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Holly Bennett

The Naive One

0 · 890 views · located in New York, NY

a character in “The Lost & Found”, as played by Writer

Description

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I was born under the name of:
Holly Lucy Bennett

Call me:
Holly

I was born on:
May 29th, 1997

I was born in:
South Bronx, NY

I make a living by:
Doing drug runs with Hailey. Nick gives us drugs and an address to bring them to, and then he gives us some of the profits. Hailey is in charge of our money though, so she usually holds onto all of it until I need something.


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ImagePersonality:
Holly could be described as being naive, childish, kind and friendly. She has a cheerful and optimistic demeanor and for the most part, is usually happy. She's not the type of person who would ever intentionally hurt anyone so it's sometimes hard for her to understand why other people fight or hurt each other. She is very inattentive and absentminded, and finds it very hard to focus on one thing for very long. Tying into that, she's active and likes to be moving around all of the time.

However kind she is, she does have a tendency to annoy some of the others, especially Brooklyn. She enjoys talking to people and socializing but tends to overstep boundaries so if she's bored and wants to chat, she's going to, whether it's noon or four in the morning when everyone else is sleeping. She would never go out of her way to insult or be mean to someone but lacks a speech filter and tends to say things that she overheard and weren't intended to be repeated, or ask invasive or personal questions.

One of the most noticeable aspects of Holly is how dependent she is on other people, most specifically Hailey. She struggles with many academic skills and lacks some common sense, mostly due to her naivety, so without her sister, she would easily be taken advantage of. Although her sister is only two minutes older than her, she has been the only maternal figure in Holly's life and even now at almost eighteen years old, she continues to play the part. Her sister is the person who keeps her grounded; prevents her from spending all of their money on candy, makes sure that she doesn't get lost as they navigate through the city and apologizes to others when Holly crosses a social boundary that she never knew existed.


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❤Candy, or anything sweet
❤Bright colors
❤Socializing
❤Hailey
❤Music
❤New places
❤Little dogs
❤Swimming
✘Arguments
✘Sitting still
✘Anything school related
✘Cold weather
✘Large dogs
✘Spicy food
✘Being alone
✘Not knowing where her sister is


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History:
Holly was born two minutes after her identical twin sister Hailey, to Leanna Bennett. Leanna came to New York as a thirteen-year-old runaway who had left her own abusive home and came to the city in hopes of making it big as a model. She soon learned that this was a unattainable dream and ended up getting involved in a drug ring. Somewhere along the line, she got pregnant and a year later, Hailey and Holly were born. The girls never met their father and don't even know his name, but did end up living with their mother and her boyfriend, Jim. They were running a small meth lab in the kitchen of their tiny apartment and although they sold most of the drugs they produced, it would be hard to tell judging on how much the two of them consumed on their own.

Needless to say, the girls weren't born into the ideal home and their mother never hesitated to let them know that. She made a point to stress how if she wasn't receiving a welfare check for keeping them, they would have been dumped into the foster care system long ago. It probably wouldn't have been a bad alternative anyway. Leanna was nearly always either high or drunk, or a combination of the two, and there were constant fighting between her and Jim. The altercations often turned physical but the twins weren't usually involved. However, when Holly was around seven years old, her mother's boyfriend began to sexually abuse her. It began as quick and infrequent encounters but after a few weeks, it became an almost nightly occurrence that lasted for three years before he was shot and killed by one of his drug customers who claimed he had ripped him off. Although Holly showed signs of having learning disabilities and emotional problems before this began, it was probably the main turning point that halted any chance of progress in those areas, and actually resulted in her regressing. She became attached to Hailey, the only person that she could always count on, and developed a happy-go-lucky but immature persona that she never ended up growing out of.

Her life outside of their home wasn't ideal either. Almost as soon as she started school, she was diagnosed with ADHD and soon after, dyslexia. The school district that they were a part of was severely underfunded and had very little resources to help a child like her, who had no physical signs of a disability but struggled dramatically when it came to school and focusing. She was prescribed medication to help with the ADHD but the pills never reached her because her mother and boyfriend sold them at the end of every month for extra cash when their government checks ran out. Her teachers did all that they could to help her but it proved futile and she ended up being held back four times over the course of her school career. She dropped out after completing the fifth grade (which should have been ninth grade), when she and Hailey ran away from home.

After Jim was murdered, Holly's life took a turn for the better, although not by much. Her mother seemed to acquire a new boyfriend, Chris, overnight and they soon moved into his apartment. He was also deeply involved in the drug game but took little interest in Holly or Hailey and only used them to deliver drugs for him. It was a clever disguise: he would fill one of the girl's backpacks with bags of drugs and the others with their books, and send them on their way to school. They would make a quick stop at an apartment on the way there, where they would deposit the drugs, and then go to school. He gave the girls candy as a reward, which Holly happily accepted.

Although she and Hailey were living in a barren, drug-ridden apartment with two addicts, she preferred this life to the one they had left behind. However, this was once again cut short when Holly was fifteen. This time, their apartment had been searched by police and after it was discovered that the couple were manufacturing and selling drugs, they were charged with a slew of offenses that ended up with them being sentenced to over six years in prison. Hailey and Holly were scheduled to be put into foster care but Hailey overheard social workers speaking about how the girls would be separated, so they ran away instead.

