[Prologue] On the Streets
I had lived on the street for as long as I could remember, my earliest memories of life before the streets was blurry faces yelling and hitting each other then suddenly being in the middle of the road, alone and confused.
I learned early on that I couldn't trust anyone. At five, few months after being dumped, a woman took me in with the promises of food but decided to use me as a punching bag to end her stress. I left after a week, hungry.
I also learned to live off my instincts. Stealing is common knowledge; a food stand with the worker gone or not paying attention is free game and anything in a store is game if small enough. And if I get caught; run, really fast and make distractions out of the environment.
I live in a alley between two abandoned buildings, over the years I got things to create a small shelter. A big blue tarp hanging between four loosened bricks at the end anyway from the road, covering my head and my worn out blanket I sleep on. I even found a pillow on the side of the road in front of apartment buildings.
I like the quiet of my alley, no one comes this way from the main part of the city, I'm right in the edge it. Cars go by, but not a lot if people walk by, meaning I don't necessarily have people still. I don't talk with people, as strangers usually leave me alone as I'm dirty and my clothes are too big and torn.
The only person I talk to is the man at the place down the street, he gives me the left overs from meals no one ate. It's mainly greens and brightly colored foods, the man called them fruits and vegetables. I didn't know that was what its called, I just called them food. Sometimes he'll give me full meals, but he said he'd get fired if his boss found me outside getting the food.
When I first met him I was around seventeen, one of the first memories I have of him, is him calling me stupid. I didn't know that word so he explained it to me, and I agreed.
Sometimes hear woman or man ask kids 'How was school?', it always confuses me because I never went to whatever school is. I only understand cause I had to learn things to survive, some words still confused me and certain things I don't understand, but everything else don't really need. I just need to sleep, eat, and run.
So, I guess I'm stupid. But at least I know how to survive, as long as I live I don't care if I know what I'm eating is called.
My days aren't to busy. I wake up then go search for breakfast, there's a food stand a block away that sells really good hotdogs, as the stand says. Then I walk around. At night I go to the place the nice man is at to get the leftovers, then back home to my alley.
Today isn't that different, except that its more chilly out than usual. The thin shirt and the shorts I found aren't very warm, but at least I'm wearing something. I'm going back to my alley I'm not there much during the day as for some reason people are banging around inside one of the buildings, and there's big vehicles with different stuff. They've been at it for a long time, and the noises are bothering me. But, the man at the food store wasn't at the back door and all the food stands closed, so I have no choice other than go home and wait to eat tomorrow.
Although, once I get to my alley I see a long lone of people in weird outfits standing outside the building that was previously abandoned. There's a bright, eye hurting, purple sign at the top reading: 'PLAYHOUSE'
Loud music is echoing out whenever the dark double door open to allow another group in, a man is reading something that the odd people are giving him and either pushing them away or opening the door. I don't like it, it's too much noise and too many people. I can see some giving me dirty looks as the bright lights and sign light up the darkness.
I turn and run down my alley to get away from them, I'm safe in here, under my tarp and with my blanket.
I lay down closing my eyes hoping the thundering sound from inside stops, but it never does, it feels as if its shaking the ground. The cheers and voices around the corner echo from the walls of my alley, make it worse. My breathing is getting heavier, my chest hurts and stings, my eyes are wet like my cheeks, but I don't know when I started crying.
I don't know what's happening to me, I never felt this scared before, even when I was small and new to the streets. I was scared sometimes, but I got over that quickly. This is new, and I don't know what to do. Why am I scared? Why am I shaking? And crying?
I'm suddenly colder than before, and I curl in on myself. I don't like this, I don't like the noise, or the people or the new place.
I just want the quiet back.