The storm rumbled across the sky as the water droplets fell to the dirty, concrete pavement. Rain rushed through the gutters and dripped off of the roofs of various buildings. Cars used their windshield washers in an attempt to clear away the cloudy mist of liquid fogging up the glass. The day was common, a day ridden with rain and a sky painted with shades of gray.
He walked down the streets, leather jacket barely holding up to the heavy downpour. His dirt brown hair was soaked through to the scalp, and he shielded his brown eyes with two hands so that he could try to see what lay ahead.
A man of seventeen, he was simply making a trip to the store to pick up some beer. No one cared about legal ages anymore. Just as he was about to enter the liquor store, he saw a girl sitting at the curb of the sidewalk, washing her fingers in the rushing water.
Changing his path, he turned and walked up behind her. "Hi...are you okay?" he asked, unaware of her actual situation. She was dirtied with grime and rain, for she had most likely been alone out in the storm for a while. Parental figures were no where in sight; she was alone.
The girl turned at the sound of his voice, and seemed taken aback by his sudden appearance. She had not realized that someone would notice her.
He blinked through the rain, trying to remember, and realized that he had seen her around here before, but had never began a friendly conversation. "Are you lost?" he tried, but she continued to look around uneasily.
"I'm okay...yes, I'm fine," she replied, her tone frail. He could tell that her innocent green eyes were near tears, but he was unsure of how to approach her without causing worry.
"Listen...I know this is the first time I've spoken to you, but please, if you're in trouble, tell me," he offered, his tone gentle and careful as to not worry her further, "I can help you. I've lived in the slums all of my life." The girl, most likely just over half a decade younger than him, sniffed and looked around at her surroundings nervously, the tears threatening to escape her eyes. He backed away a little and wiped the pouring rain from his cheek. "Okay, if you don't need my help, I guess I'll see you around," he stated in the same gentle tones. Shrugging his shoulders, he turned his back, preparing to leave, when a sudden hand reached out and took hold of the end of his leather sleeve.
"Wait…" came her tiny voice, soft like the coo of a bird. He turned to face the girl, her eyes glistening. He drew his eyebrows together, sorrow and pity washing into him. The poor child was definitely lost. "Don't leave me...I need to get home…" she whispered, her voice cracking as it betrayed the tears that were held back.
The man felt something collapse within, for he could not leave this beautiful child in the rain. Blinking back tears of his own, he knelt beside her and removed his jacket, placing it on her bare, cold shoulders. "I promise I won't leave you…" he whispered back to her, stroking the soft and wet, golden blonde hair that covered her head. A small smile broke onto her face, and he grinned in return, drawing her close in a small hug. Rain soaked through his white T-shirt to the skin now that he didn't wear his jacket, but he didn't care. "Come on, tell me whereabouts you live and I'll take you home," he said, pulling away and looking into her eyes. She smiled and chewed on her lower lip, as she blinked back tears of happiness.
She grabbed his hand and led him through the crowded streets and the pouring rain. They passed by countless shops, silent and swift. He respected her silence, knowing that her eyes were already filled with what were tears or rain. No one wants to talk when they are crying. The poor girl was probably terrified, for her grip on his hand was extremely tight.
The two finally came to an old church after making their way through several alleyways and turns, and were now in the outskirts area of the city. It was no wonder that the poor girl couldn't find her way.
Her grip on his hand loosened, and she raced towards the church's doors. An old priest stepped out of the building, dressed in a fading white robe and shielding his sparse silver hair from the rain. The priest smiled at the girl and hurried her inside. Staring warily at the man in the soaked, white T-shirt, the pastor beckoned him to the door.
"Thank-you for returning Aerin," the priest expressed his gratitude, "I am Father John. We care for her here at the monastery."
So it was a monastery, not a church. Father John didn't ask for a return introduction, so Aerin's rescuer did not state his name. "Does she run away from the monastery much?" he asked, "I swear that I've seen her around the slums before."
Father John nodded grimly. "Aerin doesn't think the way others do. She's not handicapped, just traumatized. Aerin hasn't said much of a word since she came here, parentless and filled with grief. " The old man paused to take a breath. "However, I do not think that she remembers why her parents are gone. The man who found Aerin at the train station said that she didn't know who her parents were and why she was here."
"How old is she?" the rescuer asked with interest, "How long has she been with you?"
"Aerin is very small for her age, and very deceiving. She is eleven, orphaned at the wee age of seven," Father John explained.
The other man nodded in understanding. "Well, I better be off," he muttered, and began to head back to his pathetic apartment out in the rain.
Aerin had taken his heart and leather jacket. But he had kept his name.
A/N: The prologue was written in 3rd person point of view, but the following chapters will be written in 1st person, alternating between the two characters in different chapters. For instance, one chapter will be the girl speaking, and the next will be the man. Know what I mean? I will indicate at the top of every chapter which figure is speaking as well. Anyways, please R and R and provide as much CC as you can! Thanks!