My head was spinning. Questions whirled in my mind. Should I have left? Woulg Jasmine hate me now?
I untangled myself from the blankets and bolted for a dumpster. Bile burned as it came up my throat. I clutched the side of the dupster to keep myself balanced.
My body ached all over. I knew it was because I tossed and turned all night. It was obvious from the blankets. I tried to take deep breaths to calm down. It worked for other people, so why not for me?
For a moment I wondered why I was getting sick. Then I knew it was frmo nerves. That's all it could have been. Or dehydration. I hadn't eaten or drank anything in the past couple of days. I was just so stressed out from trying to keep Jasmine away from the fighting and trying to fall through on my plan. It all just piled up on me.
I used the walls of the apartment buildings to keep me steady as a slowly made my way to my "bed". It made the most sense to clean up and wait for my legs to work right before I tried to go anywhere.
I folded up the blankets even though they were damp with sweat. A cold breeze passed over the alley. It helped clear my throat a little. I could breathe easier. I changed into a tank top to help cool off, and put on a little bit of deoderant. After I put my thirty bucks in my shoes, I rinsed my mouth out with a small bit of Listerene. Thank God I brought it with me.
My back hurt as I slowly got up. I knew I would eventually get used to sleeping on the ground, but for now, my body couldn't take it. I shoved my bag under a dumpster and convered it with dead leaves that were under there. Now no one could find my stuff unless they really went looking for it. I made sure to keep everything looking like it had before I got there. As for the puke, well.... They'd just think some drunk stumbled on back here and had a little problem.
Letting my hair out of it's sloppy pony-tail, I left the alley and tried to make myself look casual. It seemed the best way to do it. No one would really be able to tell me apart from many other people this way. I'd look like a woman trying to find a part-time job or something. A babysitter? Dog walker? Yeah, it worked.
The streets were already packed with people and taxi cabs. All of the noise made my head swirl for a minute. I'd never seen so many people in my life. And they all swarmed along in one big group. Like a current in the ocean.
I took one step into the street and felt a small sense of accomplishment. First stop: McDonald's. Second stop: CVS or Wallgreens. I needed to dye and cut my hair. Fast. The sooner I looked different the better. That way it would be more difficult for someone to spot me and rat me out if my parents did put up signs about my leaving. It was kind of like going incognito.
There were so many people I felt a little violated as I walked down the street. People nudged and jostled me with their elbows, to where they'd frequently touch my boobs. And some people would stop suddenly and bend over and I'd run right into their ass. It was uncomfortable, but eventually I learned to keep myself small and on the inside of the street. More people were on the outskirts of the side walk so they could cross the street or go in a building easier.
It was hard to find the McDonalds at first, but then once I found it my heart fluttered with relief. But then my only problem was trying to get there.
At first, people would carry me back along the current. Or I'd make it to the curb and then suddenly get sucked back in. Finally once I made it across the street, I'd gotten stuck in that current, too. On the bright side, though, this current was going in the direction I needed.
I stepped inside the McDonald's and sure enough my stomach sounded likea thunderstorm. I checked the menue for dollar items. I knew I had to keep it cheap, and they only had the breakfast menu. So I stepped up to the register.
"Hi, welcome to McDonald's, how may I help you?" droned a guy who had a dirty looking beard and bloodshot eyes. Someone had a little too much fun last night. Or they hadn't had their dose of the day yet.
"I'd like a sausage mcmuffin and a small orange juice." I said. My stomach growled again. "Please."
He rang me up and I propped myself against the counter so I could get my money out of my shoes. He looked at me like that was the weirdest thing he'd ever seen in his life. I scowled at him, and slapped three dollars down on the counter. He rolled his eyes and handed me my change. When he handed me my food I thought I was going to scream from excitement. It felt like I'd not eaten in months. I wasn't that bad. Yet.
I went over to a table for two and sat down. I tried not to eat my meal quickly. I knew that if you eat slower your body thinks it's full before it really is. Or something like that. The orange juice didn't taste so well with the aftertaste of the mouth wash, but it felt good going down my dry throat. I knew it wouldn't help to gulp that down, either, so I sat there for a couple minutes staring at my food since I had nothing else to do. And then I ate it with pleasure. Screw trying to make it last.
I stepped back onto the street feeling better than before. Maybe I really could do this. So far I hadn't seen any papers with my name on it or heard any rumors about a missing girl. Just crap about the economy. So for now, I would be okay.
To be continued....