Runaway by Evelyn Lau - Excerpt
Diary of a Street Kid

by Evelyn Lau


IT IS MORNING, and I’m at the office of a youth newspaper. I ran away from home yesterday, calling the people at the newspaper from the school library to beg them to take me in for a while. I emptied my locker of the journals I had stashed there, hauling them down the corridor and dumping them into a garbage bin, listening to them tumble to the bottom. They certainly couldn’t come with me—my schoolbag was already stuffed with poems and stories, a book of writers’ markets, a change of clothing and ten dollars.

Huddled in the living room, away from the window, I look out at the mountains, managing to convince myself that I never existed before this day, that my parents would not be expecting their teenage daughter to come home after school. I crouch on the floor and concentrate hard on my fantasy: It never happened, I was not born until today.

The people at the newspaper are trying to bolster each other up, keep us all from collapsing. Tommy has taken me under his wing and seems to understand my need not to be left alone. He pretends to be enjoying the situation, tossing comforting smiles in my direction every few minutes.



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