Jack gave a warm smile to the receptionist as he walked into the "Telephone angels" center. Either the girl was getting younger every time or he was getting much older. At forty-one, he was one of the few who always came in. A wisp of ash grey hair fell in his face, he sighed as he brushed it out of his face and tied his shoulder length hair back.
He was getting up in the years, and yet he still had to show any signs of balding. He could feel his left leg was giving him a bit of grief but considering the job he really didn't seem to mind. During the day, he played for the bars. He'd gotten a good reputation, "Sad Jack, the Blues man". He sang songs that most people thought were just made up lyrics. However, anyone who stared into those icey blue eyes of his realize there was something lurking beneath those songs. Pain and sadness, and every night he blew it all away. He gently rubbed a small heart pendant between his finger and thumb as he signed the paper. The receptionist gave a warm grin. Her name was Jenny, right?
"I just downloaded your newest disc off Itunes Jack, I love it!" Jack gave a puzzled grin.
"Itunes? What's that?" Jack hated technology. His agent got him a laptop to answer fanmail and all that nonsense. He didn't really use it much.
"Well it's umm," The young girl gnawed at her lip for a moment before Jack held his hands up.
"Sweety, I really don't think you can dumb it down enough for a coyote like me. I better go man the phones, I heard the new blood already gave up." He referred to the bright eyed college kids coming in thinking they could bring something to these kids. They were wrong and eventually stopped caring. Jack had his share of failures too. However, it never stopped him. He knew these kids had a really bad run at life and for every kid that never called back. There was at least two more asking for Jack. She frowned at the mention of those two.
"Yea, they really weren't very good. Judy overheard em talking and wanted to toss em out already." Jack grinned as he grabbed a steaming cup of coffee and gave her a wave.
"Well then to battle! And all that rabble rousing," He wandered to his designated area. At this point, the regulars like him were given sections to outfit as they want. Jack had his own little studio, he always felt inspired to write when he was here.
The telephone blinked on as Jenny activated Jack in the system. He began to idly plunk at his acoustic while the time began to pass. The first two calls sounded like spoiled little brats, upset that mommy didn't let them do what they wanted. Jack tried his best to explain what their mother felt was in the interest of the kids. Wasn't such a big deal afterall, they hung up after just a few minutes.
Jack sighed as he got to his feet as his back began to ache. Jenny waived to him as his phone went off. She only did that if the call came from a trouble area to begin with. Jack put the guitar down as he adjusted his headset.A girl's voice was on the other end, she sounded faint. Jack knew he needed to keep his voice level.
"Telephone Angels, my name's Jack sweety. What do you want to talk about?" The other voice seemed to hesitate before replying.
"Rhea, I dunno what I want to talk about? I-I found your number at a shelter me and my friend were staying at..." Jack smiled, they had a good success with those shelters. Too many kids find their way there.
"Well Rhea, I've got a really big cup of coffee here. So let's start at the beginning, are you safe?" The line was silent as Rhea sputtered a response.
"Fuck no! I'm in the middle of the damn hood, the shelter's are starting to push us back out. I'm cold and tired and..fuck how do you know what I'm dealing with?"She was already quite agitated, Jack knew he needed to calm her a bit. Show her she has nothing to fear from him.
"Sweety, I don't wanna compare war stories with you. I've got my share of skeletons, and an empty bed where my daughter used to be. So I know what it's like to be when the cards aren't in your favor." The voice calmed down a bit.
"Jack?" she called out quietly.
"I'm hungry.." The voice seemed a bit more eager for him. Jack smiled as he got to his feet.
"That's a good start! A growing girl like you could use a good meal. I know roughly where you are. There's a greasy spoon a few blocks away. Can you be there in ten?" He silently prayed she would accept. None of these kids are ever that easy, at the very least this one can be looked over.
"Ok Jack, don't be late!" The line clicked off. Quickly grabbing a stack of cards with Jack's information and one of his old blues cds. He signed off as Jenny gave him a curious look.
"Got one that needs help, she wants to meet. Poor girl sounds scared out of her wits. Near those damn apartment buildings we got those cases last year." Jenny gave him an encouraging grin.
"Good luck Jack. Be safe ok?"
Jack pulled his leather coat a little tighter as he left the center. He felt hopeful, maybe this girl just really needed someone to sit down and listen. Jack tried to not think down on the parents who failed these kids. He did his best though to realize these kids needed positive encouragement and not his own opinions best left unsaid for now.
Right now there was a girl who could use an ear and a warm meal. Jack made sure he kept his dummy wallet handy. It contained no information, but a wad of bills that could keep a runaway well stocked for at least a week.
Jack pulled up in front of the diner, the food was soulful. The type of meal that could hopefully warm a body for awhile. He tossed the real wallet into the glove compartment and took the dummy containing just money as he locked the door of his vehicle and stepped inside.