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The gray haze of early morning has started to lift when I reach the abandoned church at the corner. I know that she won't look for me here, and I really need some more rest before I figure out what I am going to do now. I use a hairpin to pick the lock, a skill I had to perfect when I started riding the bus home in fifth grade and she wouldn't give me a house key.

It's dusty inside and filled with stale air, and I wonder how long it's been since anyone has been in here. It's dark and I feel my way forward until I get to the wall along the side. There is paper covering the windows, and I peel back a corner, letting in the morning light. After my eyes adjust, I look around, realizing that it is mostly just a large and empty space.

I curl up in the corner and let myself drift, hoping that sleep will claim me before my thoughts do.


I wake to the sounds of movement and force myself to lie still until I determine that it is just an animal in the attic space. I rub my eyes and notice that the light has shifted. I look down at my battered old watch to see that it is almost noon. I pull out one of the sandwiches, and while I am nibbling on half of it, I count the money that my sister has given me.

Thirty-seven dollars. It's a lot more than nothing, but not enough to really be of much help. I know that I will need to be frugal, but I also need a plan. I pull out my diary and make myself a list. What are the most important things right now? Food, water, shelter, and security, these are basic human needs, right?

1)Food: I have sandwiches and granola bars to last me a week if I am careful.

I'll need more soon, but for now, I am okay.

2)Water: I can refill my bottle anywhere there is a public restroom.

I'm not too concerned about this, because I am in the middle of a big city.

3)Shelter: I can stay in this church tonight, but need to move further away from the house tomorrow.

I remember reading about churches opening their doors to travelers. Maybe I can find another one to bunk down in tomorrow?

4)Security: I need to get a light and find myself a place that is safe.

After everything that happened yesterday, I'm more aware than ever of the evils in the world. I need to keep myself as far away from people as I can.

I know that I will need to find a source of income, a way to save money and get myself away from Charleston. I will start looking for a job tomorrow, after I go to the store for supplies. I finish my sandwich half, and wrap up the other. I decide to try and sleep a little more, and hope that my body will use the time to heal.


I manage to sleep the entire night through, and when I wake, it's 8:30 in the morning.

Since I've never really been anywhere before, I'm unsure about which direction to go. I know that there is a supermarket about a mile down the road, so I decide to start by using their restroom, and hopefully, someone can point me towards the local discount store.

I walk into the market and look around for a bit.

"Can I help you," an older lady questions me. She has salt and pepper hair and an air of superiority on her face.

"May I please use your restroom," I ask.

She stares at me for a moment, and I realize that I must look a mess. "Restrooms are for customers only," she snipes.

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