An Old Friend

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Two teenage boys find themselves stuck in an orphanage due to complications with their parents. They run away from the orphanage but to their surprise it's directly into the open arms of trouble.

Submitted: June 07, 2017

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Submitted: June 07, 2017

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It was a dark foggy morning, Leo had been deprived of sleep for two days now. He’d been wondering, how long before the cops are hunting me down? Since then his mind had been nothing but scattering images and words he couldn’t put together. Leo thought about the night he was walking home from school, he had watched two tall figures wrapped in black clothing flood into his house armed with knives. He wanted to run into the house to stop them, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to risk his own life, so instead he froze in fear. Within minutes the figures were rushing from the home and back into the car. After they drove off he ran into his home, “Mom!” he cried with tears pouring down his cheeks “Mom!” but he had gotten no answer each time. He checked the kitchen, living room and basement. As he came to the stairs his heart froze, not knowing what to expect. He ran into his mother’s room, “mom some men just came into the house with knives are you ok!” She hadn’t answered. “How could my mom sleep through that?” wondered Leo. As he tried to shake his mother awake he noticed blood dripping from his hands. 
Leo stopped at that, after all he was only forcing himself to relive a scarring nightmare, Leo’s mind was all over the place. Before he knew it he was reliving the “incident”, a night that would have the boys on edge for the rest of their days. Leo and Ronald had been creeping through the wet, windy night both cradling bad intentions within their stressed desperate dungeon of thoughts. They’d been searching through the trash cans around the neighborhood looking for food. In a whispering manner Ronald said to Leo “how much longer are we gonna look? Why don’t we just sneak into someone’s house take food from the fridge and get out?” Leo and Ronald had never robbed anyone’s house before and up till now they’d never planned on doing so, but they were homeless now with no family to rely on and dumpster scraps weren’t cutting it anymore.
Leo remembered when he first met Ronald in the Better Life Orphanage that wasn’t too far from the house he and his mother used to live in. Ronald’s parents had left him in front of the orphanage as a kid, his parents left a note in the small cardboard box with blankets he was in saying that they couldn’t afford to take care of him, and that he’d have a better life this way. The people who worked at the orphanage read it to him once he could fully understand what had happened. Ronald ripped the note up and trashed it, crying and throwing a tantrum. Leo sat a table over from him watching him lose control, then woman he always saw talking to him came over, after she calmed him down she went to talk to other kids. Leo got up and asked him what was wrong, Ronald explained his situation to him and the boys connected on not having parents in their lives. A family came in to the orphanage, Leo recognized them and went over to Ronald, “Look Ronald, that’s the family that wants to adopt me.” Ronald’s eyes lit up, then he turned his back to Leo. “What’s wrong Ronald?” asked Leo, “You’re going to leave me here alone, just like my parents did.” Ronald said. “No, I’m not leaving you alone, you have plenty of people here to talk to.” said Leo. “It’s fine just go man”, Ronald said as he flagged Leo off. The family came back monthly to check on Leo but suddenly they stopped coming, he later found out that the man’s wife had died and he was no longer interested in adopting a child. “Mr. Theodore’s wife has passed away Leo, I think you’re going to be here with us for a bit longer than expected. Leo remembered the words hitting his heart, the man and his wife were so kind to him, they made him feel loved again. He was waiting for months to get out of the orphanage, it was filled with troubled children, bedbugs, some of the kids he shared a room with were constantly itching with head lice and the strange men that worked there often made him feel uncomfortable.
The boys had walked at least ten blocks down from the abandoned house they’d been living in for what was now their second year, but felt like much longer. “Look!”, Ronald bursted out startling Leo. “What? And keep your voice down.” said Leo. “Right sorry, but look that house has no cars out front and the lights are off.”said Ronald. “Good eye man, let's go check it out,” said Leo. As the boys crossed the street they noticed a cop car on the corner of Wallace St. lucky enough for the, the cop was gorging on a box of sprinkled donuts, both laughed to themselves at the cop. “Maybe he’d be willing to share?” Ronald said. “ Yeah then maybe we can tell him we’re the wanted shoplifters!” Leo sarcastically shot back. The boys were now at the  an unlocking sound came from the backdoor of the home. Ronald pulled out his lock pick and went to work. After a few moments of hearing metal against metal an unlocking sound echoed from the door out into the dead night.
Ronald carefully shut the door behind them, they observed that they had entered from the basement, they crept up the creaky, moaning staircase and into the kitchen. The two were starving and now was the chance to eat whatever they wanted instead of leftover, half-eaten pieces of fast food. Leo immediately snatched some fruit punch pouches from the fridge and drained them. Ronald found some nachos, cold maybe but at least I’m eating, he thought to himself, shoving another saucy chip between his jaws. The room was silent aside from the constant smacking of the boys’ lips and rustling bags of chips. After they were done with their feast the boys agreed  on searching the house for money. “I’ll search upstairs” said Leo in a happier manner than before. “Eh I guess I’ll search everywhere else then.” stated Ronald in a not so pleased tone. Leo walked up the steps, he saw pictures of kids hanging up on the wall going up the staircase, as well as a couple he thought he recognized. He brushed it off and began tearing the rooms to shreds searching for money, he threw the bed sheets on the floor, across the room and flipped the mattress.
