The skies open up the rain pours down like buckets water being dumped by thousands of angels, from the heaven. The wind picks up while Jenny walks down the main road trying to figure out what side street she should take to get home. She starts to shiver as the icy wind cuts through her wet clothes. She crosses her arms and rubs them at a failed attempt to warm up a bit. The traffic noise are loud with taxi’s honking at each other, Jenny looks back and can see the mumbling of people she is hearing. It is pitch black outside with just the street lights and the lights of the buildings flickering, providing some light. Jenny feels agitated, confused and by the looks of it, lost. She couldn’t remember where she was heading, in what direction her house was in or if anyone else lived near by where she could crash the night.
She looks in her pockets for some clues but her phone must have been lifted in the club and she only had two dollars left in her pocket. Her cigarettes were now soaked as well and by this point she was just ready to give up. She was shivering and hungry, paranoïed and scared and no idea what she was doing. As she turned the corner there were three homeless people in an alley where they were burning something in a trashcan to keep warm. As she wanted to turn around to leave, the one man gestured her over, showing her the fire. She walked closer and rubbed her hands in front of the fire. She could feel the heat and was grateful for it.
“What brings a nice lady to these parts of town?” the homeless man asked.
“To be honest with you sir, I really can’t remember,” she said, still shivering.
“I can’t remember when last someone actually called me sir,” the homeless man said with a gentle smile. The rain stopped but Jenny didn’t want to leave just yet. She was still soaking wet and the fire was just about to start warming her up.
“I’ve seen you around,” the homeless woman said.
“Really, perhaps you can help me, I am not sure where my house is or where I was headed,” Jenny replied hopefully. It was strange but she was still shivering although the fire was blazing in front of her.
“ I’ve seen you at three places regularly, a house just a few blocks from here, at the club down the street at night and I see you coming out of Johnny’s place often,” the homeless woman answered.
“I’m not sure I know a guy with the name, Johnny” she says uncertain.
The homeless man grabs her arm, she tries to pull away but she feels lightheaded and weak. He straightens her arm and pulls up her sleeve. She can see the blue marks around her veins and now the tenderness of it makes sense.
“That my dear girl, it what Johnny does to people, before you know, you will end up like us” he says and he let go of her arm. Not knowing what do to the with this information, she decides to move along.
“Can you perhaps show me where the apartment is where you have seen me before?” she asks the woman.
“We beter go now, before it starts to rain again,” the woman says and starts to walk ahead.
Jenny shakes both homeless men’s hands and then she runs to catch up to the woman and then walks with her. The wind still cuts through your body and you hear the sound of tire treads on the wet tar. Jenny still shivers as she walks and hopes that the place is not very far. The woman stops in front of a very crummy building.
“You always sit on those steps,” the woman says and points to the brown brick steps, which marks the entrance to the building.
“Thank you, madam, once I figure it out, I will repay you somehow,” she says. The woman takes her Jenny’s hand in hers. She wears dirty fingerless gloves, her nails are long but dirty with chips in them and her hands are also old and wrinkled.
“Repay me, by getting clean, I never had the guts to do it, when it mattered,” the homeless woman said and walked off.
Jenny walked to the stairs she apparently engaged often, on the side of the door were buzzers and her name was next to one. She presses the buzzer, hoping someone is there to let her in. She stands outside for a few minutes and buzzes a few times, with no luck she decided to sit down in the corner of the little porch. More or less about a hour later, someone approaches the building, he walks past her and opens the door. Jenny gets up as fast as she can and slips inside. She remembered the buzzer board showed that she lived in apartment 98. Her head feels light headed and nausea finds her, perhaps it is because she stood up so fast, she thinks to herself.
The building looks oddly familiar to her, as she stoles up the stairs. She finally reaches the ninth floor and walks to her apartment. Her luck changes as she tries to open the door and it flings open. She walks inside and slams the door behind her. She looks around the place and slowly she finds her barings. She goes to the bathroom, turns on the light and starts to take off the wet clothes. She just drops it to the floor and then her eyes catch herself in the mirror. She looks back and stares at herself, not knowing who this woman is, staring back.
Her mascara and eyeliner ran lines down her face and she can see the bags underneath her eyes. Her hair is dirty and has deadens all over. She can see bruises all over her body, not sure how she got most of them. She runs herself a bath and there is not even bubble bath there. She gets in and soaks in there for hours, thinking on what the hell she is doing with her life. She washes her hair with soap as that is all she has and then she washes her body numerous times. She gets out of the bath and doesn’t even bother drying her off as the only towel she owns is dirty with puke on it. She walks to her bedroom and sees in what state her apartment is in. The kitchen has a flickering light with dishes that hasn’t been washed for months. Clothes, take-out boxes, ashtrays and other rubble lays over the living room. She gets to her room and that is not much of beter place! Her sheets most probably have never been washed in the year she has lived there, the stench of mold hangs in the room. She walks to the window and opens it.
She stands in front of the window, naked, to breath in some fresh air. She looks down on the street and sees a few cars driving up and down, kids walking around with cigarettes and guns in their pockets. In the distance she sees two hookers looking for some action and their pimp is overseeing business. The fence along the railway tracks are rusted and have holes in them. A rusted, abandoned old car is parked up the block and there are toddlers playing around in it.
“When did her life become like this?”she thought to herself. She remembers their house in the suburbs, kids playing outside in the street till dark, her and her friends going down to the park and played there for hours. What happened that she ended up here?
She turns around and she sees a needle and seringe lying on her bedside table. She walks back to the living room and start to search for the phone, she finally finds it underneath the couch. She dials the number and as she hears her father’s voice on the other line, her eyes start to fill up with tears.
“I want to quit, before its too late, I need help daddy,” she says and then breaks into crying.
“Where are you, I’ll come get you,” he says with his voice breaking on the other side.