Last week was heavy for Laurence. She has learned that she couldn't stay at her usual homeless shelter after violently banging someone's head on a wall for food. It was the first time she was homeless. The streets were dark, and the lights were flickering. It was empty, nearly nightmare-ish. She was in front of a bar, her most clean black skirt and a white tank top. She hoped she could get enough for a room. Near three 'o' clock, a familiar face passed near her. It was Charles and two of his guys, Mike and Chuck.
- Hey, Laurence.
- Shut your mouth.
- Don't be like that. How are you? Still sleeping outside?
- I'll take the usual by the way.
- Not tonight, Charles. I worked my ass off all day.
- I'll add-
- Dude, she said no.
The man took his wallet from his back pocket, a thick envelope of black leather with enough money to buy a house with it. He looked at her with devilish eyes and then stared and her small skinny legs.
- I said no, dude. Go fuck someone else.
- But you don't get to say no.
- I do. It's not because I'm doing this job that I'll suck you for money.
- Well, you do want food, right?
The prostitute was left speechless.
- You two, leave me here. I'll join you in a few minutes.
The guys were forced to listen. Mike nodded his head, smiled at the girl and entered the bar with Chuck. Charles opened his wallet and took a few hundreds. He then walked near a darker alley than the one they were asking Laurence to follow him. He unzips his tight jeans and let the girl do her magic.
- I still can't believe he didn't just give her the money. The girl is homeless.
Chuck was on his phone, ignoring him.
- I mean, if it was my sister, I would do so. Laurence is technically that, no?
- It's only a matter of time before she gets arrested. How many times as she done this? It's Laurence. I can't believe she is doing this while being against such behaviours. When she was younger, she'd tell me about how wrong she thought it was. She saw this tranny near Le Glebe. He was wearing a sparkly white gown with winter boots asking people for money. She would look at me, her and her ten years old eyes. She would ask me why people ridicule those things.
- The poor dude, still. I wonder how's life for him. He had this long brown wig with bangs in front. There were braids. In the middle of winter, no coat. Only winter boots. It makes me so depressed. Then, my sister asked me all these questions, even thought I'm the younger one. I still Hella knew that was a tranny and why the tranny was there. He was homeless. Just standing there waiting for someone to pick him up and take him home. But what if there was no home, only Le Glebe, dark and empty, in the middle of the winter.
- It's funny, because we are here. I can see the street name from here. You can see how fucking disrespectful you are. Drop your phone, Chuck. You fucking faggot.
Mike pushed the phone and it left on the floor while Charles re-enters the bar.
- Dude, my phone.
- Listen, for the love of God.
- Hi, Charles.
- Hi Chuck.
- How was the blowjob?
- It was good, wish she would of ate before. Her fucking teeth are falling.
- And, did she deep throat?
- I forced her to.
- Are you kidding me?
- That's kind of low, even for you.
It was six 'o' clock. Laurence entered a hotel and paid for a night. The place was quite cheap: bugs on the walls, the TV was broken and the walls were basically windows at this rate. It was freezing. She took her only vest, one made of cotton. She wore it and laid on her bed not moving the blankets in fear of finding a corpse. She sobbed for a while.
She woke up at 11 AM. Her fragile figure sat on her bed for around an hour, finding the force to finally get up and have a life. A strong knock was heard and then, Mike entered the small room.
- Bon matin.
- Ça va?
- Après l'osti de cave que j'ai dû sucé
Mike left out a sarcastic laugh, making his friend join him with a weaker one.
- Je suis venu voir si tu avais survécu et aussi déjeuner avec toi.
- Je ne déjeune pas moi dans la vie.
- Aujourd'hui, ça sera différent. L'école a été fermé, il y a eu un accident de char près et il n'y a plus de circulation.
- Donc, ils ont juste… fermé?
- Cela a de l'air à ça.
- Bon. On bouffe quoi?
- Dude, je ne mange pas moi, tu le sais.
- Oui je le sais, je le vois bien.
- Alors, the fuck.
- Listen, Clara asked me to come get you. She is waiting at the dinner next door.
- Bon, c'est quoi l'arnaque?
- L'arnaque c'est qu'elle ne sait pas que tu as encore un gros kick dessus.
- Fuck you.
He was quite right, Laurence was deeply in love with Clara. It was a strange feeling for her since she never felt in love after that, nor she wanted to. It'd be nice if Clara's blondie ass did like her too, but she's Laurence and Laurence rarely gets what she wants. Besides, Clara's family are quite literal with their anti-LGBT policies since Mike came out as pansexual two years ago. Things got rougher when he also came out as a drag queen stating that he was surprised they didn't found out sooner since he can fake being Celine Dion for at least an hour. He did his first show last Christmas for charity on a Rupaul song after a friend of his cancelled, that friend being Chuck. Clara was mostly discouraged while her brother wore her heels better than her. It was exactly then that she told Laurence how ridiculous it would be to like the same gender as you to which she even held her hand.
- And then you fell down the stairs.
- Pshhh… Ben non.
- Ben oui.
- C'était de la performance.
- C'était merdiquement pas planifiée si c'était ça.
- Whatever. Let's go, now.