So begins...

Holly Bennett's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto Character Portrait: Hailey Bennett

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#, as written by Writer
Holly had struggled with sleep for as long as she could remember. It probably started around the same time as the sexual abuse, but even after that ended, her nights continued to be restless. When they were kids, she would keep Hailey up into the late hours or the night with her nonstop chatter and energy until her mother's boyfriend would threaten to beat them if they made another sound. Even then, it was nearly impossible for Holly to stay in bed without moving or making noise. It was like she had an overflowing amount of energy building up inside of her and when she couldn't release it, it felt like she could literally explode. Although it had gotten a bit better over the years, it was still difficult for her to fall asleep and even when that happened, she could only sleep for a few hours at a time. With that in mind, it was no surprise that after only four and a half hours asleep, Holly was awake by eight that the morning.

Although she had only been awake for a mere seven minutes, it felt like an eternity of laying there silently, hoping that Hailey, who slept on a mattress beside her, would wake up. She would roll over to one side and then decide that she wasn't comfortable and quickly switch positions until she couldn't stand laying down anymore. Although she wanted to interact with someone, she knew better than to wake Hailey up if there wasn't a real problem, so she slipped out from under the stained comforter that she slept under and began to shift through her and Hailey's belongings. They didn't have much and most of their possessions were really Hailey's, but Holly did have a box filled with some clothes, makeup, a koosh ball and a few bags of chips. The nail polish sparked her interest but after painting three of her nails, she was ready to do something different and changed out of the t-shirt and sweatshirt that she usually slept in, and into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. She moved onto the koosh ball, tossing it into the air a few times. The toy was one of the few useful suggestions that a psychologist had made when she was a kid in school. It gave her something to do with her hands when she needed to expel energy and even after leaving school, it kept Holly entertained for a little bit longer than most other things.

By now, Holly was baffled at how Hailey could still be asleep. Even though she had been awake for less than an hour, it felt like at least three, and she was tired of occupying herself. She lightly threw the ball at Hailey's face, sitting at the bottom of her mattress. "Are you awake yet?" she whispered.

Holly didn't listen to Hailey's response though, because she heard someone coming in and when she got to her feet, she saw that it was Nick. He was always nice to her, even when Brooklyn wasn't, and he always paid her for delivering drugs to his "friends" for him.

"Hi Nick," she said as she approached him. He was sitting in a folding chair eating a bagel, next to Brooklyn, who still lay asleep on their bed. Holly, commonly known to cross social boundaries, sat down next to the sleeping stripper, hoping that she could socialize with Nick until Hailey Jo was ready to do something.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto

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#, as written by Cure
After waking up for the fourth time, this time to Holly's rustling, Roman flung his arms out and gave up on any chance at sleep. It was still mostly black, save the little bit of light that shone through few missing bricks here and there. His feet hung off the bed, exposed from the lack of blanket to cover his tall frame. His shoulder was hurting him again. Actually, everything was hurting, but to be more specific it was that damn shoulder. He turned toward the wall and felt inside a hole in the mattress. His fingers caught some springs and fluff, but then he found it. He dry swallowed two Vicodin before lying back on his mattress. Sometimes it still disoriented him thinking about where he used to be and where he was now. He tried not to linger on it for too long. If he couldn't get his mind off of it--which, to be honest, was quite often in most recent days, what with the ugly April that just passed--he still had his last piece of his old life. The book of the world his grandparents had given him when he was a kid. Now wasn't the time for reminiscing though. He sat up and grunted some, rubbing his shoulder. He wasn't sure what time it was, but he figured it had to be before noon when he looked around and saw Nick inhaling a bagel with Holly sitting wide-eyed next to a sleeping Brooklyn.

Killens swung around and crossed his arms over his legs and smirked sleepily. He nodded towards the bagel before pulling a random shirt on.

"Nick, I'm hurt you didn't bring enough to share. And Holly, it's a pleasure to have as beautiful an alarm clock as yourself."

Not that he would admit it out loud, or sober, but he had a deep respect for Nick. Or maybe it was just the amount of debt he owed him that came in the form of respect. Whichever, Killens probably would have been dead by now if he hadn't pulled him out of the shit he had gotten into. Is still getting into. He ruffled his hair and rubbed his face. "How do you get up so early every god damn day?"

Roman got off of his mattress and stood behind it, waving the blanket over it until it fell down nicely over it. Why he made his bed, he didn't really know. Maybe for a sense of normalcy. The movement stiffened his shoulder, but he ignored it. He'd gotten paid a decent amount for the fight. Normally fighting doesn't pay a lot, but it's just some sadistic gambling game that people around here are into. It doesn't bring in thousands, but it's not like he's trying to buy a mansion or anything.

He grabbed his pack of cigarettes and dangled it between his lips. He would probably sit around. Maybe try to sleep some more. He lit his cigarette and took a deep inhale and just sat and thought. He might go to his secret place later on today. That secret place being the public library. Not that he was super sketchy about going there as often as he did. It just felt better to keep it to himself. Like a lot of things.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto

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C A R A / / F O R R E S T


Nightmares still kept Cara up some nights; nightmares of her father and of the things she had gone through before running away. Scratching helped, as it always did. After she stopped cutting she just scratched her arms from time to time when she felt like she was about to have a panic attack. That night was one of those sleepless nights she suffered from time to time. Her arms where covered in long red lines from her desperate attempts at calming and soothing herself.

She woke up extremely early; at about 5:07 a.m. to be exact. But she didn’t stood up from her mattress until about 6:15, after she made sure Nick was gone. She took a pair of old ripped jeans and a thin long sleeved white shirt, along with her pair of worn out white converse (they weren’t really white anymore; they where more like a yellowish brown) and changed out of the clothes she had fallen asleep in yesterday. After staring at the floor for a good ten minutes straight, she went to the place she liked the most. The rooftop.

The warehouse she had been staying at for the past few months had a small set of stairs hidden behind a large, old and rusted machine. Ever since they “adopted” her, she had discovered said stairs, climbed them to the top, and found a simple crumbling roof. But simple was enough for her, and so she had been going there alone every morning to just sit around and think about life watching the sun rising up from the horizon.

That morning she stayed there for about three hours, trying to erase the vivid images from her haunting nightmares. But she just grew bored and decided to go downstairs to see if somebody else was awake, only to find Nick, Holly and Roman outside of their beds.

She approached them quietly and greeted them with a simple “Good morning, guys.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto

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Robbie rolled to his back and stretched, cupping his hands together over his head and letting one fall to the ground and the other laying across his forehead. There was no kicking off blankets or throwing off his sweater, he never used anything, sleeping in as little as possible due to the fact that he has been having night sweats since he was kid. Letting out a yawn he rolled his head to look out of the window, he had picked a spot in a corner next to a boarded up window where he pulled out the middle board. It was a straight shot to the sky and on a good night you could see the moon perfectly, but for now it was dawn and the dark sky was starting to get a bit of color in it.

With a heavy sigh he threw himself up, his body ached but that was nothing he wasn’t used to. It was an everyday thing nowadays, go to bed on cloud nine, wake up feeling like you're forty years older and a hundred times heavier. Throwing off the now soggy shirt he slept in he changed into a grey long sleeve shirt and slid on his worn skate shoes. He cracked his neck and stretched his back out and made his way to the roof stairs. On his way he seen some of the others chatting and grumbled “Mornin’” loud enough for them to hear it and slid past Cara on his way up, although he normally likes talking to people he is the complete opposite when he wakes up so to utter a single word is a miracle.

Robbie liked to watch the sunrise and set it reminded him of good times he had past and present. One of the first things he did was set up a makeshift look out area on the corner of the roof and boy was it a view. You could see just how shitty everything was up until a certain point where the skyline hit the clouds. It always reminded him that you can always find something good in a bad situation. Walking over and wiping the sleep from his eyes he fell into the lawn chair that he acquired when he first arrived in the group. There were several beer bottles scattered around the bottom of the chair the clang of some bottles falling over was a sound all too familiar. He reached down grabbing a larger bottle that he also acquired some nights ago, spinning the cap off with his thumb he took a swig and rested the bottle on his leg Nothing like starting the day off with a drink.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto Character Portrait: Hailey Bennett

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The previous night had been rough to say the least. Brooklyn had worked until closing, four in the morning, and stopped at the gym on her way home. She usually stopped there after work to shower. Most of the guys that she danced for were fat, old, rich guys who were just as grimy mentally as they were physically, and Brooklyn was as eager as to wash their filth off as possible.

It sucked working so late, especially since Nick woke up so early, because it only gave them around an hour to sleep together, if anything. He was pretty understanding though, at least when Brooklyn reminded him of how much she would make over the weekend. After Nick got back from his morning deliveries, he would usually get back in bed with her for at least a little while.

This morning appeared to be no different. As Brooklyn drifted in and out of sleep, she felt someone sit down on Nick's side of the mattress and instinctively, she rolled over and felt around for his hand. However, when she found it, she knew right away that it wasn't Nick, and when she opened her eyes she quickly found that the dainty hand belonged to Holly. How many times Brooklyn had told Holly to stay the hell away from her when she was sleeping was beyond her. She had suggested countless times that they get her one of those child leashes and tie her down to something but her sister wouldn't have it. Even though Brooklyn liked to blame Hailey for not properly restraining her sister, she did appreciate how patient and protective she was of Holly. When Brooklyn's sister was alive, she had been the same way.

"Are you out of your fucking mind?" Brooklyn said sluggishly, lightly pushing Holly off of their bed and reaching her arms out to stretch. She sat up, rubbed the tiredness out of her eyes and noticed that most of the others were up. Roman was smoking, Nick was eating and Robbie probably,already had his lips around a bottle. Cara was standing near, too. As much as Brooklyn wanted to pull the blanket over her head and sink back into sleep, it was obvious that the others wanted to socialize or something, and Holly had already ruined her tranquil mood.

"I swear to God, Hailey. I will pay for as much weed or Adderall as it takes for your sister to act like a normal person," Brooklyn said, glancing over to the area that Hailey and Holly slept. She grabbed a blank tank top and a pair of skinny jeans and changed into them. Brooklyn didn't mind the others being around when she got changed. She made a living off of stripping for dirty men, so some innocent switching of outfits didn't bother her. However, she'd probably cut their throats open if any of them tried to visit her at work.

"Let's get breakfast," she said to Nick, although it was an open invitation for the others to join as well. She grabbed her wallet, which was hidden under heaps of clothes and random shit, and pulled out last night's pay before stuffing it into her bra. "Bum me a cigarette?" she said, approaching Roman with a smile.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto Character Portrait: Hailey Bennett Character Portrait: Braden Gable

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Honestly, Hailey could sleep through almost anything. Traffic noises, thunderstorms, physical altercations... pretty much everything. After living in an apartment full of drug addicts, Hailey figured most people would get used to sleeping through crazy situations. The only thing she couldn't sleep through was something or someone touching her. That's why- when Holly threw the koosh ball at her- her previously still body moved slightly, and she groaned,

"Holly..." She murmured, her eyes still closed as she rolled over on her side, away from Holly's mattress which was adjacent from hers, "Leave me alone..." Hailey tried to snuggle back into her mattress, but after a few minutes, it was apparent that there was no hope of her going back to sleep. With a disgruntled sigh, her upper body rose up off the mattress, and by the time she glanced around, Holly was no longer on her mattress beside hers, but she was now over beside Brooklyn on the mattress that Nick and Brooklyn shared. Hailey stretched her arms and looked at Holly,

"Holly. Get back over here." She said in a soft voice, and mouthed a quick 'sorry' to Brooklyn. Hailey then managed to drag herself to a standing position beside the mattress, then found herself bending down to pull her tattered sheet over the mattress and fold it down, completing the whole thing with her pillow, which was placed neatly at the top of the mattress. Hailey made her bed because it was routine. She liked routine. To be honest, she hated any kind of change. Which is why she hated it so much when they had to move. Hailey switched back to her standing position and twisted her body, trying to pop her back. That's when she saw Braden, curled up on his mattress. Everybody was up except him, which wasn't exactly out of the norm. Hailey actually smiled for a moment. She didn't know why he had to be so gosh darn cute. Hailey saw the others- Nick, Cara, Robbie, and Roman, and she waved to them slightly,

"Morning." She murmured. The only person she was really close to was Holly. And, well, secretly- Braden. So, Hailey tried to keep socializing with the others to a friendly minimum. After a moment of thought, Hailey dug through her backpack and pulled out a twenty dollar bill, throwing it onto Holly's mattress,

"Holly, there's a twenty." She said, "Go get breakfast or something." Hailey sat back down on the edge of her mattress and began to think of what she would do later that day. She and Holly had two drug runs at noon, which should go by smoothly, and then she would have the rest of the day to herself. Maybe she would go to central park, just walk around and clear her mind.... or, maybe, she would come back to the warehouse and sleep... she wasn't entirely sure. Hailey lost in thought at that point.

And then it hit her. Like a brick wall.

At first, Hailey thought it was just a hunger pang, but she soon realized it was much more. Hailey shot up off the bed and clutched the middle of her abdomen.

"Oh god, I think I'm going to be sick." She murmured, more to herself, and without a word to anyone else, she made a beeline for the dumpster that blocked the entrance to the warehouse.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto Character Portrait: Hailey Bennett Character Portrait: Braden Gable

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Nick was content as he ate his bagel, his mind pretty blank. It was nice not having to think sometimes. He didn't have to consider what would happen in the future or what had happened in the past. When Nick had first moved to the city, he didn't have a lot of free time since he worked at the restaurant frequently, but when he did have a spare moment, he was depressed to a point where he had considered suicide. The foster care wasn't really what set him off, but more so that his grandparents were both gone. They had been the only ones who wanted him in his life, and to think that his whole life could change because they died bothered him. He was all alone in a huge city. If he died, would anyone care? Would anyone even notice? Things got better when he moved out of the shelter and made friends, and now, with as close to a family as he could have, he was actually pretty happy with his life. Well, maybe it was the marijuana that helped with that, but still, he didn't have many complaints for someone sleeping on an old mattress.

Holly approached, taking a seat next to Brooklyn, and greeting him happily. "Morning Holl," Nick said, finishing off his bagel just as Roman appeared. He joked about Nick not bringing food back for the rest of them and asked how he managed to get up so early.

"I'm not a waiter anymore, Killens," he retorted with a grin. "Besides, shouldn't you be jacking up on protein or metal nails and shit? Isn't that what you fighters eat?" Nick would never say anything, because the last thing that he wanted to sound like was someone's mom, but he kind of worried about Killens being involved in that underground fighting scene. Honestly, Nick guessed that it was probably safer than dealing drugs but he'd heard about kids getting the shit beaten out of them in those fights. Killens could definitely hold his own- that wasn't the problem- it just didn't seem worth it. Nick figured that it was probably more than just for the money though. Even though Nick preferred to keep the peace among his friends, he knew that adrenaline rush that came during a fight all too well.

