I traipsed through Beverly Hills knowing that the likelihood of me finding a dirty, quiet alley was as slim as me turning a billionaire. I couldn't help but noticed as I walked past each mansion that they all had out buildings, some pool houses, others sheds or just annexes. I turned into a lane which looked familiar, Josh's street. Just as the realization hit me a car with a familiar thrum turned round the corner three blocks down, I had little time to think as I dived into a nearby bush and covered my face behind the leaves. Josh and his car sped by without slowing and I sighed in relief, and stepped back out. If I wasn't careful either the group of nasty girl's I'd never seen before would tell Josh, or he'd see me. Only one I had in my power to prevent, I turned away from the street and headed as far as I could away. It was 12.00pm by the time I felt safe, after an eventful day I tucked myself between a garage and a fence and tried to get some sleep.
The following morning I awoke and decided to make my way to work, hoping my job with Jake's father was still there and I hadn't been replaced. I smiled; no one was busting their guts to work in the grease café. I pushed the door and the bell rang out, no one appeared from the kitchen and there was no one sitting at the tables. Just as I was about to open the door to the kitchen Jake walked out, his eyes were wide and teary,
"What's wrong?" I asked, he pushed past me and reached for the phone, he let the dialing code speak for itself. 911. I gulped and rushed into the kitchen, I had expected to see someone lying on the floor or a man without his finger as he'd accidently cut it off. But the door had become a gateway into a sauna, the room was filled with smoke and heat which surrounded me in all directions. I heard a groan in the corner and made my way towards Jake's dad, his head was slumped between his knees,
"Come on Bill!" I called over the roar of the flames; I didn't know which direction they were in,
"No, let me die!" he cried, "All my hard work...gone,"
"I need to get you out!" I said pulling at his arm, he yanked it back and glared up at me,
"There's no point," he whimpered. The smoke was beginning to make my head spin, I needed to get out but I wasn't leaving Bill in here to burn. I pulled my sweater over my mouth and pulled hard at Bill's arm, he tried to pull it back but I wouldn't let him,
"Oh no you don't," I growled, I exerted all my strength to pull at Bill but he was just so big. "Jake!" I screamed as I saw the first flame licking up the counter, "Jake!!" Bill kicked my leg from underneath me and I fell into him, he pulled my head near his mouth,
"Sarah, let me die here, let me die in my heaven," this was his heaven? Bill was sadder than I thought,
"I can't let you die," I said pushing away from him; I stood back up and decided to go and see why Jake was taking so long. I turned round towards the door but I couldn't make out where it was, or where I was in relation to it. The fire had eaten up the electric cables and the lights flickered and went out, the only light now was coming from the fire, but it wasn't enough because the thick black smoke disguised it. The thick black smoke you get from burning grease. I began to cough and splutter, I heard the door open and close and I tried to find my way towards it. Jake must be inside,
"Jake?!" I called, whilst coughing,
"I'm going to put the fire out!" he shouted back,
"With what....?" I called, I knew one thing. Water and hot oils didn't mix, a large burst of fire, light and heat exploded from where the oven was, to confirm my point. I screamed as a hot wave of heat blew over me and scorched my bare skin,
"JAKE!" I ran towards where he must have been, but the smoke, burning and lack of sight made it an impossible search. Strong arms gripped around me and pulled me back, "Jake!" I called, before spluttering again and falling unconscious.
I opened my eyes and the first thing I saw was the mask on my face, an oxygen mask. I sat up and looked round, I was lying in the café and fireman were racing back and fourth with hoses and foam sprayers. A woman knelt down next to me and smiled,
"What's your name?" she asked kindly,
"Sarah..." I trailed off; I didn't trust any of the authorities,
"Sarah what?" I stood up,
"I'm feeling fine," I assured her, "I need to get to school," she put her hand on my arm,
"You have to go back to the hospital," she told me,
"I can't," I pushed her hand away and ran out the café. I hated leaving Jake and Bill almost dead, or dead, I didn't know, back in there. My biggest problem was if the police or social services knew I lived on the streets, without parents, they'd send me away, away to a home. I didn't want to leave, especially since I'd met someone like Josh.
Rounding the bend to school I caught sight of Josh sitting on the outer wall, he looked like he wasn't going to go into school unless he'd seen someone. I sighed, I shouldn't have avoided him yesterday, by now he was probably with that amber girl. I tried to hide behind a group of people and I followed them into school. Someone grabbed my bag and pulled me to a halt; I turned round and saw Josh looking concerned.
"Sarah, what happened?" he asked, I blinked and then put my head in my hand, I had forgotten I'd just spent a good ten minutes in a smoky room, I was probably covered in soot and smelt like burnt fat and smoke.
"Errr... nothing," I said looking away evasively,
"You're practically black with something," Josh traced his finger along my cheek, his finger turned black, "you smell like you've just come out a wood burner," he sniffed again, "and your eyes are bloodshot and your facial expression is frankly terrifying," I gulped,
"It's my work placement," I said, my eyes did hurt and they began to water, with the pain or the trauma I wasn't sure. "Jake's dad's place," Josh nodded, "I got there and there was a fire in the kitchen," Josh put his arm around my comfortingly as my eyes brimmed over and tears fell down my face. I hated crying, especially in front of Josh. "I tried to save Bill - Jake's dad, but he wouldn't budge and then Jake tried to put the fire out and it all exploded!" my voice was getting faster, "I think Jake's dead, and Bill could be too!" Josh pulled my against his chest to hide my face from all the pupils passing and staring, I hadn't even noticed them.
"Want to get some breakfast?" Josh asked,
"But we've got school..." I trailed off, speaking into Josh's clean white shirt. Josh pulled my head back, there was a soot mark on his top, I cringed,
"School can wait," Josh took my arm and we walked against the flow of pupils entering the gates,
"Where are we going?" I asked,
"To the greatest American breakfast restaurant," I raised an eyebrow, "I'm English and even I know what it is,"
"McDonalds?" I asked,
"We have those in England," Josh winked, "we're going to IHOP,"
"I don't feel like eating..."
"You will when you see this menu," Josh took my hand and began to swing it, despite the fact two fairly nice people could be dead, with their livelihood ruined. Josh was able to brighten any dark mood and that was why I loved his company.