Quinn looked around the breakfast table with a content smile. Her husband, Nick, was helping their four children to eat their breakfast. She was happy right now, and so was he, but it was rare to have moments like this. Usually their lives were tinged with an edge of worry because they both knew it wouldn’t last; the government would make sure of that.
They had been paired up when they were teenagers, and got married a few years later. They had a perfect family, in a perfect little house, and led the perfect lives.
Quinn always hoped that somehow there would be a clerical mistake and they would overlook her. But she lived in fear of the day they’d come. They always did. From an early age, girls knew that this day would come for them. They all spent their lives living in fear and hoping for a miracle.
Her thoughts were pierced by the phone ringing. Quinn got up and went to answer it.
“It’s happening,” came a male voice before the sound of the dialling tone.
Quinn threw down the receiver and sprinted back to the kitchen. She whispered to her husband, “It’s time.”
She raced around the kitchen and kissed and hugged all her children, then with Nick following her, she flew into the entrance hall and pulled the closet door open. Quinn grabbed a fully packed backpack and slammed the door shut as she put it on her shoulders.
Quinn turned to Nick and hugged him fiercely. “I love you so much!” She kissed him before turning away and walking to the back door.
She had a window of half an hour before the authorities descended. She had been lucky when she’d been paired with Nick because he had chosen such a powerful job that he could get inside information about who was being taken in next.
She had known for a while that they would be coming for her. Nick had gotten word that she was on the list. Of course, as the husband, he should never have been able to find out. But he’d spent years making friends in all the right places in preparation for this. Everyone thought it was just so that he could prepare himself emotionally for the burden of taking care of a family by himself. But it wasn’t. It was so that he could prepare his wife for an escape. The plan had taken a while, but once Quinn had found out about the safe house, everything else had fallen into place: clothes, food, other basic supplies, and a hair razor had been stashed away ready for this moment.
Quinn had made a plan to get to a safe house known only to women. She only had to make it there and then she could figure out what to do next. She had to make it there before the agents showed up and took her away… like they’d taken her mother… like they took every mother in the country.