She must have fallen asleep. Julie woke up to a dark living room. She glanced at the clock to see it was almost one in the morning. Wide awake now, Julie turned on all the lights in the apartment, and opened the back door and crept quietly down the stairs to see if the little boy was still asleep.
He wasn't sleeping, because he wasn't even there. The blanket was still there, and a pile of apple cores and the empty bottle of water. Well atleast he ate something, Julie thought, wondering how long this kid had gone without food, or a bath. She wondered where he had come from and how long the poor thing had been out here like this for. The alley was dark, but her eyes were starting to adjust. She looked around, thinking maybe he was scared and was hiding someplace.
"If you're there, I'm not going to hurt you. I just live upstairs, and I left those apples for you. I want to help you, if you will let me do that. Please come out if you're hiding," Julie said gently.
She sat herself down on the bottom step to wait. A few minutes later, the little boy peeked his head around the dumpster he was hiding behind. They made eye contact for almost a minute, and then he disappeared behind it again. Julie sat patiently.
"Please come out and come inside with me. I will not hurt you. You must be hungry," Julie encouraged.
A few more minutes passed, and the boy slowly started to walk towards Julie. When he reached her, he sat down next to her on the stair, and looked at the ground, without saying a word...