We had new members to our group. One was named Sam. I didn't really know what to think of him. He looked as if he were hiding something--a dark past, maybe? Oh, well. The other's name was Minami. He was Canadian. He was alright, I guess. The more the merrier.
But either way, we left the alley that we had found Minami in. Aphrodite had left to go find a new home. She did pretty well. We were now in an old, two-story warehouse. It was nicer than what I was used to. The windows were boarded up, and the floor had at least an inch of dust on it. We brought the an old tarp from the alley we found and laid it out. There was also an old lantern that still worked, so we all sat around it, watching as the light in it flickered. It sent shadows on all of our faces, making us look 10 years older than we really were.
"Well," Aphrodite said, "This is fun." She wrapped her arms around her legs and rested her head on her knees.
"Yeah," said Sam. "Just a blast."
Minami said nothing. He twirled a white strand of hair around his finger.
I looked at all of us. Dirty. Sad. Runaways. We were all rejected in some way. We all escaped from something. But what?
"My mother abused me," I said out of no where. Minami dropped his hand into his lap. Aphrodite looked up. Sam turned his head, looking curious.
"My mother abused me," I repeated. "But I told my brother and father and they didn't believe me. They wouldn't let me call the police on her. The day I ran away, I was gone for a long time because I didn't want to come home. And when I got there she was waiting for me. She slapped me and told me that I might as well live on the streets. She yelled at me for getting B's instead of A's in school. So that night when everyone fell asleep I packed a backpack and stole a hundred dollars and left."
Everyone was staring at me. Only then did I realize that tears were streaming down my face. I angrily wiped them away.
Then Minami did something I didn't expect. He leaned from across the circle we were in and took my hand. He squeezed it. I looked at him. He smiled at me kindly and I smiled back. He dropped my hand, and I felt better.
"Not everyone in this world is like your mom, Kim," Sam said, looking serious. He looked as if he knew something about all of this. I wondered what his past was like. But I didn't ask. You don't push people.