could before having to veer into sight. She'd rather make her way as far as possible without being seen and returned to her father and fiancÚ. She shuddered at just the thought of Clifton, the man she was to marry. He was one of her dad's buddies and repulsive in every way imaginable. He was old, overweight and bald. None of which were necessarily bad but add in the fact that he had the personality of a toad and the manners of one as well and forget it. She only prayed that when the time came her sisters would fair better.
If she could get as far as the Wildlife Reserve that covered over 80,000 acres of the Texas Gulf Coast that she called home, then she might just be able to disappear completely. Or even better if she could get to someplace on the beach maybe she could slip onto a boat and just sail away. She didn't really care as long as she was gone and Daddy couldn't find her and bring her back.