Louis sat on a bench, Nico leaning his head on his shoulder. It had only been about an hour since they had been abandoned, but already it felt like an eternity. Passersby hardly took any notice of them, only concerned with doing their business and getting back on their way to wherever they were headed. Sitting there with nothing to do was torturous. Neither of them said anything, having nothing to say. Both were still in a state of disbelief and shock.
Another hour passed. The sun was getting lower in the sky, painting the clouds in fiery colors. But Louis hardly even noticed. All he could do was sit and wonder how they were going to survive on their own. And how uncomfortable the bench was. His back ached like crazy. Nico had long since fallen asleep on Louis's shoulder and his arm had gone numb, but he didn't want to wake his brother by changing his position.
Try as he may, Louis couldn't keep his eyes open. The stress of the day was taking its tole. He didn't want to fall asleep, but exhaustion eventually won the battle and his eyelids slid shut.
A moment later, someone was shaking him awake.
"Kid, wake up," a soft voice was saying from somewhere above him. He opened his eyes. The sun had set and the moon was already making its ascent into the heavens.
How long was I asleep? Louis thought. He looked up to see a man kneeling in front of him. Louis looked into his eyes and saw kindness there, so unlike Silas or Anthony. He spotted a badge on the man's chest and concluded that he must be a police officer.
"The lady who works in the gift shop called me and said you boys have been sitting here for several hours," the man explained, then asked, "Where are your parents?"
"Uh... I don't... I don't know," he mumbled, still a bit groggy from his nap.
"You don't know?"
Louis shook his head, trying to clear it a bit. "They left us," he replied quietly. It was still sinking in that he and his brother really were alone. Tears sprang again into his eyes.
The officer's gaze softened a bit. "How old are you, son?"
Louis sniffled, "Fourteen."
"Brother," Louis finished, looking over to Nico who was still fast asleep. "He's twelve."
"Do you have a cellphone? Someone you could contact?"
Louis caught himself just as he almost said the officer could call his mom. But then he remembered she was in on it. Silas wasn't the only one who'd abandoned them; She had, too. He swallowed back the fresh tears that threatened to fall and shook his head. "No, there's no one." Suddenly his stomach growled loudly and he blushed, slightly embarrassed.
"When was the last time either of you ate?" The officer said.
The officer nodded and stood. "I have to make a quick phone call," he said, "Don't go anywhere, okay?"
As if there was anywhere for us to go, Louis thought, but said nothing and nodded in understanding. The officer walked a few yards away and pulled out his phone, dialing a number quickly. He put the device to his ear, then looked back at Louis and gave him a reassuring smile. Louis couldn't hear the officer's conversation, but he knew it must be about them. He gently nudged his younger brother, urging him to wake up. With a little coaxing, Nico opened his eyes and Louis explained the situation to him just as the officer finished his call and walked back to the bench, looking pleased with the outcome of his conversation.