1 The First Snowfall

It gets hard sometimes. 

Just sitting here, begging. I always thought I would have more dignity than this. But here I am, on my knees to stay alive. I'm unfortunate enough to have gotten a street corner where the people who pass by are barely feeding themselves. So it's not that often someone has money to spare. And the odd time they do have some, if they are willing to give it to a complete stranger, it is never more than one or two bucks. 

But I guess this is what I get for the choices I have made.

My first introduction to cannabis (also known as weed) was at a house party, I don't even remember who's house it was. I had been drinking more than usual that night because we were all celebrating our exam results. So nearly everyone went a few drinks over their limit. I was on the floor next to the sofa chatting with a few people.

"So... lets just get to the point. Charlie honestly, when are you going to ask him out?"

I distinctly remember her turning bright red before blurting out,

"I swear to god if you tell anyone who you are referring to I'm gonna-"

"Oh calm down I wouldn't dare tell a soul, no need to start on ramble with your empty threats."

"You better not, and for the last time they are not empty threats!"

"Yeah... sure they aren't"

" I swear to god don't make me-" 

"The two of you better shut it. I'm getting sick and tired of your fighting, I'm three joints in and it still gets on every single one of my nerves."

Charlie started giggling but I didn't find this one bit amusing. "joints"? Isn't that weed? But.... no weed is illegal. And I've known Holly since kinder-garden there is no way she would do something like that. A million thoughts and questions rushed through my mind at that moment. I was so naive back then. But I just tried to laugh it off, yet I still couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong so I decided to just ask. 

"Oh and about what you said earlier, you know about the joints? You were just kidding right?"

She pulled out a lighter and, what looked to seventeen year old me, a strange looking cigarette. She lit it and then faced the back of it towards me.

"Take a pull and find out for yourself Kat."

"Oh I don't smoke-"

"It isn't a cigarette."

I stared at her with a confused expression pasted across my face. Was she kidding? Well, even if it was just a joke I guess it wouldn't hurt just to take one puff. So I leaned forward, put my lips on it and inhaled. I immediately started coughing whilst everyone else burst out laughing. It wasn't tobacco, but I couldn't figure out what it was. 

"Keep the rest of it, I think you'll enjoy yourself tonight."

She said that with a smile as she got up and walked away to grab another drink. Strange choice of words but OK, that's what I was thinking as I unknowingly finished off the joint. If I'm being honest here the rest of that night is just a blur to me. But if there is anything I can remember about it, it's the fact that what they say is true. Your first high is the best. You will never feel a rush like that again. And sadly, you will try anything to feel that again. 

After that night, my life went downhill very quickly. I took heroin, cocaine and a few unknown drugs just trying to get that high again. I think I eventually did once, but I also went to the ER that time. They sent me to rehab but about a week after I was released I relapsed. And then I dropped out of college, got evicted, lost contact with my family and ended up on the streets.

 I think I have been out here eight months now. It has been two years since I got evicted but I slept on friends couches for about a year, of course they got sick of me after a while and how I wasn't even trying to get back up on my feet. So after that year I had nowhere left to stay, on the streets for a month before I was lucky enough to get a spot at a homeless shelter. The rule there was you get a months stay, once your time is up your out. 

So.... yeah. Here I am. I can't complain too much though, today has been a great day for me. I've gotten 100 dollars and a few odd cents already. I can finally afford some decent food for myself. I better leave before the next guy shows up here, some of us have to share streets. Well 'share', we don't really have a say in the matter. It's either you move, or get stabbed. I've decided to just go along with it and move when my time is up. I guess I might as well go straight to the store so I can get food. It's not that far away, and I don't have much else to do.

As I walk something catches my eye, a single snowflake. This may sound absurd, but that single frozen droplet made my entire body shake with fear. Why you may ask? I have a very simple answer, because snow meant winter was officially here. There goes half of my money.. Now I'm going to have to buy blankets and warm drinks just to keep me from freezing to death. I needed much warmer clothes now, and that meant I had to spend most of my money on them instead of food.

But I have to get over it, I'll just get to the shop and then back to my bench. It honestly is a sad reality, just walking around in circles trying not to get murdered.

But it's a reality I've become used to.

Next chapter