I ran down the street, the police sirens wailing in my ears.
Children on the streets chanted my name as I crossed them, cheering me on as the police car made its way after me. Their mothers hurled insults at me, and muttered to one another that it was about time I was locked up, I'd done enough damage.
And the people who didn't chant or hurl insults at me- they simply stared, their eyes compelled to follow me. Their staring of me seemed almost out of shock. Shock that someone, someone like me, had already gotten her first real conviction. Fifteen years old, and I already had a crime imprinted on my soul.
I sprinted up to the battered silver lift for the council estate, and ran into it, huddling in the corner, covering my mouth with the side of my hoodie so I wouldn't have to breathe in the smell of piss.
Someone bashed their fist against the lift so hard that the door of the lift shook.
I punched the first button.
Workworkworkwork, I prayed.
The person behind the lift continued to punch at the doors. I couldn't stay silent.
"Go away!" I screeched, still tucked into the corner of the lift. "Go away you little shit! Fuck off or I'll fucking kill you!"
"Elizabeth Court, you've been accused of assault. Please come down quietly."
Oh God. The police.
I punched at the buttons again.
"Work!" I screamed.
"Fuck off!" I shouted, "Leave me the fuck alone!"
And then it worked. The lift worked.
"Ha!" I laughed at the policeman behind the door.
"The police are going to arrest you, Elizabeth," said the policeman quietly. "Please come down quietly. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court."
"Don't call me Elizabeth!" I shouted, and the lift moved rapidly upwards. The policeman's words rang in my head. I could swear at him until the inside of the lift turned blue, but he was right. I couldn't escape.
The doors of the lift opened, and I burst into my flat.
I had no idea how to explain this to my mother. I predicted that she would cry, or yell, or both. I'm terrified when people cry. I just don't know how to deal with it.
Usually, the flat my mother and me lived in was incredibly untidy. Due to me being a one-time reform school student, we never had anyone to impress, so we didn't really clean. We threw clothes and books and jewellery on the table, and if we really weren't bothered, we just threw them on the floor.
But all the clothes and books and jewellery were gone. For once, the sitting room looked clean.
"Mum?" I called, walking up the hallway.
Images of how my mum would react ran through my head, like a film reel of sadness, anger and disappointment. She probably wouldn't have expected me home this early, so it would already be a shock to find me here.
I walked into my bedroom. My mother was there, in trackies and and a top, pulling drawers out of their sets, digging through them and hurling the contents into the suitcase on the bed.
"Mum?" I repeated. She turned to look at me, and for a second she seemed shocked, shocked at the sight of someone's blood on my fists, shocked that the wailing of police sirens was in honour of me.
She zipped up the suitcase, picked it up by the handle, set it on wheels and said:
"Well, come on," she hissed.