It wasn't the worst start in the world. Though it wasn't the best either. At least she had a roof over her head, food in her belly, which was more than a lot of other people had, even if her mam did belt her seven shades of blue when she was drunk.
She'd never known her father, he'd skipped out on her and the the rest of the mob she lived with when she was born. At least that was what her mam had told her during one of her drunken rages, one day. They'd not seen hide nor hair of him since, hell, she wasn't even sure of who 'He' was, could have been one of the constant stream of men her mother bought through the house, for all she knew.
One of six kids, she spent her early years dodging the beatings, stealing flowers to make daisy chains from her next door neighbours garden and running to and fro from the off-license to beg her mam bottles of grog. The steady supply of blow-jobs her ma gave the store owner kept 'em coming.
Until she and the rest of her kin, were removed by social services, one day, just after her seventh birthday. She hadn't been scared, like the others. Nor had she shed any tears when she was put into the back of the Ford Sierra and driven away to a care home. A pretty little babyfaced thing, she and another girl, a year younger than her, were soon fostered out to a middle-aged couple who apprantly could have their own.
That was until Kevin, their new father, had the idea to clamber into bed one night with the girl she shared a room with. She lay awake, listening to the girl whimpering as he touched her in places no man should touch a girl of her age, her mind already beginning to turn numb to these horrors, considering the shitshow she grew up in, so she just turned over and went back to sleep. He kept up his night-time visits for the next few weeks, and everytime, she just closed her eyes and turned her back on it.
She ran away that night, the cops scouring the neighbourhood for her, but she was a skinny, wily little thing and she gave them the slip, easily. She spent four weeks sleeping rough, living off the kindness of strangers and the fellow homeless people in the camp under the bridge, she ended up sleeping under. But when she got too greedy and tried to grab a whole armful of apples from a fruit and veg stall, the game was up and she was nabbed by the owner, and then dragged back to the care home by the cops later that night.
After that she was placed in foster home, after foster home, the care workers trying to find a place to put her but each time she ran away, or caused too much trouble and was sent back. There were the Christian folk who tried to exorcise her of the demons that they believed plagued her after she threw a rock through the local church windows, the Munsens who kept her locked up in a closet the size of an outhouse, and used her to steal stuff from local shops. They had a whole Ebay business dedicated to selling the stuff they stole and they made shitloads of cash from it, though they didn't give her none.
This time no one caught her. She'd spent the years she'd bounced around the care system, liveing on the streets and small periods of time she'd spent in foster homes, honing her skills and her speed, learning how to pick peoples pockets, or shoplift, then do a runner before people even knew something shady had gone down.
By now she had a steller reputation with the cops, despite still being a minor, her extensive rap sheet including charges for Vandalism (slashing tires, breaking house and car windows, spray-painting the sides of buildings or tagging shop doors with offensive slurs), Assault (beating up other kids, even some adults if she gaged their size to be a match to her own, throwing rocks at people, or whatever she could get her hands on), Theft (shoplifting, pick-pocketing), Burglary & Robbery (self-explanatory, plus also several muggings at knife-point), Public Nuisance (pulling pranks on random strangers or shopkeepers), Drug-posession (mostly dealing for local dealers in return for cash) and Public Intoxication (under-age drinking and drug use; mostly weed).
Now she lived on the streets, making money where she could, using whatever ploy and tactic she had to, to get what she wanted, be it money, booze, food or a place to sleep for the night. There was nothing that she wouldn't do to survive. Except one thing. She never let a man touch her.
Just before her sixteenth birthday one of the dealers she'd worked for, in the past, approached her with an offer. He'd seen how canny she was and street-smart, and seeing potential in her he proposed a deal. He was looking to expand his 'business' stateside, and he promised to set her up with a plane ticket to America, an apartment in which to live...it wouldn't be the ritz but it would be hers...all she had to do was recruit a band of good kids to run his drugs, when they arrived in the US and collect the profits and keep the books nice and tidy for when he'd eventually join her.
She agreed straight away, i mean, why wouldn't you? America. The land of dreams, where anyone could be anything. Right? And she got on with Jonah well enough, he wasn't cruel like a lot of other dealers, but he was stupid to trust her, because the moment she set foot on US soil, with a visa and a passport in her name, she took off and didn't look back, heading for the bright lights of New York.
Not having a ticket wasn't a problem, right? No one would see her short ass bundled into one of the back seats. See you soon, Hathian!
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