Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Fade Away

My mind raced. I had seen him today. I was sitting on the ground, but I felt as though I was still running. If it was up to me I’d never stop. It’s not the fear of the future that drives me, but that of the past; that one day it might catch up to me. I reached into the pocket of my sweatshirt; my right hand griped cold metal. My glock nine gives me little comfort for this fear. I took it off my father’s porch railing. Guns are good protection for what you can see; for what’s in front of you, but your own demons rarely look you in the eye.
Two months of surviving on the street. I went to church last Sunday, a woman inquired where I lived, and being in a church I felt compelled to tell the truth. I was met with an exasperated sigh, “How dreadful, living on the street must be horrible.” Her words surprised me; I wanted to correct her and to tell her that no one lives on the street. On the street you either survive or die. No one pretends that everything will work itself out in the end. That’s why most of us are on the streets, because things didn’t work out, because we trusted in faith that we would never be alone, and faith let us fall.
From my spot on the fence, I heard a passer by speaking, awaking me from my thoughts. “Why would anyone choose to live like that?” The man’s comment enraged me. Did he think that one day I just woke up and decided, oh, I feel like I’ll just go out and be homeless today? It’s not like there is an on and off switch or an easy button. No I had my reasons, or at least I thought I had.

“If you walk out that door, woman, don’t ever expect to come back in!” My father had yelled. I can no longer feel the sting of his backhand against my face, but the words still reverberate within my skull, like lingering smoke from a fire that has just burned itself out. The fight, what had it been about? I do not remember, I just remember running. If I had cried that first night, I don’t remember, but then again, I don’t remember much of anything anymore.
Memories for me have always gone hand in hand with emotion, but on the streets you feel the same all the time. Either I’m hungry or I’m starving. I'm either running or catching my breath. Because of this, the days all seem to blur together. Nothing worth grasping, nothing worth clinging to.
Once upon a time I had wondered how it was possible for someone to disappear. I thought it would be impossible for someone to just be forgotten. Surely there were too many people in this world. Someone would care enough to find the lost. How naive I had been. To disappear, I have discovered is easy. All you have to do is run. Run and never look back. Do this and you can fade away. Your existence blurred with every other hungry person, and the entire world is hungry.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback