Chapter Two

Chapter Two

Chapter Two

The Aftermath – Topside, San Francisco, California

Quinn Karson

 

I cough until I gag. My eyes water and my vision blurs. We walk along the bay in an attempt to avoid the smell that lingers in the city center. Micah says this area is, or used to be, called the Embarcadero.  “See,” he says, pointing toward a pile of ruined concrete and steel. “That’s the ferry terminal.” The smell near the water is definitely better than the smell near the subway station in the city. Every so often the smell of the salt water fills my nostrils, and, if I close my eyes, everything feels normal again. Micah stops next to me., pulling a crumpled map from his backpack. I can’t believe he remembered to grab it. I think to myself; I lament my own lost pack.

“It looks like we’re going the right way,” he says glancing up. His deep set chocolate eyes look frantic, but some where, deep inside of them, I find something remarkable: hope. “That street sign says Washington, I think,” he says pointing to a ruined metal sign hanging by a single string. I squint at it. “Don’t hurt yourself,” he jokes. I scowl at him. “If we just follow this road up and around, we should run right into the Presidio.” He seems pleased, folding up the map and returning it to his pack. cough until I gag. My eyes water and my vision blurs. We walk along the bay in an attempt to avoid the smell that lingers in the city center. Micah says this area is, or used to be, called the Embarcadero.  “See,” he says, pointing toward a pile of ruined concrete and steel. “That’s the ferry terminal.” The smell near the water is definitely better than the smell near the subway station in the city. Every so often the smell of the salt water fills my nostrils, and, if I close my eyes, everything feels normal again. Micah stops next to me., pulling a crumpled map from his backpack. I can’t believe he remembered to grab it. I think to myself; I lament my own lost pack.

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Chapter One

Chapter One

The Beginning of the End – Underground, San Francisco

Quinn Karson

 

The subway car rattles and screeches around a turn down one of the hundreds of dark, dank tunnels beneath San Francisco. Micah looks as bored as I feel. The ride from Oakland into the city is a long one. I squeeze his hand and he looks up at me; a crooked smile races across his face. I wrench my eyes open as far as they will go and smile so hard the tendons in my neck flex. He draws one eyebrow skyward and purses his lips. Our wordless conversation ends when his gaze leaves mine.

I’m exhausted. Micah wears a heavy shade of sleeplessness under his eyes. I can only imagine how my face must look. I’ve never been this far from home, but Micah has been to California a few times. Mom must be worried, I think to myself. Micah and I have been planning our escape for weeks. I let my mind wander back to the moment he told me he was leaving.

“I have to get out of here,” Micah says, his voice is desperate. “I’ll be 18 in 2 months and I’m not going to stick around and wait for the fosters to kick me out.” I can feel the tears threatening to spill from my eyes. The thought of living without Micah threatens to crush me. The six months we’ve spent together have been the best months of my life. I clear my throat.

“So where will you go?” I ask keeping my eyes on the grubby carpet of his bedroom.

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