I wasn't someone who usually slept a lot and when I did, I never had dreams, nightmares usually filled my mind but tonight I was having an elated dream.
After lessons I went to put my books away in my locker, as I was stashing away my lunch money for the next day something pulled at my skirt.
"Nice skirt...where did you get it Sarah, the dumpster?" I glared at the girl I didn't even know the name of,
"I prefer her jumper; it reminds me so much of garbage,"
"Smells like it too," my eyes brimmed up but I told myself not to cry, I could be strong.
"Go die," I said as strongly as I could, I immediately felt bad, as much as I disliked the group of girls I wouldn't wish death upon any of them.
"Go back to the street where you belong you little street rat," I scowled at the girl I hadn't even seen before, how did she know I had anything to do with the streets? I guessed gossip spread fast, especially in high school.
"Just look at her clothes, they're all dirty and torn," a new girl piped up, I smiled briefly, we'd had the clothes teasing already,
"Yeah she probably hasn't even heard of the mall," the first girl smiled unkindly at me. Suddenly Josh jumped into my rescue yelling something at them, I wasn't listening my eyes were glued on the new girl at the back, the one who'd called me a street rat, she was smiling as if she knew something I didn't. I exchanged a few words with Josh and soon enough we were in his insanely expensive car - which could probably buy me rent for ten years - heading to the mall.
Josh treated me as if he were making up for every birthday he'd and everyone else had missed. Time passed in a blur, as it does when dreaming. Next thing we were having our hair styled and cut. And soon we were in his house watching a film, I couldn't remember the title but it was good, the first filmed I'd watched in years.
Josh's mum called us for tea and I enjoyed the first homemade meal I'd also had in years, she was very hospitable. Soon Josh was wishing me a good night's sleep and I was lying in bed.
It was strange I didn't usually go to sleep whilst sleeping.
I opened my eyes and found myself in a plush bed, I rolled over to see where I was and I didn't fall out of the bed. I was in a double bed in the middle of a room and I had no recollection as to why or how I was there. I crawled out the bed and saw myself in the mirror, I usually got quick glances at school but I never stood at the mirror and studied my face. Whilst looking I knew something was different - my hair. Just like in the dream, my eyes widened. It wasn't a dream! It actually happened! I was in Josh's house! My breathing accelerated and I fell back onto the bed, I couldn't help and admire my new hair again, it did look a lot better than the scraggy mess. I eagerly put one of my new outfits and then decided to find Josh, I crept out the door and peeked into the room opposite, it was another guest bedroom. Further down the corridor was another spare bedroom and then another, I was beginning to grasp how big Josh's house was. The last door in the corridor was Josh's bedroom, having opened the door quietly I spied him still asleep on his bed, his arm was flung carelessly over his head and his mouth lulled open. He looked very peaceful and very sweet, I decided to close the door and go back to my room. I peered at the clock and saw it was 7:20, school started in 20 minutes, Josh didn't need any more sleep. I packed away my things, making the bed and walked more boldly along the corridor to Josh's room.
"Morning," I called walking in, Josh was already up and he'd just pulled on his pants. My eyes widened and I covered my face, "sorry!" I cried backing out,
"It's alright," Josh laughed, I looked back at him, his room was bigger than I'd first seen. He had a double bed on an island which was a kind of raised platform. There were two steps down and on the next level there was a desk, on top of the desk was a laptop and lots of books and paper, two steps down further into the room was a wardrobe and a mysterious door. Josh pulled on his shirt and climbed up the steps to his desk; he picked up his bag and tossed in a few books and papers.
"What's through that door?" I asked inclining my head towards it, Josh blushed and I immediately regretted asking,
"Don't feel bad for asking," Josh literally read my mind, "I'll show you some other time," he smiled, "we're late for school,"
At the breakfast table Josh passed the Captain Crunch and I enjoyed a hearty breakfast,
"What do you normally eat for breakfast?" Josh asked inquisitively, I swallowed my mouthful and my eyes widened. I had completely forgotten about work, I had missed my shift at the sports complex and I was over an hour late for the breakfast shift. I breathed in deeply, "What?" Josh asked concerned,
"Don't worry, I just forgot something," I muttered, Josh didn't ask any more questions - he probably was beginning to think I was weird, much as the rest of the school did. At school I managed to avoid Josh at lunchtime by sitting in the girl's bathroom, it wasn't that I wasn't grateful for his hospitality and his kindness. I was eternally grateful for it, that level of kindness I hadn't even thought possible. I didn't want to get involved; I didn't want to start liking him. The last time that happened, it didn't end well...
That evening after my shift at work - I was given a day's grace but if it happened again I was fired - I headed back to my alley. As I crossed the road towards it I noticed a group of girls stood round my bin bag of belongings, they turned as I advanced,
"Sarah! Your clothes were just so nice we thought we'd go looking in the trash for some like it..." the girl trailed off, I was wearing my new outfit.
"Hey I found that hot jumper she usually wears," called a friend rooting through my stuff. How did they know I lived here? The girl I had seen earlier smiled at me again,
"Thing is Sarah," she began, "Josh is too good for you," she smiled again, I was beginning to hate her, "for one, he's rich, he's hot and he doesn't know the truth,"
"What truth?" I swallowed,
"The fact you're a street rat," she spat, "I'm sure Josh wouldn't be so interested if he knew he was into someone as low as you,"
"We're just friends," I said beginning to feel a little frightened,
"I think it would be better if you stayed away from him altogether," she stepped forward, "and if you don't, I'm sure Josh would be upset to find out you lied to him..."
"You don't deserve him any more than I do," I whispered, my throat had gone dry,
"Hey perhaps I'll bring him round to this back alley and he could see where his ‘friend' sleeps?" she slung my bin bag on her back and stalked off, her followers on her heels. At the nearest trash can she emptied the contents into it and threw the bag in the air, it floated down slowly and landed. I needed a new home.