Hidden from sight, she wraps her scrawny arms around herself. It doesn’t fill her lonely ache.
“Are you lost?”
The concerned voice is accompanied by equally concerned eyes, then a crack as the old man bends his knees to crouch to her level.
It’s always been her wish to be picked up by someone who can love her the way her parents didn’t. But she hasn’t survived the streets by indulging in her fantasies. The man could be her saviour or her waking nightmare, but she wasn’t going to stick around long enough to find out. She scrambles to her feet with a muttered, “No.”
Before the man can say anything else, she runs away into the cold shadows.
Check out the related story Skirting the Edge.