Three Day Hobos

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a story of five kids who decide to live as hobos for three days.

Three Day Hobos

Kellin Klein

Dedicated to my parents for bringing me into the world

 

My friends and I were meeting at the park. This is nothing special, it's something we do often. The park is not far from any of our houses. Biking there only takes about ten minutes for the ones of us that live farthest away. It was winter and I didn't wear a jacket, so I was a bit chilly with the wind blowing around me and through my short, black, hair.

I despise wearing a helmet. The feeling of having my head stuck in something has always fueled my darkest nightmares. The uncomfortable sweatiness doesn't help either. and so conveniently, I had forgotten it. I had conveniently “forgotten” lots of things that day.

I had forgotten to bring my homework to school, after forgetting to do it. I had forgotten to do my chores before I went to the park, and I had forgotten to watch where I was going while riding my bike.

After I picked myself off the cold, hard ground, emphasis on the hard, I resolved not to bike into any telephone poles again. It felt like I had resolved that 13 to many times. I started biking again and began to examined my injuries. I decided after almost crashing again that this might not be a very bright idea.

When I got to the park ignoring the small, dull, pain I still felt from my injuries, I biked quickly over to where a few of my friends already sat. I got off my bike, dropped it to the ground, and quietly walked up to them. I did not want to interrupt their discussion so I made as little noise as possible. I wanted to take a moment to look around before conscious minds realized I was there.

I did not want them to try to make me join their conversation. I had something else on my mind.

Although it was the middle of winter it wasn't really that cold. There was no snow because of how close to the equator we lived, so I could see the grass. It was all dead, although this was normal for winter. The trees were green and looked the same way they had the rest of the year. There was some old, rusty, playground equipment that could use some repair. There were also a few parents sitting on park benches watching their kids run around.

This was a scene I saw every time I had come to this park during winter so I wasted no more time with it. At about this time I started to listen to my friends. They were mostly talking about a stupid video game they had just pooled their money to buy. May, the most annoying girl on the planet, was telling everyone how they were supposed to be saving for materials.

A few months before everyone had decided to build a clubhouse. However, as I had suspected from the beginning nobody except John was actually saving for it. John was the responsible one of us. He was always telling us not to do bad things. He is also very smart so he is who we would turn to when we need help. He was not here yet, if he was he would tell my friends to return the video game, and they would.

I had also only saved about enough money to buy a bag of firewood. I didn't want to build a clubhouse anyway. After a few minutes he had arrived. For some reason nobody mentioned the video game to him.

I do not often speak, I normally just go along with whatever everyone else wants to do. This is because it is better than sitting at home all day where I can't forget to do my chores. However, the day before I had thought of something perfect for us to do if everyone was up for it.

"I have an idea" I said before anyone could suggest doing something boring like going to the mall or biking around the neighborhood. The simple things that we did all the time. Everyone looked at me expectantly and waited to hear what I had to say.

"Okay." said John "what is it.".

"Yesterday I saw a hobo on the street." This was normal, most weeks I saw at least one hobo. No doubt it was the same for them so I was not surprised when they looked confused.

"He was trimming a person's bushes for money." I continued. "This got me thinking what is life as a hobo like."

Everybody looking even more confused, patiently waiting for me to actually tell them my idea.

"So I was thinking, we could pool our money, and live for a few days as hobos on the street. No going home until we have been gone for that time.” I finished.

My friends stood there thinking about what I had proposed. Most of them looking thoughtful, except May who looking disgusted. I was just glad they had not turned down my idea instantly. Matt was the first to speak.

“Why would we want to do that?” He asked, not yet understanding exactly what I had in mind.

“I was just thinking, we have talked about doing something exciting and challenging, but we never have. We just go to the mall and watch movies all the time, I thought it would be a good idea.” I replied having rehearsed this answer in my head a hundred times.

"That does sound interesting I guess.” Matt replied still sounding skeptical, "but how would we convince our parents to let us be hobos in the middle of winter, or for that matter even in summer."

"I don't know but, I'm sure we could find a way." I replied starting to get hopeful, nobody looked like they had any thoughts of objecting. Some of my friends even looked like they were starting to get interested in my idea.

"I think I could convince my mom to let me do it. She would think it would be very educational and would let make me take my cell phone so I could check in sometimes. If not I could say I am going to stay at May's house for a few days." this was Alice If anyone was going to want to do it I knew It would be her. She liked challenges and this would be a bigger challenge than anything we had ever done before.

Everyone was surprisingly quiet for a few minutes thinking about my idea.

"Well I'm not doing it. It's cold during winter and I don’t want to freeze to death during the night." This came from May to no surprise to me at all.

In fact I was surprised she hadn't objected already. She always was a person who didn’t like anything that gave even the slightest amount discomfort. Because of this she often didn’t want to do things that the rest of us did. So I knew Her opinion would not effect the opinion of anyone else.

"Come on." said Alice. "It will be fun; you're not afraid of a little cold and sleeping without a bed for a few days are you."

"No I am not afraid!" Exclaimed May "I just don't want to.”

"Well who cares if you come, I didn't expect you to anyways. It's not even much of a challenge just a little less comfort for a few days." I said this to hurt her feelings a bit. I new it was not true but it would help to convince her to go along with my idea.

"Fine I'll see what my mom says if she says no, I'm not going. And she will probably say no." May said this very reluctantly but because we were going to she would.. Not to mention May's parents were more likely to let her than any of the rest of ours.

"So who wants to do this?" I said, I was now hopeful that everyone would agree to it.

"I" everyone except John said in unison. That is when I realized John had not said a word the entire conversation. When I looked at him he seemed to be thinking intently.

"What do you think John?" I asked really hoping he would agree because if he didn't everyone else would change their minds. Everyone always listened to what he said although I am not really sure why.

After another excruciatingly long minute he responded.

"I think we can do It." this is just what I was hoping for.

Although, I was expecting to have to convince him more. It would be dangerous and we might have to disobey our parents to do it. When I looked around at everyone else they looked more surprised than I did. They had known him longer than I had and I bet there was never once when he did anything. Or for that matter even listened to a suggestion that would involve disobeying our parents.

"Your mom would never allow it!"yelled May "It could be very dangerous!" She only said this because she did not expect john to agree and that was supposed to be her way out. She was also right Johns mom was very strict.

"I am going to do it. No matter what my mom says" John stated in a tone that stopped any objection. I could not help but smile.

"Okay all we have to do is decide how we are going to do it." I knew john would not change his mind. This started everyone trying to speak at once. I could not understand any of them while they were all talking at the same time.

John made everyone stop speaking, then one at a time he let everyone say their ideas.

"I think everyone should gather all of the money they have been saving for us to use for food and drinks." said Matt.

"No Way!" exclaimed May "We are saving for materials!"

"Okay if you want to starve go right…" said Alice sarcastically before being cut off my John.

"No I don't think we should bring all of our money. Hobos are very poor. Not to mention we could go for a month each without starving. You must have saved a lot of money in these past months." John explained. This would have been true if any of us other than him and May were actually saving.

"Let us work out the details for the rest of the day and come back early tomorrow morning after we have convinced our parents and have gotten the money." I suggested. Everyone agreed, so we spent the rest of the day planning how we would live the next few.

We decided we were going to be gone for three days; we would each take ten dollars from our savings, and we discussed ways to get our parents to let us leave.

When I got home I spent a few hours failing to convince my mom to give me ten dollars, because why waste my own, and let me become a hobo for three days. Although the conversation was just for aesthetics I did not expect her to agree. But I don't understand what she didn't like about the idea.

In the early morning just before sunrise, before my Mom woke up, about an hour before I was supposed to meet my friends. I got out of bed, forgot my mom said that I was not to become a hobo for three days. That I was not to take ten dollars, put on a jacket, and walked outside.

