Whenever I imagined my life as a kid, I had never imagined a life in the streets as a a drug addict and part-time prostitute. And by part-time I mean whenever I was in desperate need of money, which was way more often than I would like to admit. There is nothing glamorous about being homeless. There is nothing "fancy" about leaving your abusive uncle and run away when you are sixteen. Nothing good about living my life.
I used to be a happy kid. I had a loving family, a safe home, a bright future. Weird, isn't it, how many things something simple as fire could ruin.
And how many lives it could leave in ashes.
When you first run away and have nowhere to go, you realize how much you really love taking showers, being able to eat until you are full, and how amazing beds can be. I have been sleeping on pavement, dirt and staircases for almost three years. But even when I wake up on a cold morning, with an aching back and dirt all over I am still glad I left what I called home. Glad I left my uncle. Glad I left what made me cut up my arms to be able to feel something else than the pain inside. Now my old scars are mixed with new ones, proof of how life in the streets of a big city can be hard.
This particular night was very cold. Some homeless people, including me, were gathered in an abandon part of the industry district of town. Someone had made up a crackling fire in an old barrel, and some drunks were sharing a bottle of leftover alcohol they found in the thrash. Someone sat in a corner and smoked something weird-smelling. It might have been a Tuesday, and it might not.
-Hey, Jessica! Come over her honey, show me how good you can be!
One of the men in the corner lifted his beer bottle at me. His buddies started to whistle. They all knew about what I did for a living. And if they could get a piece of the Jessica-cake, they would have it. The only problem for them was the lack of money, and I hoped it stayed that way - having to sell your body was bad enough when your clients had teeth and smelled clean.
-Come on, kitty kitty! Have a drink with the big guys!
I slowly walked towards them. If they somehow had any money… It was another one of the desperate times. The money were gone, and I hadn't ate in days.
-Hey, Freddie, hand the lady a beer! Drinks on me tonight!
One of the smelliest guys handed me a half empty bottle, and I emptied it completely in a few sips. If he could afford to spend a drink on me, he could probably afford more.
-So, babe, how much do you charge? Can I buy just a hand, or does the beer provide me with an entire night?
The other drunks laughed, and I started to feel dizzy. My head felt heavy, and I struggeled to get on my feet.
-I don't work tonight, I managed to say, my vision becoming blurry. I was almost as someone had…drugged me. I understood it now. I had to get away, but my feet wouldn't listen, and my thoughts were slow. The drunks were laughing higher.
-Don't you go too far, sunshine!
-Oh, don't worry. That stuff is strong enough to knock out anyone. She won't get far, and she won't wake up for atleast eight hours! More laughter. I could barely make their words sensible, but it made me get further. I moved faster, walking without sense of direction. Leaving them behind, turning around corners, walking like a zombie until I couldn't see anything anymore.
My vision blacked completely. I felt like I should panic, but I didn't feel…anything. I realized I was lying on the ground. I could see again, and I noticed that it was a full moon night. How beautiful! Then I finally gave in to the sleepiness.