"NINJA'S KILLED MY FAMILY, AND NOW I'M HUNGRY. PLEASE HELP ME." these sentences were handwritten on a cardboard paper in caps that was carried by a homeless person. Sain had seen it when the cab passed the Big Apple. It humored Sain inside, but it didn't show up on his face. Not even a small smirk to express it.
The yellow cab came to a stop. Sain swiped his credit card for the fee. He grabbed his bags and opened the door of the car. He paused. A step out of this car meant something new, a new beginning. He was ready for it, right? He did come this far, right? He sighed and took that step. He was in New York City, very far from California and he had to make this place his new home, his new habitat.
Walking towards the hall, he stopped in front of the desk, waiting for an employee to give him his keys and show him to his new room. He surveyed the hall; the floor's color was gold, and it was clearly polished from what he could see. The walls were clean white. There were sitting areas, and next to them were green lively plants. The sun was shining bright from outside, coming into the hall through the glass doors and windows.
There were also genius portraits and artwork all over the walls: Martin Luther King Jr.’s powerful and confident face was in a portrait in black and white. Next to this, was a portrait of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was hairless and wore his famous circle glasses. His smile was confident and peaceful and his white mustache also smiled with him.
They were both very powerful men. They were legends. They have won others with peace and within themselves, so why was it so hard for Sain? He wasn't trying to achieve something great as them, only something personal. If they could change a whole country, why couldn't he do something this small?
“Hm?” Sain's attention went back to the person standing in front of him. The man wore a black and white suit. He was a little shorter than Sain. He had a round face and body. He had brown-colored eyes, and black hair that wasn't combed. He was smiling at him.
Sain glanced at his name plate. “Sorry, uh Mr. Charter?”
“You’re the new alien, right?” He asked. Sain looked at him questioningly. “I know you’re new because I'm psychic,” He said with a little laugh.
When Sain didn't laugh, he brushed it off. “Can I see your ID, please?”
Sain dug into his pocket to take out his wallet. He looked for his state ID and gave it to the man.
The man took it and typed his name in the computer. “Okay, thank you,” He said and gave back the ID. “Here, this is your home card.” Sain took the silver card that had “7B” on it.
“The card is your key to open the main gate.” He said, pointing at the gate. “All you have to do is swipe and that's it. Now let's get you to your apartment. Come,” Mr. Charter said.
They walked until they were in front of the elevators. The door was also a gold color and Sain could see his own reflection on it, staring back at him.
Mr. Charter pressed the 'down' button. “In the morning, and around 3pm, the elevators are mostly busy. But don't worry, these elevators are fast.” He explained as they waited for the elevator to open.
Sain was half-paying attention to Mr. Charter. His main focus was behind him. Mr. Charter noticed, and quickly seemed to catch on with what Sain was focused on.
“You like photographs, don't you?” Mr. Charter asked, looking at the photos on the walls as well. “These were taken by NYU students. “
On top of the photographs, in bold letters, it read “Hurricane Katrina Victims”. The photographs showed victims, some with food, others crying. There was also one picture with two children. In this picture, the girl was holding on to a little boy. The girl stood like a victor who had been in a war, tightly saving someone very precious to her. The little boy's expression seemed to show fear, scared of everything around him. This picture was hopeful and yet heartbreaking.
Sain wished he was there to help them. Could they help him too, in some way? Sain glanced at the little note at the bottom the photograph:
Tasha (16) and her little brother Jamar (10). Both lost their parents
to Hurricane Katrina. Tasha makes sure Jamar is fed fully before she eats.
Strong and bold, Tasha is pushed into the cruel world by this terrible storm.
- Kelly Lesheart
The noise from the elevator took Sain's attention back. Some young adults got off and greeted Mr. Charter, who replied politely before they entered the elevator. Once inside, Mr. Charter pressed the button for the 7th floor. The golden doors started to close.