We had all decided that we would not take our bikes because hobos rarely have bikes. It was only about a thirty minute walk to the park. When I got there I sat thinking about how the next few days would go until my friends arrived.

I waited for about fifteen boring minutes before Matt showed up. His parents told him he was completely allowed to go as long as he would call every hour. This was one of the strategies we had come up with to get our parents to let us go.

About five minutes later Alice arrived and said her parents had agreed to the same thing but that she would have to come home at night. She told us that she had decided not to do that.

About ten minutes after that John arrived and; to the surprise to all of us, although I am sure it was a lie, said his parents thought it would be a very good learning experience and he could go.

About 15 minutes after the time we were supposed to show up. May finally arrived with a fake frown on her face, she explained that her parents had told her she was not allowed to go. Even though she begged them for hours, and that is why she would not be going.

After a minute of everyone looking annoyed at her, she finally said that her parents actually didn't care. But they were going to call to check up on her once in a while. It was all set. There was nothing else for us to do except be hobos.

None of us except May had eaten anything before we left home but we were all too excited to eat now. We had no idea what hobos normally did during their spare time, so we just talked about normal things for a while.

At about twelve o'clock we decided to get something to eat. We went to a fast food restaurant and bought whatever we wanted to eat. I did not think anything of the price and that turns out to be the stupidest thing I did during the time we were hobos.

When we were done eating I could barely move. I had stuffed myself so much I felt like I had eaten a cow. We decided to walk to another park. The day before we had decided it would be stupid to stay at the park we normally hung out at. The reason for this is because it would be too easy for our parents to find us. Still not sure what else to do when we got to the park we decided to find the place we would sleep. We found a few benches that we could sleep at and decided to sit and talk.

The benches were set next to a path that goes around the entire park even going through a large patch of trees, causing the city to call it a nature trail. The park had no playground equipment but there was a golf course. I could even see a few novices attempting to golf a few hundred yards away.

When the sun started to set and it started to get dark we slowly walked to a different fast food restaurant than the one we had gone to earlier. This is because even though we did not think the news would have been told that some kids ran away, we were not taking chances. If the employees saw the news they might have told the police we had been there. So we took a slightly longer walk to the next closest fast food restaurant.

When we got there I bought the same meal that I had gotten earlier and after paying the man he handed me my change. When I saw it a chill went down my spine. I cursed myself for being so stupid. I did not even have enough money for another hamburger. Let alone enough money for the meals I would need to eat for the next two days.

I brought my food, that I was regretting ever buying, to the table that my friends were already sitting comfortably at while they ate. I sat down and cleared my throat to get their attention. They stopped talking and turned to face me. I could see from the food they had on their trays that they had been just as stupid as I had. Even John who was supposed to be smart and not make such stupid mistakes.

"how much money do you all have." at first everyone looked confused but one by one I could see a terrible mixture of emotions cross their faces. They each quickly pulled out their money and put it on the table. We counted up the money we still had and found that we only had enough money for two hamburgers and a drink.

Nobody spoke for the rest of the meal, all of us feeling like complete morons. When we were done eating we got up and walked back to the park and the benches we had chosen to sleep at.

We had no blankets because none of us had thought to bring any. So each of us went to the bench we had chosen to sleep at and lay down. The benches felt colder and more uncomfortable than I had realized they’d be. I lay with my jacket on top of me to help me stay warm, although it did not seem to help much.

Even with how cold it was, I was tempted to sleep with the jacket under me because of how uncomfortable it was. But when I tried I learned that it is much better to be uncomfortable than have to try to sleep in the cold.

After only about half an hour a man walked up to us. When I saw him approaching at first I was worried, What if it was one of our parents who had found us. I quickly sat up and prepared to run. When I looked around I saw my friend were just as jumpy. By this time the man was standing right next to us and I got a better look at him. He was wearing old raggedy clothes and looked dirty so I instantly new he must be a hobo.

“What are you doing out here in the dead of night, in the middle of winter.” he growled sounding irritated.

