I’ve never known anyone who lived “on the street,” so to speak.
Oh, wait, yes, yes, I guess I did. But I didn’t know them for long.
This is the short, scrubbed version.
One June evening, when I was sixteen, I attended an, ahem, impromptu party in an isolated area on the outskirts of town. During the evening, I met three girls; two of whom were seventeen. The third one was twelve. They had no compunction about admitting they had walked away from a juvenile detention facility in Albany, New York.
Somehow (I didn’t dare ask) they ended up across the state line, where they were befriended by pals of my then boyfriend. The girls had left the obviously low security detention home with only the clothes on their backs. One of them asked me if I had any spare clothes. I hadn’t.
And yes, the party involved alcohol, well beer. I confess that I did take a couple of sips of beer, but that was it. I didn’t care for the taste. I spent most of the night sitting in the car, wondering how I had gotten into this fiasco, and hoping the party would end before any cops showed up.
About three hours later, the evening ended in the second wildest car ride I have ever experienced. Twenty years later, I wrote that part into a short story for a fiction writing class and, more recently, included it in a scene in the novel I abandoned a couple of years ago.
But I digress.
The next morning, I told my best friend Kate about the party, complaining about the girls. “I don’t like the idea of those girls being around Jeremy,” I said. I had overheard one of the guys telling another that the girls were camped out on a friend’s father’s business property. The property, which comprised several acres, was located in another isolated area on the outskirts of town, close to where Jeremy lived.
Kate came up with the idea that we should go find the girls and have a chat with them. Sounded like a plan, but how to get there? Neither of us had a driver’s license.
Fortunately, Kate also came up with the name of an acquaintance who had a car. Acquaintance turned out to be a seventeen-year-old Avon lady. Avon Lady agreed to drive us to the fugitives’ hideout later that evening, after making deliveries to a few customers, including a customer in Jeremy’s neighborhood.
Around 8:30 p.m., Kate, the Avon Lady, and I trespassed on our friend’s dad’s business property and went looking for the girls with the intention of telling them to leave the area. Considering their backgrounds, I’m not sure how well that would have gone over. However, we never found them, which probably was in our best interests.
A couple of days later, I learned our friend’s dad had found out about the trio the day after the party and reported them to the police, which, no doubt, was in his best interests.