Raven loved her phone, as teenagers tend to do. Back then, cell phones weren’t as smart as they were then. Cell phone plans were not all inclusive like they are now. John did not opt for unlimited texting for the family plan. Unfortunately, that was Raven’s favorite way to communicate with her friends.

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Back in the stone age time of “dumb phones,” they seldom had full keyboards, so, to text “I don’t know,” one would have to type 444366666855666669. Chat speak became popular, so one might just type idk, which was 444355. Texting this way became second nature to a lot of people.

Now, there were differences between the children’s personalities; John Jr was obedient and tried to stay on his father’s good side. He respected and feared his father. Raven was the opposite.  Rules were made to be broken and bounderies were meant to be pushed. She was constantly at war with her father.

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Sarah was the mediator between her daughter and husband and often took Raven’s side. When the teen would dress in black and dye her hair green, Sarah would assure her husband that it was just clothes and hair. But one day, Sarah sided with John.

One day, Sarah opened up the phone bill and just about fainted when she saw that it was over $1000. John came home, as furious as can be. Raven had run up the phone bill by sending texts. They were a one income family and didn’t have the money to pay the bill. John and Sarah confronted Raven, who stormed away in a sea of tears. A little while later,  Sarah went to apologize to her daughter for getting upset. She found a note on the bed. Raven had run away.

John called the police and the frantic couple looked around for their daughter. They called her friends but no one had heard from her. Friends from the church gathered and they prayed and hugged and cried.  The police could not find her.

They did not know that Raven had walked to a truckstop near the interstate.  She had planned to get a ride out of town.  When a trucker tried to get her to go with him, Raven got scared and called her friend’s father.  She asked him not to call her parents, but he did anyway. He went to the truckstop and talked Raven into coming home.  Sarah was, and will be eternally grateful to that man.

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John was so thankful to have his daughter back, that he went to the phone company and got unlimited texting.  They also knocked several hundred dollars off of the phone bill.

A few years later, Raven did leave town, but for infatuation instead of anger. But that is a different story for another day.

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