“What does it matter to you.” replied Alice sounding more annoyed than he did.

“This is my park.” the hobo replied back.

“What do you mean? This is the city's park.” asked Matt.

“This park is closed at night, the patrol officer that patrols the park at night lets me sleep here though.” said the hobo.

“What does that have to do with us?” asked Alice.

“Even though he lets me sleep here at night, he doesn't want large groups of homeless people in the park, if he saw a group of runaways sleeping here it would be much the same.” said the hobo sounding impatient.

“We are not runaways.” said John.

“Then what are you doing here? Risking my home!” growled the hobo starting to sound angry.

“This morning we left home to live as hobos for three days just living of fast food.” replied John like this was a perfectly normal thing to do.

All of a sudden the man burst out laughing. It surprised me, I was not expecting it. It was almost a minute before he was able to speak.

“Well then I don't think we have a problem, Have a good night although I expect you will be going home before the night is up.” He was barely able to speak still fighting of the laughter. Then he turned away and still laughing walked of down the path.

With no conversation between us we lie back down and attempted to fall back asleep. After several hours of laying in the cold I was able to get a little sleep. But to this day is still the longest night of my life.

I still got barely any sleep and the jacket didn't cover me well, so I was awake off and on the entire night. Therefore, I was awake when the sun started to rise. At first I thought I was hallucinating it was so faint at first. But I was sure after a few minutes so I sat up, I almost leaped for joy. After I sat up my friends also did. Evidently I suspect the night was just as bad for them.

Nobody felt like talking while we tried to stay warm. Not to mention still feeling stupid about the waste of money from the day before.

I have heard people describe times when they have been extremely cold to being chilled to the bone. This would be a major understatement. It was more like frozen to the bone. I was sure all of the liquid in my body had turned to ice. Everyone looked exhausted but at the same time relived that the night was over. When I think about it I must have looked the same.

"I am never doing that again." said May, she probably thought that all of us would agree instantly but as soon as she finished her sentence she was contradicted.

"Yes you are, two more times to be exact." explained Alice.

"You cannot be serious!" exclaimed May staring at Alice like she thought Alice was insane.

"Alice is right." I said joining in the conversation even though I very much wanted to agree with her "we said we were going to be hobos for three days and we are."

Everybody else agreed and she didn't argue anymore.

After we were as awake as we were going to get Alice, May and Matt called their parents. They had done this several times the day before as well. Me and John just listened to the conversations as we were not supposed to be here anyways.

Matt, May, and Alice told their parents they would be home in a few days. Their parents said they were to come home and that they were not supposed to stay out all night and that they were very worried. They ignored them, hung up, and turned of their phones. They had turned their phones off during the night because their parents kept calling telling them to come home.

For the rest of the morning we just chatted about what we were going to do for money. At about ten o'clock we decided to get some breakfast. We decided that we would buy the two burgers and the drink we could afford. We would split the burgers into fifths and share the drink. We decided on water for the drink because it is most refreshing therefore keeping us from needing another one sooner.

When we finished still very hungry from how little we ate we started to talk about how we would get money for food. May of course was complaining about being hungry the entire time.

"What are we going to do for money." I asked trying to ignore May, more of because I was trying not to complain myself.

"We could cut peoples grass." suggested Matt.

"Who needs their grass cut in the middle of winter?" said John “The grass is all dead."Then I had an idea.

"We could rake people's yards or trim bushes, or even wash cars. Those are things that still need done during winter.".

"How would we get the tools." asked John.

"We could ask Alice's parents." I suggested "Other hobos often ask if they can use Her dad's tools."

“What about her parents telling her that she is grounded when she gets home, wouldn't they make her stay?” asked Matt.

“That is just my mom.” Alice responded. “My dad is fine with the idea, he thinks it's great.”

There was no other objection as it was the only idea any of us had. So we headed to Alice's house. After a few minutes of talking to her dad explaining what we wanted to use the tools for, we were allowed to get them. So we went off to ask people if they wanted their yards raked, bushes trimmed, or cars washed.

