Dreams from a popcorn seller

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Chapter eight: surviving the city.

I had never felt so depressed.

Now where would I go? I had no money, and I was so short that I looked like a 13-year-old on the streets. I couldn’t go back home to my parents, since they told me that when I was 18 I had to go live on my own somewhere. And my parents don’t make exceptions. Besides, they live in Florida, and I had nowhere near enough money for a plane ticket.

So I decided to go on a long bus ride. I watched the people go on and off the bus until the driver asked me when I would get off.

“I’ll get off when you have your dinner break.” I said, shrugging. The plump bus driver shook his head in exasperation but didn’t protest.

At 7:15 when I got off the bus, I was very hungry. I had been on the bus for five hours and had nothing to eat or drink.

I slowly began to walk around, looking at café’s and seeing if there was anything that was under 3 dollars. Turns out there were some free samples of fruit and stuff going around the grocery store, so I began hunting for them.

By 8:30 I had had a small free bottle of water, three sausage samples, a tiny fruit bowl, an ice cream sample, and some cheese that a kind old lady gave me. She must have thought I was homeless or something.

Anyway, it filled me up, and I began hunting for a place to spend the night. I had no money for a hotel room, so using my bag as a pillow, I slept on a park bench. It was extremely uncomfortable. Thank goodness it didn’t rain.

When I woke up there were two faces peering down on me: one black and one white. The black man had a straight mustache, and a fierce look on his face. The white man had a red goatee and a missing tooth. They both looked very angry.

“Young lady, this bench is private property.” The black man said.

“Yeah.” Said the white man. “What are you doing on our bench?”

“Your bench?” I said, confused. Then I looked around.

There were beautiful rose bushes all around, will a couple of gardeners trimming them. There were peach trees and strawberry patches and fountains. There were also a couple of benches scattered around.

Then it hit me. This was a garden, not a park.

The gate must’ve been open at night for some reason, and it was so dark that I couldn’t see it. I was trespassing without even realizing it.

“I’m sorry, it was so dark, and I couldn’t see anything…”

“Yeah, right,” Scoffed the black man, “Couldn’t see anything, look around, girl, it’s noon, and you say you can’t see anything. Now come on, what did you steal?”

“No, nothing! Nothing at all, I fell asleep here last night, and I thought this was a park.”

“Oh yeah?” the white man started to reach for my bag. In a split second, I had snatched it away and was running down to the closed gate, tearing through bushes and pushing tree branches out of the way.

Quick as a flash, I had climbed over their barred gate and was running down the street. I didn’t stop until I was a safe distance from the two men’s house. I sat down on the sidewalk, panting like a dog.

Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw something blue. I turned to look and saw the man with the blue beard’s face. He waved to me and held up a piece of paper:

Follow me.

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