The streets aren't a place for people who don't have money. So when I saw a girl at the end of an alley, I didn't know what to think. She looked friendly enough, but looks can be decieving.
I'd already been beat up once in the month that I'd been out here. Thankfully, they hadn't checked the left pocket of my backpack for money. I'd gotten them back, though. It was actually pretty funny, when they woke up realizing that the money they'd stolen from some other defenseless kid was gone.
I started to fiddle with the strap on my backpack, pulled my beanie down so low it almost covered my eyes, and I looked at my feet. Maybe she wouldn't notice me.
Yeah, right, I thought to myself. You're as invisible as an ostritch with its head in the ground.
"Hey," she called. She was only about twenty feet away. I didn't know if I would be able to run away from her fast enough. I stopped dead in my tracks, trying to figure out what to do next.
"I don't have any money," I finally managed to choke out.
She looked taken aback. "I don't want your money. I have enough of my own."
I sighed. "Sorry," I said sheepishly. "Living out here, you get paranoid after a while."
She smiled at me, and I took that as an invitation to walk closer to her.
"My name is Kimberly," I said, holding out my filthy hand.
"Aphrodite," she said kindly, taking my hand and shaking it. Her hand wasn't as dirty as mine, so I guessed she hadn't been on the run as long. "Where are you headed?"
I jerked my left thumb over my shoulder, in the direction behind me. "As far away from them as possible."