Ellie never knew when her mom was going to kick her out.
When she was twelve, Ellie started sleeping in her shoes so she could walk to her auntie’s without worrying about broken glass on the sidewalk — or frostbitten toes in winter.
When her mom wanted her back, she called the cops to report Ellie as a runaway. Every time, the cops handcuffed her, shoved her in the backseat, and drove her home.
Then, after a while — days, weeks — her mom would kick Ellie out again.
It was a cycle.
Evict, walk, repeat.
Ask Ellie about it now and she’ll tell you she didn’t have it so bad. She’ll say she never slept outside, unlike her mom.
She’ll ask you about kids today. What do they do? Pay phones are long gone. Who lets a poor kid borrow their cell phone?
How many kids know their auntie’s number by heart?
© Copyright 2020 by Jim Latham