It was cold, dark and was raining cats and dogs.
I was trying to find a place to sleep, a bench or maybe a bus stop.
I didn’t really know yet.
Or maybe I could find a box to sleep in - I would’ve been lucky if I found one actually.
While I was searching for a cardboard box, I stepped a bit further in the alley, but when I narrowed the end, I heard a voice, a deep one.
I looked wildly around, trying to find out where it came from.
Suddenly I heard a second voice, more a higher one but still from a male.
I was still trying to find out where the two voices came from, when I heard them mumbling.
I tried to catch some things they said but when I finally heard what they said I regretted it completely.
I caught things like: “Where do we have to . . .” or “We have to run or else . . .” the last thing they said scared me the most “We can’t leave it here or we could get in big trouble.”
After I heard that I just ran, out of the alley, onto the street, scared that those things might have heard me.
Suddenly I ran into something or better a someone.
When I looked up, I saw two familiar eyes looking my way, but the person didn’t recognize me, yet.
Autumn. It was my oldest sister Autumn.
When she realized she bumped into someone she gasped a little and put her hand over her mouth in shock.
“Oh my . . ., I am so, so sorry. I didn’t mean to bump into you, I am so sorry.” Was what she said.
“Here I’ll help you up.” But when she took my hand in hers, she just froze.
She looked at me in pure shock.
“A-Alice?” She asked me startled.
“I-is that really y-you . . .?” When she asked that I nodded slowly.
“Uhm . . .Autumn?” I asked my older sister, who still looked at me as if she saw a ghost.
I would do too I guess; I mean if you saw your youngest sister alone in the middle of the night - in such a big city.
I would look at her like that too.
“Y-yes . . .?” She stuttered while nodding slowly, still with her hand in mine.
“Uhm . . .Could you help me up . . .?” I asked awkwardly.
“Oh yes, jeez I am so sorry.” She said as she slowly pulled me up.
“What in god’s name happened to you, I mean look at you . . .” She said while checking me out.
“. . .bruises everywhere, your clothes are ripped. How come are you so gross and why is there blood on your face?” She carefully touched my face, where the blood was, but I stirred a little backwards.
“Please-please don’t touch it . . .” I whispered.
But Autumn didn’t take it.
“Alice, I need to take care of you.” She said while raising her voice.
“I am sorry.” I squeaked.
When she realized the effect, her reaction had on me; she looked at me with sadness in her eyes and also pity, but I didn’t want to have that pity look anymore, everyone who sees me gives me that look, and I absolutely hate it.
Okay I get it I live on the street and stuff and I have some bruises on my face, my clothes are ripped and all, I also don’t look that clean, but I can take care of myself, even after what my parents did to me when I was younger, I already had to take care of myself then, so why couldn’t I do it right now.
“Hey, I am sorry I didn’t mean- . . .” she said before I cut her off
“Yeah, I know you didn’t mean to scare me, that’s what everyone says, but I don’t need help to be taken care of, I can do it myself. I promise.” I said getting a little annoyed.
She looked at me a little puzzled.
“Uhm . . .I am going now, I guess.” I mumbled looking at the street in front of me.
I was just going to leave, when Autumn stopped me.
“Wait! Where are you going? If I may ask.” I looked back to my older sister.
“An alley or a bus stop I guess . . .Why . . .?” I mumbled – moving my shoulders a little uncomfortable.
She looked at me stunned with my answer.
“A-an alley? B-bus stop? Alice, how-how long have you been doing this . . .?” She asked ignoring my question.
“Uhm . . .I don’t really know; which day are we today . . .?” She looked at me like she was going to break down any minute.
She slowly looked at her watch and said:
“It’s December 12th. How-how come are you he-here all alone? And where are our parents? . . . .”
I kind of ignored her questions and started calculating.
I lived outside since the start of summer break and that was June 20, 2018.
“Uhm . . .Autumn? Which year are we in now? Is it 2019?” Autumn let out a little sob and nodded slightly after wiping her eyes.
“Y-yeah . . .It is 2019.” That means I lived outside for like a year and a half.
I feel a little proud of myself that I survived so long, but I am also kind of disappointed because my parents left me like that.
“So that makes me live like this for one year and a half . . . I guess.” I said with a shiver.
Autumn again gave me the pity look, that I absolutely hate.
“Could you stop giving me that look please?!” I asked, getting annoyed again.
“What kind of look?” she asked confused.
“The look of pity. The one that everyone gives me.” I said like it’s a matter of fact.
After I said that she looked at me confused and like she is thinking.
“What?” I asked a little too harsh.
“How come you survived? And what happened?” She asked ignoring my harsh comment.
“I don’t want to talk about it now . . . I am kind of tired. So, I am going now . . .I guess.” I mumbled while slowly looking up at Autumn.
“No. Wai- . . .” But I didn’t let her finish.
“Autumn, I am really tired now and I don’t need the help right now, I feel really good and I know some people I can stay with, still thanks for the help.” I said while smiling softly at her trying to convince her that I can take care of myself.
But again, she didn’t take it.
“Alice don’t let me use your full name. There is no way in bloody hell that I am going to leave you alone.” She said, almost yelling, but her tone was even worse than before. ’
Jesus what happened to her in the time I was gone?’
“Yeah there is also no way, that I am going to stay with you. Don’t get me wrong, I know you ‘love me to death’, but I need to go to one of my friends, who supported me unconditionally, all the time and I did too. She also needs the support and I don’t want to leave her alone. So, if you would be so nice and listen, we can see each other . . .tomorrow?” I said, but I saw her shake her head.
“Nope, I cannot leave you here alone.” She simply said.
“You aren’t going to leave me alone, I have my friend, and look; I know you just found me ‘back’, but I need to go see if she’s okay. And we did this all,” I said while gesturing to everything around us.
“together. So, if you would be so nice to let me go, that would be nice.” I said sarcasm dripping from my voice at the last part.
“And even if you take me to your place, I would just run away.” I added quickly - half serious, half joking.
But she knew I could really do that, because I am stubborn as hell.
“Why do you have to be so, urgh . . .” She groaned at me. While I was looking at her with a small grin, she looked me deadly in the eyes.
“You’ll promise we’ll see each other?” She pointed a finger at me.
“Sure.” I said with a yawn.
“Okay, when?” She then asked - her voice turning a little softer.
“Tomorrow, same place, same time.” I said, using a stern tone; kind of mocking Autumn and yawning again - I am really tired right now, it was a really tiring day.
I think I heard her give a little gulp.
“O-okay . . .” She mumbled.
And that’s how I left, leaving my sister; staring at how I leave.
“That little stubborn kid . . .” Was the last thing I heard her mumble – making a small smile appear on my face.