One year after I was enrolled, Pastel and I were out on a weekday, running an errand for our captains. As we were passing an alley, I faintly heard a girl screaming. "Pastel."
"Yeah.", she nodded in acknowledgement, and the two of us trotted down the alley, me in front, wary as the girls screams became louder and more audible.
The image is still burned into my mind. Five men, thugs, the kind who do drugs and other unspeakable things, surrounded a little girl, probably in first grade, and a dead man on the ground. We both knew we should have called someone, anyone- the police, our captains, or just yelled-but instead I dove towards the nearest man, grabbed the arm with the gun, and twisted it around his back."RUN! RUN!", I yelled at the little, sobbing girl in our school's uniform, and she disappeared around the corner. Pastel and I fought as hard as we could, not to hurt the thugs, but to get away.
They had us trapped in a small circle of them, getting smaller and tighter every time we threw ourselves at them, together or alone. I knew I was done as well as the guys around me, and with my last bit of strength, aimed a hard hit at a guy I just didn't like the look of. It connected perfectly with his face, and my general thought was,"That's gonna sting."
The same man grounded me with an elbow on my temple and knocked my feet out from under me. Pastel had been knocked cold five minutes before. I had no way out, couldn't fight anymore. I cried out, but my consciousness was stolen with a sharp kick to the head.
I woke up, with the gritty, dirty city ground underneath me, and an inescapable soreness all over my body. Thankfully, it looked like the thugs scrammed right after they were done with us- I couldn't find any other bruises than what I passed out with.
Pastel took another twenty minutes to wake up, and we both took longer to realize the men had looted all our cash."D #$!", I exclaim.
"What's the plan?", Pastel asks as I help her up.
"Uh, wander around and go back late, so everyone's in bed and doesn't see us hurt?", I suggest, not really serious, but we take it up anyway.
It was a bad idea, we ran into the same guys on the street, and they pointed, laughed, and strode up to us, waving our money in the air and singing.
"Ignore them.", I told myself, and I drug us to a more populated part of the city. We loitered at different restaurants until seven, when I decided I had better answer my cellphone after ignoring it a dozen times.
"Hello?", I customarily answer.
"Where the he $ are you?!", my captain asked angrily.
"Um...", I look up at the sign of the fast food place we're not eating at,"'Crazy Bob's'"
"Have you been drinking?", Smith asked in a disappointed voice.
I realize my voice is slurred because I'm so tired. I haven't eaten since breakfast, as if the beating we took wasn't enough."N-no!", I stammered, which did not convince him in the slightest.
"Stay where you are, I'm picking you up.", the captain wanted to stay on the phone with me until he had eyes on the two of us, but I was about to pass out, so I hung up.
"He's comin'", and we struggle on to a new place, only a block away.
I watch as the captain's car rolls by, and hide my bruised face that keeps getting the cops to look at me weird. We can't get caught like this. We might get expelled from the only chance we have at life.
Midnight in the city is dangerous. I wondered how much longer we could keep running before we got expelled for avoiding the captain. I finally decide, whether Capt. Smith was waiting for us in our dorms or not, we had to go home. If we kept this up, school wouldn't matter anymore-it would be our lives at risk.
The long trek back wore me down more than I can say, I was droning before I even set foot on campus, I still don't know how I made it.
Pastel didn't even go to her dorm. My door was open first, and I had no objections, so she collapsed next to me on the floor. We literally fell to the ground, and with all the bruises, that hurt. A lot.
The carpet was so soft and smooth. . .and I was cool, my wounds didn't hurt as bad as before. I opened my eyes, expecting the back of the couch, Pastel by my side, a spider staring me down, and Capt. Smith looming over me with an alcohol percentage tester and an eviction note.
As it turns out, it was a nurse hovering over me, in the hospital. I looked around, dazed and dizzy, wondering how I got here. In no time, the nurse was asking me all sorts of questions, sitting me up, feeding me, and calling Capt. Smith.
I wasn't overly fond of the idea of him coming just then. They must have had me on some anesthetic, because I was tired in a way I couldn't escape. All the same, he showed up, but he was patient, quiet with his scolding then. I got my hopes up a bit that he would let me off the hook for this one, but I knew that was a no-go. He stayed and we talked for hours. The sun went down and the nurse ushered to him that visiting hours were over, that he had to let me rest. As soon as he was out the door I could feel it again, the pain that he had distracted me from as the anesthetic wore off. Now tears filled my eyes as I noticed it, sharp and unforgiving in all my body. I tossed and turned, trying to escape it, to no avail. Finally, the nurse asked what was wrong, and she gave me more pain medication, a little too much, I think, because I woke up late to find my captain, and foster parent, waiting for me to wake up, silently reading 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. As he slowly came into focus, I thought, 'He really cares about his students. But I won't let that on to him.'
It took a month and a half of detention and therapy to heal from the fight, but I met the girl we saved and it all turned out okay. It ended up that the dead man was her father, just about to enlist, and he had enrolled her here.
My new job is-guess what-a bodyguard.