|Lost In Hope
Author: Bittersweet Dreamer PM
She's on the streets, begging to live. Her brother and father depend on her for survival. She is barely living herself, clinging on to a hope. A hope that is also a dream. And a goal. One day, the goal will be met. She is only thirteen.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Family - Chapters: 3 - Words: 4,049 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 07-30-12 - Published: 08-13-11 - id: 2942961
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
That's what I get every day.
Just because I am homeless, people treat me like a scavenging dog. They stare at me, wrinkle their nose in disgust.
It's not my fault that I have to live like this though.
I don't want to.
I would much rather have enough for money for water and food, at least.
But you know, I don't.
Toughing it out is my only option.
I'm teased, ignored, and hated at school because I'm homeless, and how it affects me. They hate me because of the condition I'm in; tattered clothes, smelly odor, greasy hair. The students and teachers know I'm homeless; few offer pity, and the rest give out loathing. Some have even tried bullying me, but I defend myself.
I'm a loner at school. I have no friends, no likeable teachers. It's like God wants me to live in this Hell I go through every day.
On the streets of New York City, begging for food. Asking for money.
To support myself, Marcus, my 10-year old brother, and to support my dad.
He doesn't help us.
He can't; he's mentally ill. Once in a while a doctor will stop by to check up on him. He can't pay them for we have no money, but they don't mind. They're volunteers...angels who willingly take care of my father for nothing in return.
They don't know he has two kids, because it's always when Marcus and I are at school.
If he knew we were in this condition, we'd Marcus and I would immeadietly be sent into foster care.
I love my papa. I don't want to leave him. Therefore, I'm mighty glad we're never seen.
I just hope it stays that way.
I hold out a small gray can for coins, my eyes instinctively going wide and sad, my straight expression shifting into a frown.
If I do that, it helps.
Because they see a 13-year old who looks like she is going to die. And they give us a nickel. If we're lucky, we get a dime.
I hate it because I'm not helpless. Not about to die. I may be hungry every day, and without a home, but I'm actually a heck of a lot luckier than most out on the streets.
But if I didn't do it, how else could I live?
People pass me, ignorant as ever.
I'm not surprised.
The people walking by me right now are the rich ones, anyway.
The ones who hate us the most.
They have fluffy coats, fancy clothes. The strong stench of perfume floats off their smooth, clean skin. They carry purses often seen at top designer stores, stuffed with accesories that are overpriced. Most of the snobs have faces that are either caked with makeup, or applied with none. The ones with none have natural beauty. Something I'll never know if I have, what with the state I'm in.
The snobs stay warm in the winter, cool in the summer.
I don't envy them, but I despise of them.
Because if they could spare a few dollars, a life could be saved.
I would know. Considering that's how my baby sister and mother died. Mallory was only six months; my mom was too weak to produce milk. We knew of a place that could give the milk my sister needed.
But we didn't have the money.
And because of that facor, I witnessed a being lose it's soul. I had to watch as the life was stolen from my baby sister's chocolate-brown eyes, as the warmth was taken from her tiny pale hands. My mother went for a walk, to try and cope. She hadn't even planned for Mallory; a street gang had beaten and raped her. She waasn't going to rid of her child though; my mother had such a good heart. Unfortunately, she never returned from her walk. I think she was killed, and so does Marcus.
I don't think she is coming back, so I stepped up and took her place.
I'm the parent of us three.
I support us.
I am the reason we are still alive.
I snap my mind into attention as a gray-haired lady fiddles in her wallet for some money. This is the first time in a few days we have been given anything; a blessing from the Lord saying we won't die, not yet.
I'm expecting a few coins, maybe a dollar. But no...I recieve one ten and two fives.
We have never received this much before.
I look up at her, my eyes whisper, "Thank you." She smiles, nods and walks away. She isn't wearing a fancy coat, nor does she own a top designer purse. Instead, her clothes are simply beaten up sneakers, jeans, and a Nebraska hoodie. Her purse is small and brown, and consits of only a few items: a wallet, phone, pen and notepad.
Then I realize the snobs have passed, and now the normals are coming home from work.
The normals don't have furry coats. They don't have fancy purses.
The normals have regualr purses, regular clothes.
They usually give us the money.
Even though no one else gives me money for the rest of the night, I still thank God for this gift.
