All I achieved was the guards kicking my legs out from under me and chucking me into the carriage.
Infuriated, I stood up and turned to face the offending guards.
"Why are you doing this?" I shouted at them angrily. "Why are you treating us like criminals or something?"
The guards stared blankly at me for a moment before one of them, a man, answered simply, his jaw clenched.
"It's our job." Then the final passenger was thrown into the carriage and the door was slammed shut.
I stood there in silent shock for a moment before turning to my homeless fellows, who were all staring at me with similar expressions.
"Uh..." I said intelligently as the train shuddered to life and started to stream along the rails beneath us. We were all thrown around the train car until the train phased into a regular rhythm and the wheels stopped grinding so loudly on the outside of the train.
We all stood again, brushing ourselves off. Many of the other passengers, especially the women, looked like they were about to burst into tears. We had no idea where we were headed, or what would await us there. All we could do was wait until we arrived.
After an hour of standing there, my legs were getting sore, but the carriage was crammed so full of people it was impossible to sit down. Even if there had been just enough space for me to sit down, I still wouldn't have because it wouldn't be fair to all the older and more tired people around me. I stared around sadly. I had thought I was the youngest person here, but I spotted a girl perhaps a year younger than me standing pressed against the wall of the carriage, her head near a window. We locked eyes and stared at each other with so much sadness. She looked worse off than I did, to be honest. I felt like my whole life was being put in perspective. I'd always thought I had it worse off than anyone else, and in this train carriage were about twenty other people who proved me wrong.
I sighed, turning to the man beside me. "So why are you here?" I asked him. Everyone stared at me. There had been hardly any talk for the entire ride so far, and there had been a sort of social taboo on mentioning the current events and why we were here. Nobody really wanted to talk about it, but when I thought about it, I needed to know. Understanding what was going on was key to this situation; it would keep us going.
Eventually the man replied. "I couldn't get a job." he told me sadly, raising his arm to show me the way his hand was shaking badly. "I have a... disorder and it means I can hardly hold things. It was impossible for me to work, or at least to earn enough for a living. I lived with my relatives but they kicked me out because it all got too stressful. I ended up on the streets. And last week the fuzz found me, and they imprisoned me. So that's how I'm here." he ended, with a heartbreaking expression on his face.
The woman beside him gave a cry of shock. "But that's horrible! Is that because the government cut that medical help program? I knew that would put people in the ditch!"
The man nodded glumly.
I turned my attention to the woman who'd spoken. "What about you? How did you get here?"
"Me?" she asked, her voice high pitched. "Oh, it's so stupid. My boss at work wanted to sleep with me, but I refused and he made up a lie to get me fired. Said I tried to seduce him. I got kicked out of the office, it was put on my resume and nobody else wanted to hire me after that. After a while the government took my house. That's it really."
I nodded, and suddenly a huge conversation started. Everyone was exchanging their stories of how they ended up on the streets, and their opinions on the new laws. I started to piece it together; it was the government's fault. They'd recently introduced a whole heap of new official laws and regulations that were serving to compromise the jobs and homes of lots of people, including teens like me.
The girl, who I'd noticed before, eventually gave her story. Her name was Delilah.
"My dad died when I was young." she started, staring off distantly as she said it. "My mum never cared for me, and she remarried to a man who already had kids, and they all hated me. I spent so many years dealing with the abuse, but eventually it was too much for me. I ran away last year, and I've barely managed to survive since then. The government found me though of course, the other day. I don't know why they're rounding people up, but it can't be good. Sometimes... sometimes I wonder if I should have just stayed at home. At least I'd have somewhere to live, and I wouldn't be here." Tears rolled down her face and I felt a wave of sympathy for her. She didn't deserve this; none of us did. How dare they round us up and ship us off, like we were criminals? I felt the sudden urge to punch a wall, hard, and did so, causing everyone around me to stare at me weirdly.
"Sorry." I said awkwardly. "I'm just.... so mad."
"What about you?" a woman asked, and everyone suddenly looked at me with curiosity. "What's your story?"
I shrugged, giving a nervous laugh. "Oh it's just weird I guess. I was a mistake my parents made a long time ago. They were drunkards, they never properly looked after me. One day they were driving under the influence...... and I came home to a bunch of government officials telling me I didn't have a mum and dad anymore." People around me nodded in understanding and with empathy. I felt the urge to keep going. "So I hit the streets, I had a job so I could get food, but I didn't have a home or enough money to live comfortably. After a long line of terrible events, I got kicked out of school and fired from my job and I started to get careless. This morning I woke up to a government lady standing over me and now I'm here." I shrugged again. "And I am terrified for what could come next."
The others murmured their assent, and one person patted me on the shoulder.
Soon all the stories were done and we were just discussing the government.
"It has to be a conspiracy." one man said. "All these laws concerning homelessness and lower class welfare? They're trying to weed out the poor and destitute and use them for something, or at least that's what I think."
"Yeah, that sounds about right." another agreed. "Recently stocks and funds have been raised from a politician's perspective, but more people are losing jobs and homes than ever before."
"So basically the rich and the government get more, while the rest of us suffer to add to their power?" Delilah added, raising her eyebrows. "This world is messed up."
"Yep." I said to her. "And it's only going to get worse."
Suddenly a voice emanated through the carriage from a speaker in the roof. We all clamped our hands over our ears or cringed at the sound of microphone feedback.
"We will be arriving shortly. Prepare to leave the carriage." the voice stated.
We all realised how much the train car had slowed down, and it began to slide to a stop as we stood. Delilah got up on tippy-toes and looked out the window.
"Oh my goodness!" she breathed in shock.
That was when the train stopped and the door was opened.
YOU ARE READING
Destiny. It is a word that is meant to define your fate, where you'll end up in the future. It is also the name of a girl whose whole life becomes a struggle when she becomes homeless at the age of fifteen. Her destiny seems hazy and pointless but s...