Apparently, Cara was already awake because she came down from the stairs to the roof and greeted them. He liked Cara. They were opposites in the sense that her parents were both Americans but she grew up in Mexico, while Nick's parents were both from Spain and yet he spent his life in the USA. Although he was into brunettes, he could admit that Cara was hot, and she was a nice girl too. She's probably the last one he'd expect to be out here but he figured that a girl like her would make big bucks as a prostitute.

Robbie gave them a quick hello before heading up to the roof and by then, Brooklyn had woken up. Nick knew that he probably should have asked Holly to move but he figured that that was Hailey's place. Besides, he was used to Brooklyn getting annoyed with Holly, so it was no surprise when she pushed her off the mattress and suggested to Hailey that they put her on Adderall or weed. Nick didn't think it was a bad idea. The kid could definitely use some Ritalin or Adderall and he had a nice stash of it, but again, he didn't want to get involved.

Brooklyn got dressed and suggested that they go get breakfast and even though he'd just had a bagel, Nick was still up for getting a hot meal. He wasn't about to dish out twenty dollars for some pancakes, so he figured that McDonald's would work. "Wanna get McDonald's?" he suggested to Brooklyn, standing up and glancing around at the others. "Killens? Cara? You down?" he asked, turning his head to Hailey's area. "Hailey, you wanna co-" he began, but stopped as she bolted up and ran towards the door, claiming that she was going to be sick.

He looked at the others, not sure whether he should be worried or what, but figured that she was either hungover, or ate at that new Chinese joint down the street last night. "She must've had food from The Palace of Wong last night. I'm telling you, that shit they say's chicken is definitely dog meat or something. That place is nasty."

It would probably be awkward to walk out as Hailey was puking, and Nick figured that Holly or one of the girls would take care of it, so he headed towards the stairs. He walked up a few of them and shouted up to Robbie. "We're going to get food. Wanna come or want us to bring you back something?" As he turned back to the group, he glanced over at Braden who was still asleep. "Should we wake him up?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto Character Portrait: Hailey Bennett

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#, as written by Writer
Within twenty minutes of Nick coming in, it seemed like everyone besides Braden were awake. Roman never failed to make Holly smile. He was nice and smart, and never snapped at her, even when she did wake him up. Holly agreed that it would have been nice if Nick had brought them back bagels too, but before she could respond, Brooklyn had woken up and was asking her if she was "out of her fucking mind". Even though Holly didn't like it when Brooklyn cursed at her, she never took Brooklyn's anger or annoyance at her seriously.

"It's not my fault that your bed's so comfy!" she exclaimed, allowing herself to fall back onto the bed until she was laying down next to Brooklyn. "I bet you'd let Cara sleep with you."

Hailey called out for her to come back to their area and although Holly was enjoying talking with Nick, Killens and Brooklyn, she was ready for a change of pace. She jumped up and made her way back to where Hailey stood, now rummaging through her bag. Holly's happiness was apparent when her sister tossed money onto her mattress, instructing her to get "breakfast or something". Twenty dollars was enough for twenty different pieces of candy. Even though Holly didn't manage to get through elementary school, she knew that much.

"You're like... the best sister in the world," Holly responded, examining the bill closely before tucking it into her pocket.

She turned to hear Nick asking if anyone wanted to go with them to get McDonald's, and although Holly only planned on stopping at a newspaper stand on the side of the street to get some candy, she would happily join them for some company.

When Nick asked Hailey if she wanted to go though, she burst out of the warehouse, claiming that she was going to be sick. Holly frowned, glancing over at Nick and then back towards the door that her sister had disappeared out of.

She wasn't sure of what to do. It was normally Hailey who took care of her, not the other way around. Still, she wasn't stupid, and knew that it wasn't normal for her sister to burst out like. Even if she had eaten bad food like Nick suggested, wouldn't she have been sick last night too? Holly wasn't sure but after figuring that she was probably the one expected to go out and waiting long enough that she hoped her sister would have finished throwing up if she was going to, Holly slipped outside.

"Are you okay? Nick said maybe you're hungover or you ate bad Chinese food but we didn't eat Chinese food last night, right? So I don't think it's that. Maybe you're dying," she suggested.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto Character Portrait: Hailey Bennett

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Robbie had his head back and was slowly drifting back to sleep when Nick's voice broke through his day dream. All you had to say was food and he hopped out of his chair capping the bottle he had been taking sips from and placing it back to its usually spot at the bottom of the lawn chair. "Yeah I'll come." He shouted back making his way to the stairs.

