-But not everything lasts forever...
“Hey, get a move on!” Maxie kicked me hard.
“What? Where are we going?” My eyes are heavy, but I open them to bright lights, red and blue, flashing down the alley, and loud, blaring sirens.
“They’re coming! Just go!” With one last pull on my arm, Maxie took off, running deeper into the alley. I slipped on lone bricks and litter, but eventually the shouts and sirens died down. I stopped to gather my breath, but footsteps appeared behind me. Panicked, I pinned myself to the wall, but torch lights began to seep through the darkness which was, for once, my only means of protection. As I began to run, so did the steps behind me. Soon enough, I was gasping for breath, and my right leg had developed a limp. I was ready to give up.
Out of nowhere a hand grasped my jumper, and roughly swung me around. My scream was extinguished as a hand clamped my mouth, but I sagged with relief when I realised that it was Jeanie. She held a finger to her lips, and I nodded. With our hands tightly clasped, we set off down a side alley. We twisted and turned through a labyrinth of cold brick walls. Just when I thought that we were completely lost, we stumbled upon an old cracked wall, riddled with holes, behind of which the remainder of us were hiding.
Jeanie gave me a comforting smile, and I curled up between her and Maxie, and we watched the darkness.
“They didn’t relent, and soon enough everyone disappeared,
one by one. When only four of us remained, we had no choice
but to leave. Our home wasn’t safe anymore, and they were
watching the entrance. We had no way of getting any provisions,
So late one night we escaped over a lower wall.
I remember walking for a long time, and feeling so tired. I actually
felt that if I was to fall asleep, I would stay that way forever.”
“I wouldn’t think that they would be that desperate to find us. I mean, we weren’t causing anyone any harm.”
I couldn’t bear the though of having to get up again, and I couldn’t see why we were being targeted. Millions of kids live on the streets.
I could tell that Kat was hiding something, but I didn’t want to push her. At our level of tiredness, we all felt ready to snap at anything. It really wasn’t worth it.
We later found a secluded area to rest, but as soon as I closed my eyes, despite how tired I was, I found that I couldn’t sleep. So I just lay there, looking at the stars, as I had usually done so at home. As the darkness began to fade, I gently eased everyone awake.
Kat began pacing, but when I touched her shoulder, she lurched forwards, startled. She had been acting strangely for days, but now we were all starting to feel uneasy.
I sat in front of her, and took her hands in mine. She looked up at me, and her eyes brimmed with tears.
“It’s all my fault!”
Her head fell against my shoulder, and she stayed that way a while, sobbing, while I gently consoled her.
After she had exhausted herself of her tears, she looked at me again. This time, her eyes were red and swollen.
“What’s your fault, Kat?”
“This. All of this. But we were so desperate.”
We were all equally confused, but Kat refused to inform us of anything more. She jumped up, and tore off through the bushes. Before I could get up, Maxie had already set off after her.
It was a while before we saw either of them, but Maxie finally stumbled into the camp. He was alone.
It was easy to see that he was angry.
“Because of her stupidity, we’re cold, hungry, and miles from nowhere!”
“What are you talking about?” Jeanie had stood up, and she grabbed his arm.
“After we all promised that were better than common thieves! No matter what, we could have got by. They were just looking for an excuse to get us, and she gave them that!”
Maxie shook her off, and stormed away. Jeanie ran after him, calling his name. I decided to wait for Kat to return.
I waited, and waited, but as the day was once again robbed of its light, my heart began to sink with the sun.
I tried to convince myself that they were lost, or were still calming down, but something told me otherwise.
They were gone.