Forgotten Love

By: Cher Etan

Chapter 1


“You want to leave me over some bullshit like this? Okay then, go! Leave!” Frances began pushing Allen until his legs were outside the door. Then she collapsed on the floor and cried until she had no more tears. She didn’t expect that he would try to come back. He was about as mad as she was. It wasn’t her fault; she was trying her best. She couldn’t help the fact that her book had suddenly blown up; that she was now as busy as he was. It wasn’t her fault they didn’t get to spend as much time as they used to together. The problem with Allen St. James is that he was spoiled; being the man with the money meant that he didn’t have to wait his turn for everything. He was always ushered to the front of the line, always the one who kept people waiting. She’d stood by his side these ten years, ever since they were two teenage kids who found themselves on the street with no one to rely on but each other. Allen’s parents had been killed in a plane crash coming back from the island of St. Maarten where they’d been celebrating their twenty year anniversary. Fourteen year old Allen had been left with an uncle for the duration. When the dust had settled and the lawyers had departed, Allen was left with a hundred and thirty million in assets and stock options and a battle on his hands from his father’s former partner on who owned what. As a result of the prolonged and ugly nature of the case he was left at the mercy of a man who cared nothing for him. He ran off at fifteen, opting to live on the streets rather than continue subjecting himself to his uncle’s abusive behavior. He would have been dead inside a week if he hadn’t encountered Frances on his second day.

He was hunched over behind a dumpster, having been robbed of all his belongings but not yet hungry enough to sift through the garbage for food. Frances was just coming off her shift; she worked as a collector for a local bookie and had just finished her rounds. Sure she was a small girl but she was also fast and she knew how to use a baseball bat to lethal effect. She didn’t have to mostly; the customers she collected from knew her, knew who she represented; and knew what would happen to them if they tried anything weird. It was illegal sure, and she spent approximately half her time dodging the cops but it beat turning tricks for a living.

Normally, she didn’t try to get too involved with other street kids; they tended to want to suck you into their sorry existences – whether it was sex or drugs or both. It was a downhill destination and Frances wasn’t having any of it. She had a plan, and she was getting out, going straight and legit. She was going to be a writer. She already wrote; had pages and pages of short stories beneath her bed. She wanted to get a locker to store it all in; she knew that the bunker where she stayed wasn’t safe from vandals. Still it was as secure as she could make it and it would have to do for now. Something about this kid made her stop though. He wasn’t the usual type of street kid. She couldn’t quite put her finger on why though. Maybe it was that his face was just too clean; or his hands were free of tracks…anyway, whatever the reason; she stopped and stared at him.

“Whassup witchu?” she asked him. He looked right miserable slumped as he was between the dumpster and the brick wall that housed the neighborhood soup kitchen. It wouldn’t be open for at least another four hours. He looked up at her with the most extraordinary gray eyes she’d ever seen.

“Leave me alone,” he said dully, sounding defeated by life already.

Frances hesitated; she really should do as he said and keep walking. Her bed was calling.

“You need help man?” she asked instead.

He stared at her speculatively and she wondered what he was seeing.

*****

What Allen was seeing was a petite dark haired light skinned black girl with green eyes and the most unkempt hair he’d ever seen on a female. It was long almost reaching halfway down her diminutive frame and looked like it had about zero acquaintance with a comb. She looked like a strong breeze could blow her over in spite of the baseball bat she was holding in her tiny hand. She couldn’t be more than ten years old and here she was asking him if she could help him?

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