He slid down the stairs and passed Nick and the others "Gimmie a minute." He said pacing over to his corner and patted down the clothes he wore yesterday, grabbing a five dollar bill and some change from the pockets. Robbie made money by scoping out rich looking folk at the park and was at just the right place to swipe a wallet or pocket some jewelry to pawn. He knows the owner of the shop, a real scummy dude, he has a system that only effects the people that temporarily pawn there stuff making them the prime target. He keeps a seperate off the record book of the addresses and items that people temporarily pawn and once they take their stuff back and if it's valuable enough, he pays people like Robbie to take it back for a profit.

Pocketing the cash he walked back over to the group, looking around he seen that Braden was still asleep and Holly and Hailey were no longer in sight. "Where's the twins?" His curiosity rang.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Hailey Bennett Character Portrait: Braden Gable

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Hailey spent a good five minutes heaving over the dumpster. It wasn't pleasant, by any means, but she managed to move her hair out of the way and keep her clothes and stuff clean while she was getting sick. She could hear the others talking inside, about her, no doubt, and Hailey managed to straighten herself up and take a deep, shaking breath just as Holly came outside.

"I think it's just my stomach not agreeing with me... and thanks, Holly, that's real encouraging." She mumbled. And, yet as she finished her sentence, Hailey found herself dry heaving over the dumpster. It was just about as worse as actually getting sick. She felt someone's hand on her back and she twitched slightly, hoping it was Braden, but she doubted that he was up yet. Loud noises never seemed to wake him, either. By the sound of the voice, it was Roman. Which, Hailey didn't really mind. At least there were people there with her, and, they cared enough to come out and check on her. Hailey caught her breath again and managed to talk, even though she was still halfway bent over into the dumpster,

"Water would be great, Holly. It would help a lot." Hailey tried to be gentle with her sister, although since she obviously didn't feel too well, she really didn't have the patience. Once Hailey felt like she wasn't going to get sick all over again, she pulled herself away from the dumpster and grabbed a napkin she hand stuffed in the pocket of her pajama pants and wiped her mouth,

"That was awful." She murmured to herself. She forgot Roman was there until he mentioned grabbing one of the other girls. When Hailey heard this, she shook her head,

"I'm fine, I'm fine. No need to bring Brooklyn or Cara into this...." Hailey ran a hand through her hair, once again putting it back behind her shoulders. "I'm fine." She repeated. To Hailey, words or phrases never seemed to take effect unless you said them three times or more. Hailey tossed the napkin in the dumpster and began to walk back inside. She knew she looked awful, without even looking at herself. By the way she felt, her skin had to be pale white and her eyes had to be halfway bloodshot. She came back in just in time to hear Robbie ask where she and Holly were,

"I'm right here." Hailey said in a voice that made her sound like she was almost dead. She trudged back over to her area of the warehouse and got out a mint, putting it in her mouth as she sat down on the mattress.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Hailey Bennett

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As Holly met Hailey outside, it was obvious that she really was going to get sick - well, she already did. She claimed that it was just her stomach "not agreeing" with her and Holly took it at face value. She had no reason to suspect that anything was up. It wasn't like they were living in a clean, sanitary environment. It wasn't hard to get sick out here, but this didn't seem like the same sick that Holly would sometimes get in the winter when she would feel so sick that she didn't want to move around or talk to anyone. This was weird and sudden.

Should I do something? I'm not a doctor though. And Hailey Jo's like the smartest person I know... in the world. George Washington was probably smarter because he invented electricity and stuff but like probably just him and then she's the second smartest. But Christopher Columbus was probably smart too because he knew how to get to America from like... China, without any maps or anything. And Hailey can't even eat Chinese food without like, dying.

Holly was pulled out of her racing thoughts when Roman appeared, suggesting that she go get some water for Hailey and one of the girls. She didn't stick around long enough for Hailey to insist that she was okay and didn't need help from anyone, but by the time Holly had retrieved water, Hailey was already back in time and she couldn't make an announcement that Hailey was dying. So, she bounded towards her sister who had taken a seat back down on her mattress.

"Watch this!" she said to her sister as she whipped the water bottle up into the air and barely managed to catch it as it came spiraling back down. "I should have played baseball or something. I have good reflexes," she said, clearly happy with herself as she passed the water bottle to her sister.

"Can I still go get breakfast with them or do you need me to like, make sure you don't have a heart attack again?" she asked, looking back towards the group and then at her sister again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto Character Portrait: Hailey Bennett

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Brooklyn got the cigarette that she requested from Roman, although it wasn't given without a playful jab at how she always seemed to take his without buying her own. She lit the cigarette and held it between her lips as she pulled a wad of cash out of her bra and held it up for him to see. "A few more shifts this week and I'll buy you your own cigarette factory," she replied, before returning the cash to her bra.

McDonald's wasn't necessarily what Brooklyn had in mind when she suggested getting food, but then again, neither was inviting everyone else. Back when it was only Nick and Roman, Brooklyn was able to have a lot more "alone time" with Nick than she got now. Roman would tag along sometimes but it never to the extent that he was third-wheeling. He was Nick's best friend but Brooklyn got along with him too, especially since she had known him for nearly as long as she had Nick. Now, with everyone else always around, a lot of things seemed to be a group affair. Brooklyn had never brought it up to Nick or any of the others but it kind of bothered her. Nick, however, seemed content, or even desired having the others around all of the time and since she knew that it really wasn't a huge deal, she figured that it was best to ignore it for now. Besides, it was her who spent most nights out at the club working so she couldn't really blame him.