They got out and crossed the street. The dinner was empty, expect for one table. Clara was there with Nelson. Both were already eating eggs. Laurence sat next to her crush and Mike next to Nelson.
- Hey buddy, how's breakfast?
- Pretty good.
- Yo sis, how's breakfast-
- There was a car accident in front of the school. I can't. People should be more careful these days.
- Or maybe people shouldn't jay cross.
- No! We are on school's environment, there are kids here.
- There she goes again, nice to see you again, Claire.
- Clara. My name is Clara, Lau.
- Okay, j'ai compris…
- Ce n'était pas assez claire… que j'avais compris.
- Ta yeule… je t'ai déjà dit de pas faire ce genre de blague avec mon nom.
- Et moi je t'ai dit que je n'aurais jamais de faire ce genre de blague avec ton nom.
- Why, thought?
- Because I like joking with your name.
- That's bullying.
- Oh, that's bullying? Not Charles. Only me. I'm a bad bully. Oh, look at me being the big big bully. Lemme steal your lunch money.
Mike and Nelson looked at each other with a smile on their faces. A few moments later, Sophie came to their table to take the new orders.
- Hey, Sophie. Didn't know you got a new job.
- Hi, Nelson. Hi, the rest of you.
- No need to be such a bitch, we're only here to eat.
- It wasn't me being bitchy, I'm just surprised you guys talk to me. Especially the two of you.
- Me? And Clara? We're always talking to you. The hell do you mean?
The blonde woman looked at her friend making a sign to stop, but Laurence didn't understand it.
- I thought you were cool, man.
- What's your order?
- Don't change subject.
- Laurence, c'mon now.
- Clara, mind your shit. This is about me and her only, now.
- This is about her losing her job if you don't order something.
- What if I don't want to order.
- Then, I'll ask you to leave, please.
Clara stood up. She was getting exhausted of Laurence's shit.
- Don't mind her, she's just mad because she can't get a job.
- I could get a job.
- But I don't wanna.
- You don't want to-
- You don't wan-
- Fuck. Let me finish.
- I don't what?
- You. Don't Want. To.
- I don't…
- What, no?
- FUCKING HELL.
- YOU DON'T WANNA PUT THE EFFORT INTO IT.
- You're absolutely right.
The blonde girl stood up, tossed the ginger girl off the bench and went outside.
- Is she alright?
- Don't mind it, Sophie. I'll take you eggs and bacon, the usual. Nelson too. Laurence, what do you want?
- Just an orange juice.
- Give her a plate as well.
- Alright, Mike. Hope you're paying.
The tall caramel girl took her pen and wrote the order in a tornado way that only her and the cook could understand and turned to the kitchen with a smirk on her slim face. Clara re-entered the vast retro-styled establishment with her hair soaking wet from the rain. As she sat down, her big chuck of curls cramped in her left hand while she tied it with a small blue rubber band. Laurence's head was tilted to her fiend's direction with the palm of her hand on her chin while her five black painted nails fronted Mike's vision. The two girls were looking at each other dangerously.
- So… I ordered eggs.
A long silence was filling the room. The restaurant was completely empty.
- Ladies? Eggs? Bacon?
- Yes, Clara.
- I thought you were vegan.
- … Fuck.
Sophie arrived with two generous portions of eggs, bacon and bread and slid them on the wooden table. On the third plate, a small portion of toasts and peanut butter dippers.
You're lucky I know about you.
More like the trends I'm trying to do.
Mike, if you want to absolutely eat meat, just tell me. I'll serve you some.
Both Clara and Nelson smirked at this sexual reference. Laurence was looking outside, there was a big feud. Two women were furiously fighting outside.
You're underestimating my willpower dear Sophie.
And you're being irrational. I know it's only based on some weird goofy dare you and my brother made.
Correction: he dared me. He's already vegan.
Nelson, are you still hungry? We can pack this up for supper if you prefer.
I wonder what Kathreen is doing right now…
He nodded quickly. Mike smiled and took his black credit card. Clara on her side mirrored her brother.
Dear sister, I'm paying.
I invited you.
You're actually younger…
I was wanted before you.
I am still mom's favourite.
Sophie wrote down their entire receipt and left it there.
… and I have more friends than you.
I heard that.
I know. Then, I would pay.
That makes no sense.
Yes it does.
Okay you two. Can any of you actually pay?
Laurence, mind your-
It been 45 minutes we're here. Just pay already.
The two curly blond hair heads got up and pay.
Is everyone done?
Nelson isn't done yet.
Clara goes back to the table. Her steps were stopped by the horrific vision she had. Nelson was laying his forehead on the red counter. His face was entirely covered of a strange mixture of puke and salty tears. The waitress behind Clara rushed through the kitchen to get a napkin, soap and a plastic bag. Laurence, who turned back and saw the seen, ran to help. Mike was already outside. The blond one went to her car to get a backpack. A freckled hand took the sick boy's as he tried to get up, but kept falling due to his weak body. Sophie quickly cleaned the table and handed the bag to Laurence. Clara reentered the restaurant and took a long bright violet handmade knitted blanket and removing the residue of the gooey liquid off Nelson's chubby cheeks.
Be careful okay. Eating too much isn't better than not eating.
Don't be sorry. You didn't mean it. Did you?
Laurence left a cold laugh.