“Sorry about that,” Matt said coming back to me, I couldn’t stop staring at the knocked out teenager on the floor,
“Are you okay?” I asked,
“I’ll be fine,” Matt replied playing it tough and rubbing his eye. I didn’t want to probe because I knew it always made me feel worse; Matt smiled at me and did a double take of the street before leading me into an old looking building. “We’ll try this,” he explained as I ducked through the window, Matt led me down a corridor. I looked around the well kept building and heard a shuffle,
“I think this place…” I began; Matt suddenly slammed his hand across my mouth, wrapped his arms around my shoulders and dragged me into a room. I didn’t have time to react; Matt slammed the door shut and let me go,
“We should go, it’s not vacant,” Matt whispered,
“Hello?” came a voice, Matt froze and then composed himself,
“Hello, sorry I think we’ve got the wrong building,” Matt called and opened the door, an old man stood in the doorway, he was smiling,
“No, we’ve just opened the doors to the public, you must have snuck in early, but at least you have a bed,” he smiled,
“What?” I asked,
“This is a residential home for the homeless, people come and go every night, we serve a meal at 7,” he informed us, “Enjoy your stay!” he called as he walked off. Matt shut the door,
“Praise God,” he smiled,
“He really does provide,” I agreed. That evening we enjoyed a homemade meal in the dinning room, talking to other homeless people was really eye-opening and made us feel grateful for what we had – which wasn’t much. We spend the rest of the evening in each others company in the room, there was a double bed in the centre but I insisted we share it. Lights went out at 9:30, and so when the time came we were lying face to face under the bed sheets talking,
“I think they want us to go to sleep, plus we’ve got a big day tomorrow.” Matt whispered as soon as darkness enwrapped around us,
“I think you’re right, what are we doing tomorrow?” I asked quietly.
“I’ll explain in the morning,” Matt replied.
I closed my eyes, sleep found me instantly and next thing I knew it was morning. Matt’s arm was strewn across the bed and was pinning me down; I carefully lifted it off and rolled out of bed. I had time to take a shower and change before Matt woke up, after using the rather malodorous bathroom I crept back into the room and changed into another outfit, which I had packed into a rucksack. Matt woke up and saw me standing in my underwear but kindly left the room to take a shower leaving me in privacy. After changing, I stripped the bed and went to collect my slice of bread for breakfast. Soon after Matt joined me and we headed back to the station,
“I’m sorry the stay was so short,” Matt said distractedly as he tried to find the right platform,
“It’s fine,” I replied, trying to keep up with him.
“It’s just that we have stuff to do,”
“About that…” I began,
“I’ll explain when we’re in a more private place,” Matt said under his breath. I nodded and a few hours later we were standing on the platform in Sacramento, Matt was pacing it away from the train, I ran after him. This felt like the time we had first met, I grabbed his shirt,
“Why are we running?” I asked, Matt smirked,
“I’m walking, you’re running,” he said smiling, I rolled my eye,
“It’s not my fault my legs are only half your size!” I complained, Matt stopped as soon as we were clear of the station.
“I was going fast because someone was watching us on the train, I didn’t want them to follow us,” he explained. I nodded and then we began to walk again at a slower pace,
“Where are we going?” I asked, Matt seemed to know,
“Downtown,” he replied, a tram rolled by and Matt flew onto it, I was left standing in the street, “Run!” Matt called, I obeyed and began to sprint towards him, the tram slowed and I caught up with it and jumped on.
“You know, I wouldn’t mind if you told me what you were going to do, before you do it,” I said acidly,
“Sorry, spontaneous decision,” Matt grimaced, “Forgive me?” he asked, I smiled in reply. “Okay, next information, if a ticket master comes, jump off,” Matt added. I nodded, “Until then, we’re heading downtown,” he explained.
“Where is downtown?” I asked,
“This way,” Matt said pointing, “Where all the businesses are,”
“How long is the journey?”
“We’ll be there soon.”
“And when we get there? When were you planning on telling me about what’s going on?”
“Some time,” Matt said smiling, “I like to keep a few secrets,” he said mysteriously,
“Tickets please!” came a voice, Matt flinched and then jumped, he hit the road and did an army roll. My eyes widened in shock, I wasn’t going to almost kill myself by jumping off, Matt was already running towards me and shouting.
“JUMP!” I held onto the pole and shook my head. Matt was surprisingly fast and caught up with the tram; he held out his arms and yelled again, “Jump Rosie!” On the spur of the moment I jumped, his hands secured around me and we tumbled to the ground. I lay on top of Matt in the middle of a street, I rolled off and wiped myself down, Matt was already up and towing me to the pavement.
“Now I’ve done that, you have to explain.” I commanded. Matt laughed,
“Your face!” I swatted his arm. “Okay, it’s a long story. I don’t know where to start…”