The little girl's bare feet padded softly up the street. It was dusk and people were returning home from work, but no one looked twice at the child. As she was waiting to cross the road two elder boys came running up behind her, pushing her down in their haste to get to their desitation.

Again, no one looked twice.

The her big, green eyes welled with tears as she stood, brushing the dirt from her already filthy, torn, too-small jeans. Her shoulders quaked as she wiped the tears silently from her eyes. She shook her head with a sense of finality, put her shoulders back, lifted her chin and marched across the road.

Again, all the people rushing about noticed nothing.

She veered left as the street lights flicked on, and the people slowly began to trickle into their homes. It wasn't the type of neighborhood you wanted to be out in at night. But still, the little girl marched on. Almost all the people were inside by the time she slipped between the weak circles of light provided by the street lamps.

Again, no one looked twice.

Looking around as if to make sure no one was looking at her, she slowed her pace and took deep breaths as she reached the door of the seediest apartment block on the street. She turned the handle swiftly and pushed with all the streghth her small and obviously exausted body could handle, but it wouldn't budge. She reached into the pockets of her jeans, and dug around, before letting out a small sigh and reaching for the intercom: Apartment 9.

She waited, tapping her bare foot in time to a beat that only she could hear, as the ring tone sounded again, and again, and again. Her face changed from tired, to frustrated and finally relieved as someone on the other end picked up.

"Who is it?" asked someone on the other end.

"Isabella," the girl replied in a soft voice.

"What took you so long?!" the voice screached over the intercom.

"Can you let me in, I will explain inside. It's cold out here," she responed, as her voice began to quake.

"Yeah, sure. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to yell..." the person on the other end of the line appologised and unlocked the door.

Isabella looked around the empty streets again before quickly slipping inside and closing the door firmly behind her.

Not one of the people who got off the bus 5 metres away noticed their small exchange.

Isabella pressed the button on the elevator before deciding against the slow moving, ancient machine. She knew it was probably faster (and safer) to take the stairs. She took them at a run, and reached the 3rd floor apartment quickly. She caught her breath as she knocked a small rhythm on the door, and it was opened immediately by a teenage boy.

She looked up at him, gave him a big grin before jumping into his arms with a yell of "Fabio".

"Well hey to you too!" Fabio exclaimed, returning her smile as he pulled her into the apartment and locked the door safely behind them.

No one was getting to his little sister.