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Riches to Rags

By silkink

Romance / Drama

Chapter 1

I don’t like to think of myself as useless, or that things are hopeless… after all, I was once a proud woman. I’m smart. I’m educated to the absolute highest standards. But when I’m sat here, spooning unidentified, gristly cold meat out of a tin can, trying not to gag at the lumpy parts, I can’t help but feel despair.

A coin falls to my feet, wobbling in a slow circle for a while before falling face down. Fifty cents. “Thanks, stranger…” I mutter, glancing upwards to see the back of a long brown trench coat as it ruffles in the wind. So very few of them bother to meet my eyes. I can’t blame them, I suppose. I was the same.

I finish off my exquisite lunch, placing the can to one side, and then wipe the greasy remnants from my lips, trying to ignore the nausea after such a terrible meal. If I let myself puke, I’ll be right back at square one again - starving. Literally. A sudden, cold gust of air blusters around me, sending a shiver running up my spine, all the way from my toes to my chin, and I tug my thin blanket up, trying to cocoon myself inside, feeling afraid that it’s definitely getting colder, no two ways about it.

Whatever that shit in the can was, it’s made me even thirstier than I was before. Fifty cents will get me a cheap bottle of water at the store down the road, but then I’d lose my spot. It took me a long time to get this spot, it’s a nice spot, sheltered under an arch - at least partially - and the ground’s smooth here, plus it doesn’t flood. I’ve seen other homeless people, lurkers, waiting to take my spot away, and the last one to try take it by force almost got his ear bitten off. Most of the others have learnt to leave me alone since then. Thankfully, the homeless around here don’t resort to group warfare, otherwise I’d be screwed. I have no friends. There’s Marcy, a young, nervous girl who helps me out occasionally. I haven’t seen her for a few weeks now, though. Maybe she left town… shame, I liked the coffees she gave me.

I pick the coin up, and twirl it around in my fingers. What now? It’s a thought I have every day. It wasn’t always like this. I was… someone. I was successful. Now, I’m nothing, I’m the piece of shit left behind by my father’s mistakes. The world hates him, hates me. The second people hear my name, they turn their heads, make a polite excuse to leave.

I’m Asami Sato, the daughter of the bastard that almost caused world war three, and the world has no place for me anymore. I close my eyes, trying to ignore my thirst, and beckoning sleep for the third time today. Maybe I shouldn’t fear the cold… I’ve heard hypothermia isn’t the worst way to go, and sometimes I think anything has to be better than this… even death.

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