When it is dark, I turn and walk down the sidewalk. Shivering from the chilly fall air, I turn and clamber down subway stairs. Few people are around, meaning I am able to turn to the left of the gates without anyone seeing me. My tense walk loosens as I head down the dimly lit hallway.
Finally, I reach the end of the hall; my destination is a tiny door. I twist the knob and open the door, not suprised by what is going on.
Dad is on our blanket-bed, sleeping. Marcus is sitting on a news stack, doing nothing. Except now he sees me. He looks up. When he speaks, his voice comes off small and hoarse.
"Wha'du get?" I smile and show him the twenty bucks, dropping the bucket. He runs over and grabs it delicately from my hands, looking at it excitedly.
"What should we get?" he asks me.
"I was thinking we should get a few waters, and some sort of meat." I answer. He grins at the thought of chowing down on meat once again. It's expensive-we don't have it often. Then, I am embraced in a hug. I hug him back, allowing his small head to rest on my batted-up top.
"How'd school go?" I ask him. He breaks away from my hug, his eyes suddenly sad and dark. Without speaking, he pulls up his sleeve and reveals a long, jagged cut. It is coated in a crisp layer of dry blood, and is swollen.
I gasp. "Marcus, what happened?" I demand. He looks away.
"Tim brought a knife to school today." he says quietly.
The bully at his school.
In his grade.
I'm not surprised he didn't get caught.
Tim is never caught.
He's clever, and evil.
The worst sort of combination.
"A knife?" I choke out. He just nods, avoiding my gaze.
"I-I talked back to him. I called him a nasty name at recess. He pulled it out of his pocket and...and he took me behind the school and c-cut me." He says quietly.
"Marcus, we have to heal your injury. I don't think we can get some meat. I'll get something else; doghnuts maybe." I tell him.
"B-but, please, no. I-"
My eyes answer yes, cutting off his protest. He sighs, not having the energy to aruge with me. I hug him again and set off for the nearest store, a combination of a food market, pharmacy, and gas station.
Once I arrive, I head straight to the medicine section. I ignore the disgusted stares and scan the rows and rows of sprays and pills.
It takes five minutes to find the best spray that works on a wound such as Marcus's, and a strong gauze. I also decide to grab a box of Tylenol. After retreiving these three items, I grab three waters. I calculate the amount in my head.
The total comes out to be thirteen including tax, so I smile as I realize I have enough to buy meat after all. I make my way to the small table that holds containers of meat, including chicken. The price is only 5.75, and after I pay I have a dollar left over. I look at the counter, where a donation box for children with cancer is.
I am lucky I'm not sick; it could be worse. Children aren't mean to me; in fact, often they want to help me. Naturally, their parents won't let them. I have always admired that, so the least I can do is help save a life because I know they would do the same for me, if they could.
I drop the dollar in the box and a warm feeling runs down my spine. The cashier has a shocked expression on his face; he probably didn't expect a homeless girl to do something like that. His reaction makes me smile.
"Have a good day." I nod at him and leave the store.
When I get back home, Marcus runs over to me. I smile and pull out our dinner and his medication. He jumps in happiness when I show him the chicken after all. His hands go right for it, but I push them away and hand him the spray. Health before food.
When I am done tending to his wound, I rufffle his matted black hair and nod at the feast. I tell him to sit, and then go to wake my father up. After gently nudging his hand, and poking his shoulder, he is awoken. His bright blue eyes shine with confusion as he escapes from slumber.
"Supper time, father." The smile on my dad's face is so big I can't help but laugh. After I get him situated, I take my seat around our newspaper table. I lead us in grace, and then we dig in. It is a tasty dinner.
And as I eat, my troubles are forgotten for a while.
Instead, I think of everything great that has happened
We got food. Enough food to last us a few more days. And water, something that we have been extremely scarce of.
Everyone is safe. Marcus's injury is treated to; it shouldn't worsen.
I haven't been bugged by the teachers in a few days, and the students have cut down on the teasing within the past week.
We finish and after cleaning up, we each crawl onto our newspaper bed. Marcus is on one side, dad on the other.
My day has gone all right. I can feel my mom and sister's presence around us, embracing us in a warm hug of love. God is also wrapped around me, promising it'll be okay.
For the first time in a couple of years, my insomnia lets go. I fall asleep within minutes, and throughout the whole night I don't wake up from a single nightmare.