I sat on the roof of that abandoned building, gazing at the empty streets of Dimsdale as the sun set. Every now and then, you’ll see a car go by, usually followed from a distance by the ever-present cops.
My gaze drops to my beat-up tennis shoes, into which tuck my red, obnoxious, plaid long socks. As eye-catching as my socks are, at least they cover for my jeans, which aren’t quite long enough to reach even halfway down my shins. The wind is pretty bitter at night on the rooftops. Thankfully, though, my oversized black hoodie keeps me warm.
Back at the sweat shop, they called me Kay. I have no clue who my parents are, or if I’m even American. All I know is, I was trafficked from somewhere before I was old enough to remember. I don’t belong here in Dimsdale, or anywhere else in the world. However, I stay for the people who do. Five little helpless people, all sound asleep in the basement below.
I turned suddenly as a silent figure caught my eye, then smiled as I recognized my friend. Her strange white hair was tied back in a pony tail. I’m pretty sure she dyes it, but why she’d choose white is beyond me. Her deep brown skin and ebony eyes blend perfectly into the night. Her clothes aren’t much better than mine; ill-filling black jeans (only hers are too long), beat-up tennis shoes, and a grey hoodie (here fits just fine though). I’ve never heard her speak before, but I can tell she isn’t deaf. After three years of knowing her, I’ve picked up enough sign language for us to have full conversations.
The thief in the attic blinked slowly at me.
“Your kid is loud,” she signed.
I smirked, “Which one?” I signed back.
“The baby,” she scowled, “she’s going to wake the whole Ghetto if mama don’t get down there.”
“Thanks for letting me know,” I signed before crawling to the edge of the roof.
The thief in the attic nodded once before disappearing into the night. I carefully climbed down the side of the house, the scream of the baby now meeting my ears. Truth be known, she isn’t biologically my baby. However, the mother is long gone.
I climbed inside the ground floor window and slipped through a gap in a boarded up doorway. I sped down a short, dark hallway before zipping down stairs. Once my beat-up tennis shoes hit the dirt floor, I rushed to the laundry basket and withdrew the unhappy little girl from the dirty, wadded-up sheets.
I began walking with a slow and steady pace to calm her down, stepping over sleeping kids as I went. The damp dirt floor is just large enough for four growing kids to lay down on, with a bit of room for the laundry basket. I sleep in the doorway, lying my head on the stairs. We have a cheep battery lantern, which I found on one of my dumpster dives. One of the bulbs is out, but otherwise it has a good light. The kids leave it running until they fall asleep every night.
After circling the basement fifteen times and deliriously stepping on Pat, Annie, and Spring, the baby was calm enough to sleep. I laid Kit back in the laundry basket, switched off the lantern, and stumbled towards through the darkness towards the doorway.