The loud clattering of a bin lorry wakes me. My back's numb with cold, and as I raise my head I feel a shooting pain in my neck from lying awkwardly. It's not even light yet. I look at my watch. 4:51am. Sitting up, I start to wonder what to do.
My parent will be terrified, they'll probably have called the police by now. I know I should go home, but the thought of their concern, the worried questions they'll ask... I can't tell them. They've never understood what I go through at school, there's no reason they should start now. And they'll make me go back there. I can't do it.
I stand up slowly. I'm starving, but I'll never find anywhere that's open at this time in the morning. Unless there's a 24 hour supermarket somewhere around here...? Sighing, I set of down the side-street towards the main road I can see at the end. I might as well look around a bit, try and get my bearings.
Turning left onto the larger road, I see a row of closed shops. Looks like I must be in the inner suburbs somewhere. My heart sinks as I realise I have no memory whatsoever of how I got here the night before. The street looks desolate in front of me, and the few people I can see give me weird looks as I walk past. I guess I must look terrible. I decide to look for a public toilet somewhere.
After walking for another ten minutes, the street is beginning to look less inner-suburbs-shopping-street and more residential. I stop, looking around. I can just about see the top of the London Eye over the houses, so I head in that direction.
Eventually I find a toilet. I almost look dead behind the cracks in the mirror, with huge dark circles and even paler skin than usual. My hair's a greasy mess, and I smell like rotting rubbish. Sighing, I go back outside onto the pavement. The only money I have is leftover from the lunch money I got for school yesterday, and I don't even have a phone, so there's nothing I can do.
Looking around, I see three teens asleep at a bus stop. They look about my age, and are presumably sleeping rough. It crosses my mind that it would be nice to have some company, but they're definitely not the type of people I'd usually hang out with. They have dark, well styled hair and clothes. The word that comes to mind is "alternative". Nope, I'd never fit in with them.
Dejectedly, I slump against a nearby wall. I have no idea what I'm doing, or what I should do now. Nobody in the world to talk to. It's not long before I'm in tears. I am, quite literally, lost.