We walked around the neighborhood for two hours before someone agreed to pay us for raking their yard. We worked slowly from exhaustion, I wished I had gotten something better to eat that morning. Luckily with how many of us were working on it and how small the yard was, it only took us about half an hour. We got only five dollars However, if we spent that right we could get two more meals like the one we had this morning.

"It has been two hours and we got one customer." complained May.

"I know.” I said “but I have an idea we split up to cover more area and get more people willing to pay us for our services.”

We each grabbed the tools we would need and ran off in a different direction. It took me another long few hours but I also found another person who was willing to pay me.

I had gotten blisters from the work I had done earlier and was glad the person only wanted their bushes trimmed. I was surprised how painstaking raking leaves was and I was not looking forward to ever doing it again. Cold, tired, and week from the work I had already done, made bush trimming a relatively easy job seemed to take forever and be very painstaking.

I finally finished about an hour before sunset. I got five dollars for all of that trouble and at the time it felt like a lot of money, I felt rich. I also asked for a drink of water so I could be hydrated.

I met with my friends back at the park to learn nobody else had made any money. Alice had found someone who wanted their car washed and when she was done the woman learned that she had no cash. Alice had asked if she could have any blankets instead and the woman gave her two old, small, raged, looking ones.

As soon as everyone learned this they started to argue about who would use the blankets.

Before the argument could go very far, John said that the blankets might be pretty small but they were large enough for the boys to share one and the girls to share the other. Everyone started to protest but they had no better Idea so they eventually agreed. We hid the blankets in a patch of trees so they would not be found and taken.

We went to another fast food restaurant and the closer we got, the happier we got. We were going to eat again. But to our disappointment we saw a police car at it. So to make sure if they had been told to watch out for us we decided grudgingly to go to a different restaurant. Some of us were runaways after all.

We took another ten long minutes to get to a different restaurant. I felt like I was going to faint the entire walk. I had never gone so long without eating, and with how little sleep and how much work we had done I had no energy. When we finally got in view of the restaurant I was so hungry, that if I had the energy, I would have ran all the way down the street.

Five of the ten dollars we had we used to get a very small meal that was nowhere near satisfying but was very worth eating. We were hungrier than ever before in our lives. Because of this my food was gone as soon as it was paid for. I never even had time to taste it.

We went back to the park with a bit more energy but still not looking forward to the night. We decided to sleep on the grass so we would have room under the blanket. The ground was cold so we put our jackets under us but it was worth having the blanket. As well as the fact that when we are sleeping next to each other we are warmed by body heat. I got to sleep in the middle making me the warmest but not that much warmer. I didn't sleep any better than the day before but I was still glad for the blanket.

In the middle of the night a patrol officer woke us up, or at least as much you can wake someone up when they aren’t sleeping. He told us told us.

"Nobody is supposed to be in the park after dark, you were here yesterday and I thought that you would come to your senses and go home. I did not expect to see you here again, go back home to your parents."

Stiff to the bone from how cold it was, and how hard the ground was. Not to mention being annoyed at being interrupted while trying to sleep a second night in a row. We told the officer that he was right, we were stupid to be out here and we were going home. We collected the blankets and walked towards the exit of the park.

We had no intention of going home though. As soon as we were out of sight of the officer we went off in a different direction towards a patch or trees. We found a place that was reasonably hidden from sight and tried to fall back asleep.

I woke up for the last time a few hours before sunrise and could not fall back asleep. I had slept more than the day before though. So I got up and walked around the park a bit while my friends tried and probably failed to sleep more. While walking around I saw the patrol officer again and went off in a different direction before he spotted me. When the sky started to get brighter I went back to my friends and waited for them to give up trying to sleep.

Everyone had by sunrise and we decided to go to the closest restaurant. We left our blankets in the trees hidden from view or at least hidden enough so only we could find them. A fast food restaurant was only around the corner from the park we slept at and we got a meal like the one he had gotten the day before. We did not care who saw us by now.

