Darla has finally returned! She's been gone since April, when she ran away from home. Apparently she got her fill of the "real world", and has come crawling back for some sense of normalcy. Even though she's a woman of sixteen now, I was still a bit worried for her this whole time. After hearing about all that she's been through I can't say that I blame her!
Apparently she left town with some wolf enthusiast who drives a 12-year-old Geo Metro. He had promised to take her to Humbolt County, California, but the car broke down somewhere in the Mid-West. They went for help, but ended up getting stranded with a commune of paranoid, drug addicted young hippies. They let Darla's friend go, but made her stay because they thought her pregnancy was suspicious.
While living as their captive, Darla was still able to sneak to a phone every now and then. Unfortunately I was ignoring her voicemails. She was scared and feeling sick from all the stress and homemade soy milk they were giving her, but none of them would let her leave "the farm" to visit a doctor. She escaped five months later by hitch hiking from the edge of the woods.
She immediately checked into a Catholic hospital where they discovered that she had miscarried three months earlier. They were kind enough to remove the calcified remains of the fetus despite Darla's lack of medical insurance. She signed a release form, which is too bad, because the procedure has rendered her sterile. I told her she should still sue those bastards! She'd be set for life!
From there she had to take whatever charity should could find until she finally made it home. But now what's she going to do? She's a dropout with no marketable skills and no baby to claim for welfare, or to use to get checks from a man. I'm trying to convince her to be practical about this, but she's reluctant to take my advice. All I'm saying is that she'll make a decent regular income if she'd consider getting all her teeth pulled. Of course little miss "woman of the world" thinks I'm wrong about that too.
I can't help but feel somewhat responsible for all this. I mean, I didn't stop her from leaving, and I never tried to find her after she left. I also ignored ten letters and at least twenty voicemails over the course of the last several months. And on some of those messages she was downright begging me to help her get home. But I knew deep down that she wouldn't have learned her lesson until she found her way home alone, the hard way.