Mom and Pop took me out to lunch at Boundary Bay Brewery. We drove around, following the GPS mounted on our dashboard, and I was able to point out places I’d been, including the mission, at the corner of F Street and Holly. Finally I was able to tell them the truth, including how scared I’d been when Theo would walk me through downtown Bellingham while pointing out where all the criminals and crackheads lived. I realized it was some sort of sick ploy to build himself up, because at this point I knew Theo lacked any characteristic of a real man. My father would have never dared lead my mom knowingly into danger, nor would he have kept her up all hours of the night. My parents’ relationship had been built on trust and genuine love; Theo and I had a relationship set to crumble, built on nothing even remotely like that.
Even with the rescue over, I was still unable to eat a whole lot. Mom remarked I’d gained weight, no doubt because of the food I’d been eating (high carbs, high salt, high sugar, etc.). It was not out of negativity she said this, but with the hope that I would be eating better at home. We stayed in Oregon that night at a hotel my aunt had found, and, for the first time in months, I slept in a real bed. Over conversation, we ate breakfast at a diner on our way out. I was expecting a lecture, but instead, my parents talked to me like I was an adult, but still made it clear they were more than willing to do what it took to get me back on my feet. My own shame served as a punishment and I knew they wouldn’t punish me further. I had learned a lesson, albeit a terrible lesson, but I wouldn’t be going back to a situation like this in a million years. We drove as long as we could, with me sleeping most of the way and my parents taking shifts for driving. I woke up in Idaho, where my parents treated themselves to coffee and treated me to iced tea. We arrived home on a Sunday around 3:00 PM.