Robbie agreed to come and Roman had already disappeared outside, not returning even after Hailey did. The preferred twin definitely didn't look well but Brooklyn doubted she did either most mornings. In fact, this was one of the rare mornings that she didn't wake up with a severe hangover. She wasn't sure if Hailey was a big drinker or not, and even if she was, Brooklyn doubted that she would admit it in front of Holly, but that would be a sensible reason for her being sick so early in the morning.

It didn't look like Hailey was going to be up for getting breakfast and although Holly wasn't dumb enough to need one of them to look after her, without Hailey there to occupy her, Holly was probably going to be looking for someone to annoy all morning. There wasn't a chance that Brooklyn was going to be stuck in that position since she had already gotten her fill of Holly for the day, so she kissed Nick lightly before whispering that she'd be waiting outside, and out she went. Cara could handle her, hopefully. It wasn't like she was great at English anyway, and at the rate that Holly spoke at, it probably just sounded like jibber jabber to a non-native speaker.

As she passed, she noted the scent of alcohol already on Robbie (or maybe it just hadn't worn off from last night?), but she wasn't surprised. He could drink more than anyone she knew and she doubted that there were many times when she knew him when he wasn't at least buzzed on alcohol or high on drugs. It was sad, really, but then again, all of their lives kind of were.

Killens was outside waiting and Brooklyn made an effort to avoid the vomit as she walked over to him. She took a final hit off of the cigarette and flicked it to the cement, crushing it beneath her shoe as she walked a bit past Roman and onto the sidewalk. "So, we're getting fancy today with McDonald's. I hope you called ahead and made a reservation for us, Roman," she said, sarcasm dripping from her words as her eyes darted impatiently towards the warehouse door where the others still were.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto Character Portrait: Hailey Bennett Character Portrait: Braden Gable

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The reason why Cara didn’t talk much was because knew she wasn’t good at speaking English; in fact, she kind of sucked. She could keep up a decent conversation, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Plus her accent kind of sucked too and made it hard for others to understand her when she started to babble. So she just let the people around her handle the conversation and she’d just nod her head a few times trying to sound interested in what was going on.

By the time she greeted Nick, Roman and Holly, everyone but Braden started waking up. Slowly their voices grew louder and the conversations more difficult for her to keep up with. So far she knew about the trip to McDonald’s they planned on making to grab some breakfast, and about Hailey’s sick stomach.

To say Hailey looked bad was an understatement; sure she sometimes drank and woke up with a hangover, but this was nothing like it. She looked like she’d just seen a ghost and that worried Cara a little. What if something serious was happening to her? She knew Brooklyn was the oldest, but both Hailey and Holly where pretty young, and Cara felt a little responsible for them sometimes, as if they where the younger sisters she never had.

She watched as Brooklyn walked outside to where Roman was waiting and followed her. One thing about Cara was that even though she was pretty skinny, she could eat like a wrestler, so food could not wait any longer. She grabbed a couple of bucks from under her mattress (yes, she knew it wasn’t an original place to keep her money at but she didn’t have that many options either), walked out into the cool May air and snorted trying to cover her laughter as she heard Brooklyn’s sarcastic comment to Roman about McDonald’s.

But as soon as she saw Hailey’s vomit on the pavement and the scent hit her nose, her face contorted into a grimace. “Well, there goes my appetite,” she joked quietly. Of course nothing could ever quench her animal-like appetite.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Hailey Bennett

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Hailey sat still on the mattress, her head in her hands. She was positive that the way she looked matched the way she felt to a tee. She only raised her head up when she heard quick steps moving in her direction. Without a doubt, it was Holly. Hailey was relieved to see that Holly got the water Roman had told her to retrieve, and when Hailey went to reach for it, Holly threw it up in the air. At first, Hailey thought Holly wasn't going to catch it, so she scooted back on the mattress, wanting to avoid the result of that possibility. However, to her surprise, Holly caught it just in time and she breathed a sigh of relief as she took the water bottle and started to unscrew the cap,

"Thanks, Holly..." Hailey said softly, taking a sip of the water, "and yeah, you would've made a great softball player... reflexes are key." Hailey added with a smile, sitting the now closed-again bottle down by her mattress and laying down on her back. It seemed like the only way she could lay or sit and be comfortable without having the urge to throw up again. Hailey's eyes were fluttering closed, so she could get in a few minutes of naptime before she had to drag herself onto the streets and make the first drug run of the day when she heard Holly's question. By this time, Hailey didn't even want to open her eyes, so she just waved her hand and spoke,

"Go on. I'm fine. Take the twenty I gave you and get something to eat with everyone. But, bring me back something that won't melt... you know, like a plain biscuit or something? I can't really handle much... and a sprite to help with my stomachache. Can you do that, Holly?" Hailey asked, opening her eyes briefly to adjust her pillow, and then closing them again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto Character Portrait: Hailey Bennett

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Robbie agreed to come get something to eat with them, and Killens suggested that they just bring Braden back something since he was still asleep. It puzzled Nick how someone who lived such an unstable life could sleep that soundly. Nick seemed to wake up at the slightest noise, always worried that it was someone coming in to rob them or something. The heavy door was creaky enough where he'd hear anyone trying to come in, but he wasn't going to rely on that as a security system. Maybe the difference between Braden and him was that Nick felt responsible for the safety of the others and Braden, well... didn't. It wasn't that he was a bad dude or anything, but he was kind of just in it for himself. Nick couldn't blame him. Out here, it was necessary to look out for yourself.

