Allister is a teenager living on the streets in a small town in Indiana. His parents are deadbeats, and he's trying to find his way in life -- a purpose.

I sat there silently in my jail cell. Sure, it wasn’t the nicest place, but it was a lot better than being stuck out on the streets. Unfortunately, I was there for petty shoplifting, so I was only there for a night; I did get a meal, though...I hadn’t eaten in a day or two, so that was a stroke of luck. An officer walked up to my cell. He was rather old, with short grey hair, and a khaki police officer’s uniform. “How can we get in contact wich’ yer’ parents, kid?”, he queried, his deep, gruff voice echoing through the small station. He had a very thick southern accent, which was unusual where I “lived” -- that being a small town in Indiana. Most of the jail cells were empty, save for a few petty offenders like me. “I’ve got no parents to call.” I said softly. The officer just stared at me, confused. “Ya’ve gotta’ have parents, kid.” the officer stated, content with his logic. “Sir, if you would be so kind, my name is Allister.” I stated. “Erm...sorry...Allister. Where’re yer’ parents, Allister?” He said my name slowly. He was unusually respectful. Most of the cops I had met were jerks...I returned the favor to them, so I guess I’ll return the favor to this nice old guy. He’s probably not far from retirement...poor guy, stuck in this little town. “I already told you, I don’t have any paren-” I was cut off by the officer, him protesting once more that I must have parents. He didn’t seem to get what I was implying, so I blurted it out. “My...parents are dead...sir.” I stated, a small amount of contempt in my voice. I, of course, was outright lying. Both of my parents were alive, but neither of them cared about me enough to come get me, and I didn’t care about them. They were both deadbeats. My father was abusive, as well as an alcoholic, and my mother was an alcoholic and a junkie. If they both died, I really couldn’t care less. Maybe that's a terrible thing to say, but I don't care; it's the truth. “Oh...I’m...I’m sorry, Allison.” he said. “It’s Allister...” I said, chuckling lightly. Poor guy couldn't even keep names straight. Before he could say anything more, I continued, “and...don’t worry about it.” He shrugged, walking away. At least he didn’t inquire further. If he had actually gotten my last name then he probably would have found my parents in the phone book or something...I guess the guy just didn’t care.

No one really cared in this town. Everybody knew everybody, and I was the weird, nerdy kid from the ‘hood; No one really liked me. I was an outcast. All of my neighbors and “friends” were, or later became, druggies, alcoholics, or idiots (all the same though, I suppose). I just grew up in a crappy neighborhood, I guess.The -- sad -- truth is that both my parents were deadbeats...but they were still my legal guardians, and therefore, they would have had to come here and get me had I told the guy. I left home when I was sixteen and a half. I’m seventeen now. I celebrated my seventeenth birthday out on the streets of Yellowside, Indiana (a little town existing in the shadow of Indianapolis with a population of around seven-thousand). Sad, really. But oh well. It’s been kinda’ nice being independent...I just wish I had some money, or a place to stay. Spending the nights out on the streets, dodging cops (strict curfew), and shoplifting to get food...I’ve been trying to get a job, but in these rough times, few places are hiring. I did work at a McDonald’s for awhile...then at a convenience store...and just my luck, the convenience store I was working at got held up while I was working there. Hated the place anyway, and the pay was meager.

The way I figure it is: if I can find a decent job (maybe even a career) before I’m eighteen, I might be able to get myself on my feet, find a nice apartment, and maybe a cheap car (or maybe get a crappy old Vanagon and kill two birds with one stone) and then I can get out of this stupid place...but that will take a lot of hard work and luck -- and I don’t believe in luck.

The End

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