He waited for her under the street light. As he stood still in the desolate parking lot he tried to remember the reasons he was out there. As the seconds, minutes, and hours dragged on, the list grew shorter. When she finally did appear, she wasn’t all there.
“Thanks for waiting for me.” Alice’s voice slurred. She kept her head to the ground hiding the bloodshot eyes and sickly pale skin. Wes watched as she reached across her shoulder to yank out the tight red ponytail on the top of her head. She pulled it around her face and bare shoulders as if it were a mask.
He rolled his eyes at the irony of his sister being afraid of him, instead of the monsters she had just befriended.
“We should get going, Mom will be waiting.” He muttered at her already taking the first step towards home. Alice lagged behind complaining loudly about the quick pace. Wes ignored her pleas and continued on, he was tired of waiting for her. Tired, of always, always taking care of her, but he knew that if he didn't no one would. He couldn’t imagine Alice, all on her own. Despite her dark makeup and adult wardrobe she was still a child; she was only fifteen years old.
“Wesley, were you lying when you said Mom was waiting up for me?” Alice asked, she sounded vulnerable, and hopeful. He couldn’t help but compare to her to a home made of straw: able to be knocked down with just one blow.
“Of course not.” Wes lied, he always did. It was easier than telling the truth to Alice. She smiled back at him and he could see the fifteen year old again. He never tried to ruin these moments by asking her what she had been doing before, she would just close herself off.
They turned off into a tenebrous alley way. They whispered in the dark together, he reassured her that he was still there while she gripped onto his elbow, shivering. Alice was constantly shivering, probably from the lack of clothes she dressed herself in. He could always count on her teeth starting to chatter at one point. He almost smiled at what he found normal.
The alley way grew darker as they walked on; even the night owls and insomniacs were flicking off their lights. Alice had just braved the most wicked beasts in the light, but she was afraid of being alone in the dark. He tried not to think about the evil things his baby sister witnessed and he tried not to imagine the reasons she had become damaged and lost in the first place. It was practically impossible for him not to wonder what role he had played in her dark downward spiral. He knew this wasn’t all because of their parents. Yes, they were to blame, but Alice was a tough girl and she overcame it, no something far more heinous occurred. And he knew one day he would have to stop being such a coward and face it. He would have to really save his sister because she wasn't going to do it for herself, but for right now he only stood by her on the dark alley ways they walked together in the early hours of the morning. Wes couldn’t be more disgusted and ashamed of himself. He was a coward that hid from the truth and kept his sister from her own liberation. One night, he swore to himself that he would ask, he would gather his courage and brave the truth, but tonight the only question he asked her was: “Do you want to grab some coffee?”