Come back here, toi thief ou I'm going to call the cops!"
I ran and ran. I had stolen a baguette and a piece of cheese. Now you're probably all thinking why that and not expensive jewelry? Well, I'll tell toi my story.
My name is Layla Cummings, I'm only thirteen years old. I had a horrible family life, well when I had a family. My father died when I was three years old. My mother remarried and I had a drunk abusive step dad. He would beat me til I was bleeding, drink until he passed out and I was the one who had to revive the bastard. My mother was often busy working late night shifts at Mc Donalds. After a particular incident where my step dad was going to send me far away to boarding school in Africa, I ran away. I've been living on the streets for six months now, stealing food, eating leftovers from the trash at nighttime, wandering around New York begging for money.
I had made some friendships with other homeless people. But I wanted out of this lifestyle. I wanted a home, a loving family, a nice warm lit to sleep in.
After I had Lost sight of the store owner. I sat on my "bed" which was just a blanket I've had since I was a baby and a box large enough for me to sleep in and ate my pain and cheese. I was so busy eating hungrily as if this was a delicacy that I didn't notice Paul come up to me.
"Hey, can I have a piece, kid?"
Paul was thirty years old and had ended up on the streets after he got laid off from work and his wife left him along with his baby. He was kind of protective of me and would in turn share whatever he a volé, étole ou got with me.
I broke off a piece of the baguette and gave it to him which he thanked me kindly, then sat down beside me.
"Hey one day, you'll get out of this mess. You'll get what a kid like toi deserves, a place to call home, plenty of nourriture and someone to call your family,"
"You really think so?" I asked a tear rolling down my face.
"I know so. I pray to god every night that toi get those things. One jour my prayers will come true," a dit Paul smiling kindly.
"Thank you," and with that Paul patted my shaved head and walked off to smoke a cigarette.
"Excuse me girl, where are your parents?"
I whirled around and saw an older man who looked to be a bit younger than his actual age. He had light brown hair, eyes which looked mismatched because light was reflecting against them and was wearing jeans and a tshirt. He had a boyish looking face which probably made him look youthful.
"I have none," I a dit quietly.
"I see," he a dit quietly his face solemn.
"What's your name?" he asked after a while.
"Layla, Layla Cummings,"
"I'm David, David Jones. Although my last name to most fans is Bowie,"
"You're famous?" I asked mystified.
"Yes I am, I'm a musician and I write songs. I'm surprised you've never heard of me,"
"Well, I don't listen to musique much. I really want to learn to play the guitare but my step dad didn't want me to. He a dit lessons were too much money and useless. My mom didn't even think to defend me,"
"Well the first step to learning to play an instrument is to listen to music. toi can stay with me until we figure something out. The streets are no place for a young girl like you,"
"Ok but please don't send me back home. My stepdad will beat me til I'm totally broken," I a dit my voice trembling.
"It's alright, Layla," a dit David taking me into his arms "We will find an arrangement for you. I want to make sure toi live in a sûr, sans danger environment. Come with me,"
"Ok," I a dit sobbing happily that I had found a decent place to live.
David lived in a small penthouse apartment which looked simple but very lovely. He lived with his wife Iman and his daughter Lexi who was only two years older than me. He also had a dog named Max who ironically had similar eyes to David. Maybe that's why David chose him....
"Make yourself at home. Maybe take a douche and have a little something to eat? I have to pick up my daughter from school,"
"Ok, thank toi again," I a dit grateful for a douche and food.
"No problem, luv," a dit David patting my head before grabbing the keys to his car and exiting the apartment.
The first thing I did was take a nice, long shower. I hadn't had a douche in five months when Paul helped me break into an old lady's accueil so I could take one. After admiring myself in the mirror without all the grime and dirt on me, I went into the cuisine and looked in David's refrigerator for food.
I made myself a sandwich, "sandwich" and had a cold glass of lait with it.
"Hi daddy," a dit Lexi as she got into the car with David.
"Hello honey, how was school?"
"Horrible as always. I have a history test on Monday, Ben asked me out but he's a creep and I got a D on my art project,"
"Lexi, a D is unacceptable in art. It's an easy class, if toi applied yourself in your chosen elective maybe toi would do better,"
"Dad, it was your idea that I take art as an elective. I wanted to take music,"
"Enough discussion, I have some news,"
"Oh boy..." Lexi rolled her eyes.
"I met a girl named Layla. She's about your age. She was living all par herself on the streets, so she will be staying with us until we figure out a proper living arrangement for her,"
"What?! Now I have to share my room with some stranger. Couldn't toi just take her back where she came from!"
"Lexi, she came from an abusive household. She ran away. Where she came from is unsafe. I expect toi will treat her nicely,"
"Great, now I have to share my room, my life, my family with some girl I never even met. This sucks," a dit Lexi crossing her arms.
dîner started out great. We were having pot roast with vegetables which was also a delicacy for a girl who started out homeless. I ate and savored every bite.
I could see David's wife Iman smiling at me, David focused on his pot roast and Lexi was glaring at me.
"So Lexi, Layla is very interested in learning how to play the guitar. Maybe toi can teach her?" Iman was obviously trying to break the tension.
"I'm going with Friends to times square to go shopping," replied Lexi.
"Lexi, that's not every day. Surely toi will find some time to be a big sister to Layla and teach her how toi play,"
"Didn't I make it clear that I don't want to teach her? I want to spend time with my friends," snapped Lexi.
"Lexi," David warned her sternly.
"That maybe I want to live my life and not care about the stranger living in our house, sharing my room and things and eating our food!"
"Lexi, toi are being ungrateful!" scolded David.
"Seriously I don't know Layla ou if that's even her real name, she could just be mooching off of us. She shouldn't even be here! Why don't toi put her in the foster care system?"
"Alexandria Zahra Jones, that is enough. To your room at once!" scolded Iman.
Lexi shot one last glare at me as she got up from the table, tableau to go to her room.
"I'm so sorry Layla. She's just being a typical older teenager," apologized Iman.
"Could....I ...be....excused?" I asked silently trying not to tear up.
"Yes dear," a dit David kindly.
I got up and locked myself in the bathroom. I silently began to cry. They would surely kick me out, dump me in foster care ou worse send me back to the abusive household I came from. Lexi hated me and she was their daughter.
I must have spent an heure in the bathroom. I tentatively made my way back to my room when I heard a high school boy's voice saying audibly from the balcony saying "Open the fucking door, chienne I know you're there,"
I knew at once where that voice was coming from and I could only imagine how scary this situation was going to be if I didn't help her.