Sleeping Rough

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My name is David Weathers. I used to live an ordinary life; you know a mum and dad, family nearby, but my life soon changed. My mum left home because she was fed up of my dad, you see my dad was a right ‘Jack the lad’, he’d have any woman that looked at him, so long as she was in his so called top league. My dad was one of those people who likes himself too much for his own good. He gets beat up because he often dates people with boyfriends or even married women.

He can be sensitive sometimes but most of the time he’s violent and aggressive towards my mum and other women he drags home after a night on the town, anyway that’s enough talk about my family. When I was seven years of age my dad seriously hurt my mum, he beat her up to such an extent that she had to have 78 stitches; I was too young to understand and then afterwards he’d apologise and kiss and hug her and tell her he didn’t mean it. He makes me sick, after my mum left, he started hanging round with the wrong people, druggies, winos, glue sniffers all sorts of weird, crazy people.

He’s out all day and all night, probably drug dealing in the day, and drinking at night. Maybe he’s taking drugs himself. I don’t know, but he doesn’t get back until the early hours of the morning. I’ve had enough of him, and my life style I’ve got to get out. It was a cold, wet, miserable night; I went to bed crying a river, thinking about what move I should make next. Where should I go from here? All I could see was a dark black hole. It was my life. I awoke the following morning at about ten thirty.

My dad had already left the house, I decided now was the time to make my move. I packed a few essentials in my duffel bag, and some money I had been given from my mum before she had left. I had been hiding it from my dad, if he found out that I had three hundred pounds he’d snatch it of me immediately, I had been saving it for an emergency like this. I ran downstairs and slammed the door behind me. I sprinted to the Nottingham railway station bought a ticket and dived on the nearest train; off I went into a new life ready for what life would throw in my direction.

I must have dosed of on the train because the next thing I knew, some bloke was tapping me on the shoulder, a great fat bloke stood there in my view, he was wearing a blue uniform and cap, he informed me that the train had gone as far as it could and that I would have to depart, I stood up and strolled of the train. I could tell by the conductor’s accent that he was a cockney, so I surmised that I was in London. I walked past the platforms yarning; I saw a vision of sunlight.

I walked slowly out into the sunlight and standing in front of me was Big Ben, I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was the greatest and biggest monument I had ever clapped eyes on, I walked on out of the station grounds thinking what I should do, I need a job, I am seventeen years of age so I could probably get one, the only trouble is, is that I only had one GCSE and that was in sport studies, so I didn’t have a great record but there’s got to be a job out there somewhere for me, I walked and walked all the way from Paddington Grove to Regent Street, I hunted for a job high and low, but no one seemed interested, It was getting dark and the night was drawing in, so I walked endlessly around London until I found a vacant hotel, the building was on a backstreet, it was huge and looked hideous, but I suppose I wouldn’t find anywhere else, not at this time anyway. So I took a chance and banged on the immense wooden door.

The door began to slowly but surely creek open; a man stood their wearing a vest and a pair of old dungarees. “Yeah” the man growled “I… I’m looking for a room for the night sir” I stuttered “One hundred pounds a week, two weeks in advance” he muttered I pulled my money out of my jacket pocket and handed him the due amount. This would probably be the best and only option I was going to get tonight. It was soon the next morning and I went out yet again to find a job, all day I searched but nothing was found. Two weeks later and still no sign of a job it was my last day in the hotel, well I wouldn’t really call it a hotel, but it was somewhere I could kip for the night. Where would I go from now, stay on the streets like some kind of tramp, catch pneumonia, get beat up by tramps, no I couldn’t, but what other option could I take. I only have 10 pounds left it would only last me a few days, because I need food and drink.

It was nine o clock and I was still searching for a job, I was determined to find one, but still no luck. It was a dark and miserable night, the sun had gone down hours ago, I was getting tired, all the walking today had made me ache everywhere. I looked for a decent looking doorway with no muck or mouldy food after some time trying, I found a spot in between two buildings, I laid down, it was freezing cold and as hard as rock. It was like lying on ice. How could I do this for years on end until I found a job? In fact all my life. Who would hire me, who wants a tramp working for them? I woke the next morning, I could hardly feel my back, I was aching and stiff everywhere, I had no money left, no food, no nothing.

It came to three o clock. I had done nothing all day just sat down on a park bench dieing from boredom. I was starving by now, but couldn’t eat because I had used all my money. I needed food or I would probably die from starvation. I spent another night on the hard, cold floor of London. I woke up the next morning; the hunger was starting to kick in now. I was finding it hard to catch my breath, I spent all day and all night on the floor on my spot, which I could now call my home, thinking of a way to some how get food. I could pick food up off the floor like a scrounger would, but it would probably be diseased. There’s got to be another way.

As I lay there stone cold I thought of a solution to end my problems, I could steal it from the local supermarket, but they would probably be watching me all the time as I am started to look a bit scruffy. That was the only way round it; I would have to resort to steeling. The super market was only about two hundred yards away, so I could walk it now. I’ve never stolen anything in my life, I wouldn’t dare, but this is the only way. I can’t last another day without food. I arrived at the super market, slowly walked through the automatic doors and began walking round the shop. I picked a few chocolate bars and a couple o packets of crisps and slid them up my jumper, I was shaking like a leaf, I was so nervous.

Constantly I kept thinking about food so that took my mind off the steeling. I grabbed a few cans of drink off the shelve and headed for the door. The walk down the isle to the exit was like the walk of death. I was hoping that no one would see me but I was wrong. Someone grabbed me by my collar and shook me about; all the stolen goods fell out of my jumper. I had been caught. The next thing I knew, I was in the police station banged up in cell, I suppose being in here was better than being on the cold streets but this didn’t solve my hunger problem. I heard a noise a tray scraped along the floor and underneath the cell door, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

In front of me was a tray with food and a cup of tea lying on it, I literally dived onto the concrete floor and ate all the food and drank the cup of tea. I was still starving after, but I could breathe better now. I got back onto the bed and dropped off to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, this was the best nights sleep that I had in days, when I was in a very deep sleep, the door creaked open, a women stood their and muttered “D… David”, I woke up suddenly as I recognised the voice, there standing in front of me was my long lost mum. At first I thought I was dreaming, the only person I really love was there right in front of my eyes, here to rescue me from this horrible and isolated life on the streets, now I really know what life on the streets is like.

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