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The tiny dog stood and shivered on the curb of the busy New York street. I knew what it felt like to have no where to go and have nobody who loved you. I walked slowly over to the overly small dog and picked it up. I smiled at it and knew that the dog was meant for me. A friend. A companion. Someone to keep me company in the small dark alley that I called home. Someone I could save from the rain.
I wrapped the small dog up in my coat and carried him along with me as I made my down the cold, dark street. The people's stares were horrible today as I walked along. Most of them were business people, but a few were like me. The man at the newspaper stand shoed me away with a newspaper when i got within a few feet of his stand. I walked by a market with a fruit cart set up out front, and the owner watched me until I was out of range of stealing anything.
I had never stolen in my whole life. Sure, I had thought about it when I first became homeless, but I never did. I was afraid that the worse I got, it would come down to it that I would have to steal. Just as I though about it because I walked past a fancy restaurant and could smell roasted chicken, the rain started. It was like a sign that I shouldn't steal. I ducked under an overhang on the front of a TV store, but the manager came out and made me leave. He accused me of watching the TV and said that if I didn't leave he would call the police and tell them that I was soliciting, whatever that was.
I never really went to school. I became homeless when my mother, the only family that I had, died when I was eight. I ran away from an orphanage about three miles away and found my “home” in an alley off of a street that I wasn’t sure of. I couldn’t really read very well, because even when my mom was alive I didn’t go to school very often. I had quit going about a year before my mom was killed in a fire at the diner she pulled double shifts at. My clothes were always torn or smelled, and the other kids made fun of me and called me names. I would tell the teachers, but they didn’t care. Neither did my mom. She was never fully sober. Always drinking or doing drugs. Both of which I’m sure that she spent her money from work on or stole them.
Just as I was lost in thought, I started walking right out into the middle of the street. I didn’t even realize it until I heard the screeching of tires. I stopped and stared dead at the car as it slowed to a stop, inches from smacking me. Maybe it would have been better off if it had hit me. I waited for the yell of someone to call me stupid or a dummy for walking into the street. But to my surprise a small young lady jumped out of the drivers seat and ran over to me.
She asked if I was alright and saw Daisy, which is what I had decided to name the dog, because they were my favorite flower, and asked if she was alright too. I replied with a yes and she still insisted on taking me to the hospital. I later found out that her name was Mary. Before we reached the hospital, she dropped Daisy off at a vet to be checked out and groomed.
As I sat on the hospital bed and waited for the doctor to come into the room to check to see that I was alright, when I realized something. They would ask me my name and then they would realize that I was the girl that used to be on the front page of the paper as the missing orphan girl. I told Mary that I had to go and that I needed out of the hospital. When she asked why, I told her. That I had run away from an orphanage and that I was homeless. That I was a fourteen-year-old girl who had been homeless for the past however many years (I couldn’t do math either). She helped me figure out that I had been homeless for the past six years and that was almost scary to me. I couldn’t believe that it had been six years since my mom had pasted away. Tears came to my eyes, but I tried to hold them back. I was strong. I had survived being homeless. I survived being hungry, scared, tired, sick, cold, and exhausted to the point of passing out. I lived in an alley with no friends and no food most of the time, I could hold back a couple of tears. But I wasn’t strong enough. Visions of my mom laying in the hospital struggling to live, fighting for her druggy life, came into my head and I burst into tears.
Mary ran to my side and she held me. It was the first time I had been held in a long time. Even before my mom passed away she was never loving. She did her thing and I did mine. She fed me when she was stable enough, and when she want there was always something I could eat in the refrigerator. I’m not very smart, but I do know how to cook. My mom didn’t teach me, I guess instinct just took over and I learned. I can’t make a lot of different food, but I can cook food to stop hunger pains. That’s all I really need.
Being with Mary made things better. The hospital was ready to release me and said that I was fine besides my cold which I had learned to ignore. I was always sick. Also I was malnourished and they had found out that I was the runaway orphan. When the nurse told me that they were going to call the orphanage and have them come get me, I burst into tears once again and bagged them not to. Mary said that she wouldn’t have go back to another orphanage and that she would take care of me. So the hospital released me to Mary and told her that she would need to go to the orphanage in the next week and officially adopt me, if that’s what she really wanted to do. I didn’t care for the pudgy, short nurse. She looked at me in disgust, and turned her nose in the air. She acted like Mary was stupid for wanting me and not just letting the orphanage have me. I was glad that me not going back to that orphanage didn’t depend on that nurse!
The hospital gave me new clothes to wear home so that I didn’t have to wear the old muddy jeans, torn up shirt, and smelly coat to my new home. An actual home. I almost thought that I was just dreaming, asleep on my old dirt caked mattress in the alley that I used to call home. But it was no dream, it was real life. The hospital also let me shower when they heard about my situation.
I got into Mary’s car as a new girl, it seemed. Fresh, clean clothes. We stopped off at the vet and picked up Daisy. She was all clean and had a cute pink sweater on. Mary had me pick out a collar, food dishes, and a bed for her. Mary also bought a bag of food for Daisy. I was so thankful for Mary, that I thanked her all the way to the department store that she had insisted on taking me to, so that I could buy some new clothes. I was sad that I had to leave Daisy in the car when we went into the store. When we came back out after shopping, I found Daisy curled up on the bed Mary had bought her, fast asleep.
When we got back to Mary’s house she made me a lovely dinner and gave Daisy a big bowl of food. We both gobbled down our food. After dinner Mary showed me the room where I would be staying. I put Daisy’s bed down right next to my bed. My non-mud covered bed. My comfy new bed with blankets. Sweet blankets. I wouldn’t be cold at night anymore. I laid down on the bed and looked around the room. I would be happy here. Daisy jumped on the bed and curled up beside me.
I heard Mary scream in the kitchen and I jumped up quickly. I hid Daisy in the closet, in the corner of my room and ran out to the kitchen. Just as I rounded the corner, I heard a gun shot. To my dismay a bullet struck me right in the middle of the chest. The man in black that had been standing in the doorway, when I arrived in the kitchen, disappeared out of sight, back outside. Mary ran over to me yelling my name. she grabbed be and held me in her arms as she called 911. All I could do was whisper, the closet. That was it. The ambulance arrived too late, all they could do was pronounce me dead.
Mary went to my closet after I died in her arms and found Daisy. She had gotten my message and she kept her. I miss them both terribly. I’m just glad that neither of them were hurt. I stay with them everyday in spirit. Thankfully the neighbors saw the man running away, and he was later caught robbing a bank the next day. I later found out that the fire my mom was in was no accident. The man that had shot me, had also set the fire on purpose. He was someone who dealt her drugs, and she owed him lots of money. He killed her and even decided that it was necessary to take my life too. I’m not sure why, but I want my revenge on him. I also found out that he had killed five others and was serving a life sentence in prison. Mary fought that something worse should be done. She won. He was later executed. He won’t ever hurt anyone again!
I was reunited with my mom, but she is just as drunk and high as before she died.
I see Mary go to my gravesite everyday. She takes Daisy with her and she kneels in front of my gravestone and cries. I cry with her and try to sooth her, but I can’t. usually Daisy does, an then they walk home and I follow them. Mary went to the orphanage and adopted me even thought I was gone. She wanted to be my rightful guardian. Mary didn’t even know me for a day, and yet she misses me as if I were her own flesh and blood. I hear her talk to Daisy and tell her that she isn’t able to have kids, and that she loves me.
She became my guardian and I became her and Daisy’s guardian angel. I love them both with all of my heart! And I always will.