Wishing for a Better Life

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CHAPTER FOUR

After the horrible ordeal of having dinner with Laura's parents, I decided I should leave, as I was getting really uncomfortable having their glares on me.

Laura walked me to the front door, and outside.

"Are you sure you won't stay?" she asked me sadly. "My parents will do anything to get me to stay. And anything does include you staying too."

I shook my head. "No offence to you or anything, but I'd rather sleep on the streets than in the same house as your parents."

Laura laughed glumly. "I don't blame you." she said, then stared out at the darkening street. "Where will you sleep then?"

I shrugged. "Same place I did last night I guess. The tunnel in the park is actually quite nice by homeless standards."

Laura looked like she was about to cry. "Will I see you at school tomorrow?" she asked me.

"Hopefully." I replied. "See you later then." I gave her a hug goodbye, then shouldered my backpack and walked off.

Laura waved sadly at me as I walked off. Part of me wanted her to come with me, to leave her parents and live on the streets, but the other part of me was sensible enough to know I didn't want that to happen. No matter how bad Laura's parents were, I would never wish homelessness upon her, I mean, I was hardly managing myself.

As I made my way to the park, I stared up into the dark sky. Stars were just beginning to appear. I'd always wondered about stars, when I was little. Before I knew they were burning balls of fiery gas, I used to think that aliens lived in those twinkling lights. Of course, I knew better now, but the stars still made me wonder. The Sun was a star right? And if the Sun helped us live on Earth then why couldn't there be other people on other planets, being supported by one of the billions of stars? Yeah, I know it's a stupid thought, but it made me feel a little better about myself to think that humans weren't alone in this cruel universe.

I arrived at the street the park was in just as the street lights turned on. Crossing the road, I had to jump out of the way as a car swerved around the corner and almost hit me. Instead I just got splashed with water from a puddle left over from last night's rain. It wasn't much but it was enough to make my night worse. It really did seem like everything went wrong for me. I was homeless, my parents were drunks who died in a car crash, I had next to no friends because they thought I was useless like my parents, and I made life hard for my only friend because her parents hated me. I kicked the sidewalk in frustration, for no reason other than the fact that life was not fair.

That night I slept restlessly, in the same dark tunnel where I'd slept the night before, and the next morning I woke up before dawn, too tired to go back to sleep.

After walking to the store and buying an apple with some of the small amount of money I had left, I wandered around town for the rest of the morning, seeing as school didn't start until eight-thirty. When it was about eight-o'clock, judging by the sun, I headed towards school.

Once in school, I went to my locker and then waited for the bell to ring so I could go to class.

The day passed uneventfully, except for Laura's constant fretting when she was around me. In PE though, I didn't have any sports clothes to wear so I got a detention, whoop-de-doo.

And then after school it was back to wandering around the streets, wishing for a better life. I know Laura would have hung out with me, but she was grounded, and guess who's fault that was? Well, her parents' obviously, seeing as they're the ones who grounded her.

Anyway so there I was, stumbling around the neighborhood when, lo and behold, I came upon a group of teenage girls smoking on a street corner. And they were girls from my grade, not only that but girls from my class, and they of course had to block my way. I tried to step around them but these were big girls, like seriously. I stepped backwards, preparing to run away but they fell in behind me, shoving me forwards.

"Hello Destiny." I was faced with the evil smirk of the most popular girl in my grade, Cayli.

I stared back defiantly, but inside I was cowering. I had never been good with confrontations and today was not an exception.

"So...." one of Cayli's cronies stepped in beside her. "Why are you on the streets? Got tired of your stupid parents, did you?"

"You're calling them stupid?" I spat back, filled with anger.

"So what if she is?" Cayli growled at me. "What are you gonna do about it?"

I rolled my eyes. Same old repertoire as always. If these girls were meant to be bullies, couldn't they at least be good one? I mean, it would be refreshing to get some new material from these guys, but as always, they were dissing my now dead parents. They'd probably be making fun of my clothing next.

"Not gonna say anything?" Cayli smirked around at her friends. "I guess Destiny's just as boring as her wardrobe."

What did I just say? Argh, these girls were becoming tiring, but I still couldn't think of a way to escape.

"Uh.... um I..." was my brilliant response to Cayli's snide remarks. She and her cronies all laughed at me and my speechlessness. I stupidly decided to try to take the chance to escape.

As I tried to slip out of the girls' circle a hand shot out and grabbed the back of my shirt. Surprise, surprise, it was Cayli. She turned me round to face her.

"Oh no, you are not getting away that easily." she growled, her face just inches from mine.

What did these girls have against me anyway?

Suddenly I felt a surge of confidence. "You know what? I am sick and tired of you bullying me." I said, and then I lashed out and punched Cayli in the face. Hard.

Cayli let go of me immediately and the girls all stared at me in shock for a few seconds.

Uh oh.

I ran for it.

"Come back here you little brat!" Cayli shouted, as she and her cronies chased after me. "Oh, you are dead!"

Why do I get myself into these situations? I thought as I ran. Probably a better question is, how do i get myself out? I kept running, my hair flying along behind me as my feet tried to push on ahead of the pursuing girls. It's not like I was unfit, it's just, the girls chasing me were fitter. I ran and ran, dodging street lamps and sprinting across roads, but no matter what I did I couldn't lose those girls. Looking up ahead, I saw a public library. The perfect refuge! There was no way Cayli would be able to bash me up in there.

I quickly put on speed and reached the library. I slowed down completely to open the door and disappeared inside. Outside I could hear Cayli cursing loudly, and quickly headed over to a bookshelf, grabbed a book, and sat down to read.

After about five minutes, I sensed someone watching me and looked up to find a boy my age staring at me curiously. He looked familiar somehow..... Oh yeah he was in my grade at school. Silly Destiny. I smiled eccentrically at the boy, a ploy which I use to make people stop staring at me. It worked. The boy went back to my book, and so I went back to mine.

Since I'd grabbed a short story off of the shelves, the book didn't take me long to finish, and after placing it back on the shelf I left the library. Cayli and her cronies had left, apparently waiting to bash me up was a waste of time.

I wandered up the road, thinking about the day's events. It would be Saturday tomorrow, the weekend. I wondered if anything interesting would happen.

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