We were cold, tired, and weak but the more we moved the more we stopped thinking about it. We split up and started a long annoying journey. It was four hours before I got a job. However, it was only cutting the bushes in a yard. it only took me about half an hour and I only got two dollars out of it but that was still enough for a good meal.

I decided to try to see if I could get more work before I had to go find the rest of my friends. After I had only walked down a few blocks a woman answered the door and to my surprise seemed like she recognized me. This was surprising because I had never seen her before. I asked her if she wanted her car washed, leaves raked, she had no bushes, and she said to wait a minute that she had to go see if she had money. After a minute I thought I heard her talking to someone I thought nothing of it at the time but after another few minutes she still hadn't come to the door.

That is when a cop car turned down the street. I realized that she must have called the police about a runaway boy that was standing on her porch.

The officer must have been nearby because just a kid who had run away a few days ago would not be a priority. The police car drove down the street and I started to dash away. I did not think I could actually escape but I knew that there was nothing the police officer could do. They couldn't hurt me because after all I did run away.

The house the woman lived at was at the end of the street so I was optimistic and the police car was nice enough to come from the other direction. So I quickly turned the corner down the road and ran into the backyard of the next house I saw. With as little energy as I had I was panting almost instantly and I knew I couldn’t run long.

Right when I got there the car turned the corner. He had seen me turn the corner but did not see me in my hiding spot. But he stopped and got out to look for me. I quickly hopped the fence back to the woman’s yard and ran back to the front. By this time there were several people outside watching but nobody tried to stop me. There were no other police in sight. I ran down the street and did not stop running until I saw May.

She was only a few blocks away I had zigzagged around corners and ran through yards to make sure I could not be followed easily.

She was raking the leaves of a yard. My body was mad at me for running when I already was low on energy but I tried to ignore it. It took a few minutes for me to be able to speak but when I could I spoke to her I learned she was going to get ten dollars for it. I decided to help her. I couldn't help much I had just wasted all of my energy but I could do a little. It took us another hour and surprisingly she did not complain about how hard the work was. By this time my hunger was excruciating I really needed to get some food soon.

It was getting late and so we decided we would go rest for the last half an hour until the time we said we would meet our friends. When I got to the restaurant I found John already waiting there. He had earned five dollars as well. After about fifteen minutes Alice and Matt arrived they had no luck at all. So we had fifteen dollars more than enough for dinner and breakfast. I felt like I was going to burst of happiness when I learned that.

We ordered still making sure we were getting a very cheap meal. The last few minutes of waiting for my food was worse than all of the rest of the day combined. I could smell the delicious food and waited with my mouth watering. When I finally got my burger it was gone in under a minute. I was not full but I was no longer hungry. I was the first to finish my meal but it was not long until everyone else had as well.

When we were all done we walked back to the trees that we had left the blankets in. By this time it has gotten very dark and difficult to see. We lay down the same way we had the day before Matt, John, and I sharing a blanket and Alice and May sharing one.

It was easier to sleep that night we were getting use to the cold. We still did not sleep well though. I know by now you are probably sick of hearing me complain about the cold and how uncomfortable it was so I will not this time. When the sun finally rose to all of our delight we knew we would be going home. We went back to the restaurant and got burgers and drinks, ate and went home.

The next day I forgot my parents had grounded me and I was not allowed to do anything fun for the next year. I went back to our normal meeting place after a very large breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast. I was sure I was going to be at least ten pounds heavier by the end of the week. After about an hour everyone had arrived.

"I am never doing anything like that again." this was May, duh.

"It was kind of fun." said Matt "I would want to do it again."

"I agree." said Alice "But for a week next time."

"Maybe." I said "but not for a long while."

Everyone agreed with this.

"We have to do something though." I said

And so we started work on our next adventure, with May looking on at us like we were insane.


Submitted: July 28, 2015

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