Leo woke Ronald up later that night, “come on Ronald let’s go.” Leo said as he tugged at his arm trying to pull him up. “Leo? What are you doing man? Go back to bed man”, Ronald said while rubbing his eyes. “Get up man we’re running away”, he said as he laced his shoes up. Ronald could tell he was serious, he got his stuff together as well then packed it tightly into his bookbag. The boys crept out of their room looking for the adults to be patrolling around the hallways. They crept down the steps then burst out the front door, they startled Mr. John who was smoking a cigarette just outside the orphanage, he dropped it then chased after. He yelled at them cursing and stumbling, more concerned with punishing them for making him drop his cigarette rather than putting themselves into danger. After a few blocks Mr. John slowed down and doubled over in exhaustion. He didn’t bother calling the police, they’d consult the owner of the orphanage and that would’ve put his job in jeopardy. Ronald and Leo kept running until they were sure they were far away from the orphanage. They found an abandoned house and stayed there, they went through trash cans in the neighborhood for food and that was how they fed themselves for the first 2 years, but as they got older those trash scraps did less and less for them. 
There he saw at least two or three hundred dollars kept together by a clip. “Jackpot!” Leo exclaimed. “How much?” Ronald asked, “I’m not sure but it has to be over two-hundred!” Down in the living room ronald had found only coins in the creases of the couch. Desperately he went down to the basement where they had come in, he spotted a cheap looking safe in the corner almost incognito behind some gardening tools. “No way”, he said to himself. He turned the safe lock rapidly listening for clicks and finally snatched it off, his eyes widened and glowed as he was looking at about at least three-grand. “Double jackpot!” he called out to Leo. The boys had began shoving the money into every pocket they had, some in their front jean pockets, some in the back pockets and a handful into their hoodie pockets. The boys had continued searching the basement, until they both froze up as they listened to the sound of a car tire rolling over rocks as it pulled into the driveway. “Let’s go! Let’s go!” said Leo in a whisper-shout voice, the boys rushed back upstairs and toward the front door, passing by one of the upstairs windows the boys saw that the cop car was now parked in front of the house.
The boys heard footsteps from the basement at the bottom of the staircase, then the steps began up the staircase. The steps were slow and careful, as if the person was creeping up the stairs. Both boys froze in fear, “Ronald we have to do something.” whispered Leo. Ronald without thinking swung the basement door open and gave a violent shove to the man who had just began reaching for the door-knob. The man gave a out a terrified yell as he fell to what had come to be his death. “L-Leo?”said Ronald sounding as if he was going to burst into tears. “Y-yes Ronald?” said Leo nervously trying to prepare himself for what he already knew. “Look”, said Ronald. Both boys stood at the top of the staircase staring down at the twisted body, “we can’t leave him there!” said Leo rushing down to lift the body. Ronald followed and assisted Leo. The boys carried the body upstairs into the master bedroom and tucked the body under the covers in a sleeping position. “ Maybe he’s not actually you know, dead? said Ronald. Leo stood in silence. “Leo?” said Ronald. “R-Ronald that’s M-Mister Theodore.” Ronald’s eyes widened in shock. “Ronald let’s go.” Leo said already at the door of the room.
The boys rushed down the stairs, with money spilling from their hoodie pockets and  then down the basement staircase, and slammed the door behind them. Neither of the boys spoke on the way home until they had seen on Wallace St. drove up beside them. “You two should be in the house, it’s pretty late” The boys stared at the cop not sure what to say, “umm.” muttered Ronald. “We were just-,” Leo interrupted “We were visiting a friend but were headed back home now officer.” “Well, do you want a ride there?” asked the officer, Ronald’s squinted to read the Officer’s name tag, it read “Officer Bale.” “No officer we need some exercise anyway,” Ronald answered “Alright well you two hurry on home then”, said Officer Bale watching the boys as they walked off. The officer thought to himself, is it me or do these boys wear the same thing each and everyday? Ronald had a stocky figure. He sported a green beanie hat, dark blue jeans and a black hoodie with red sneakers. Leo was tall and skinny. He wore a white fitted hat, green sneakers and black jeans with a green hoodie. 
Today, Leo stood looking out into the dark foggy morning, trying to escape reality with failed attempts to keep his thoughts from replaying the night before. He watched as the cops flew down the street, sirens blaring, not processing what was happening. “Leo!” Ronald said rubbing his eyes. “What?” said Leo with a startled expression. “ The cops are probably headed to Mr. Theodore’s house!” said Ronald. Ronald heard the voice of the woman that helped him deal with his problems back at the orphanage,“If you run away there won’t be anywhere for you to go, except into the welcoming arms of trouble.” The boys instantly began putting their backpacks on since they had nothing more to get together and left the scraggly looking home. The boys pretended they were jogging to avoid suspicion and attention. They reached the park that they had named “ The Park of Justice ” as kids. Walking into the park Ronald remembered how his parents had brought him to the park to play with the other kids and how when all the kids were holding their parents’ hands going home, his were nowhere to be found. Leo and Ronald sat down on the nearest bench, “now what Ronald?” asked Leo. “I’m not sure Leo” said Ronald in a lost and worried tone. The boys sat in silence for a few moments enjoying the sounds of giggling children playing together. “Remember that time I dared you to jump off the swing?” asked Leo. “ Still got the scar to this day” Ronald said while laughing. ”Good times” the boys said simultaneously. The boys began to speak about more crazy stunts they dared each-other to do remembering like it had happened yesterday,but it didn’t.. They’d almost forgot about what they had done until the sound of screeching tires and cop sirens brought them back to reality, they were surrounded by cop cars, there were guns pointing at them from every direction. 

 


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