CHAPTER ONE: TRAINS
I woke up to the sound of clacking heels, rubber sneakers, and suitcase wheels this morning. A set of African drums beat in the distance as I rubbed my groggy eyes. I noticed a few dollar bills laying on my jacket in front of me. "I told you guys I'm not homeless and looking for money!" I said out loud as I stood up in the dirty subway station. I tucked the couple of dollars in my pocket and slipped the jacket over my soft, bare arms. Business people and tourists gathered behind the yellow line as the roaring trains lurched to a stop. My beanie was still laying on the floor and a small girl walked up and placed a dollar in it. She simply smiled and trotted back to her mothers side and smiled at her. I leaned against the graffitied column looking for a station directory or map that might be in the hands of a traveler. A man with a trench coat walked by. "Excuse me sir!" I said tugging on his bicep. "What station is this?" He looked at me as if I were crazy. "Uh.. Time square. Learn your surroundings kid!" He said walking away. I quickly ran through the crowd to the nearest set of steps and padded up them. They were sticky with gum and coffee spills. I was used to the normal nasty smell and feel routine, but I still wasn't fond of it. I wasn't always a runaway. When I reached the top, the Empire State Building blocked my view of the warm sun. People shoved down the streets, making payments to drug dealers and others buying and selling designer handbags out of a large trash bag. Vans lined the streets containing fake jewelry, uggs, and junky sweatshirts. I pushed into the crowd of warm bodies and moved down towards the McDonalds to hopefully get a dollar Big Mac and fries. Hey, a runaway needs to eat. I was about to turn down 8th street when a taller boy ran into me. "Needing to get somewhere fast are you?" He scoffed. I tried to not make eye contact and move around him but he stuck his arm out. "Your not from here are you?" He asked again. I looked into his green eyes and noticed how his brown hair slightly covered his right eye. He was attractive. "Don't worry. I'm a runaway too. Come with me to the Starbucks and we can talk over coffee. Sound good?" He smiled, his teeth flashing. "Sure." I said. When your on the run like me, you sometimes have to trust criminals just to make it through. Hopefully this is worth the time.