Nick smiled as Brooklyn kissed him before heading outside to where Killens was waiting. Cara followed shortly after and Robbie's question of where the twins were was answered as the two came back inside. Holly got her sister a bottle of water, although not before performing a trick with the bottle, and then was told by Hailey to head off with them and bring something back for her.

"I'll make sure she brings it back for you," Nick reassured Hailey with a wink. They all knew that Holly couldn't be trusted with large amounts of money or else it'd be gone within minutes on candy or stupid knickknacks.

He followed Holly and Robbie out of the warehouse where the others waited and saw Brooklyn already standing at the end of the alley, on the sidewalk.

"You that hungry that you can't even wait for us?" he asked, smiling quizzically as he approached her. He took his hand in hers as they headed down the street. There had to be eighty, maybe ninety, McDonald's locations in Manhattan alone, so even though Nick knew the city like the back of his hand, you could really walk in any direction and find at least one of their restaurants within ten minutes.

As they approached the corner, he spotted Killens on line for a pretzel. "Damn, did you and Brooklyn light up without me or something? Even I'm not as impatient as you guys when I've got the munchies," he joked. After Roman had ordered, Nick added in, "I'll take a pretzel too." He exchanged a few dollars for the soft pretzel and turned to Brooklyn, offering her a piece before nearly swallowing the rest in one bite.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto Character Portrait: Hailey Bennett

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As soon as Holly heard Hailey say, "Go on," she had already headed towards the door. Her sister continued to talk about a biscuit or something, but Holly had already moved on to new thoughts. "Okay! Bye! See you later!" she shouted, running out the door and past the dumpster. Brooklyn and Roman were out of sight but Cara was out there, soon followed by Robbie and Nick.

Nick caught up with Brooklyn as they exited the alleyway but Holly lagged back, examining the twenty dollar bill that Hailey had given her.

I could get like five orders of pancakes with this... or like a million bags of Skittles... or half of five pancakes and half of a million Skittles. But I need something to drink too! Definitely soda. I don't want milk and Hailey always says she's gonna kill me if I get coffee. I like Sprite, I could get that. Sprite! Hailey wants a Sprite too. I remember that.

She caught up to the others once they had stopped at a pretzel stand with Roman. Holly slipped the money back into her pocket and glanced over at Cara. She was the only blonde in the group and was a very pretty girl. Holly always verbalized how she thought that she could be a model. Even though she was white and blonde, she was from Mexico, which Holly didn't understand. Hailey had told her that it was rude to keep asking about it though, so she finally just accepted it. However, she still found it to be somewhat interesting when Cara could speak Spanish better than she could English.

"What are you going to get?" Holly asked, glancing over at Cara. "Say it in Spanish. It sounds cooler when you say it in Spanish!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto

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C A R A / / F O R R E S T


Cara stood motionlessly at the end of the alley, watching as Roman went off to buy a pretzel, as he announced. Of course she knew he too couldn’t wait too long and had to get something to eat. She contemplated following him and buying a pretzel for herself, but decided on staying and waiting for the others to catch up.

Soon enough, Nick came out of the warehouse, walking away with Brooklyn, leaving Cara alone. But not for too long because she knew too well who was missing: Holly, who came out smiling brightly, examining her twenty-dollar bill. Hailey had made a great mistake by giving that to her twin sister because Cara knew Holly would spend it in something sugary like candy or chocolate.

Cara started walking slowly, trailing behind everyone as she too made her way to the nearest McDonald’s. She could feel a pair of eyes watching her and her only guess was that Holly kept staring at her probably still wondering how could she be white, blond and come from Mexico. Sometimes that girl was too naïve for her own good. But before Cara could start daydreaming like she usually did, a cheerful voice cut through her thoughts.

“What are you going to get?” she heard Holly ask. Cara opened her mouth to respond but before she could utter a word Holly spoke again.

“Say it in Spanish. It sounds cooler when you say it in Spanish!”

Cara was actually very fond of Holly. She considered her a little sister and even though sometimes she couldn’t catch a word of what Holly was saying, she liked talking to her the most. Out of everyone in their small group, Cara considered herself closest to Holly than to anyone else.

“I’ll probably get an hamburgesa de pollo, papas y refresco. That’s Spanish for chicken burger, fries and soda.” Cara replied with a relaxed smile on her face, sliding her hands into her jean’s pockets and playing with the bills she had grabbed from under her mattress.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto

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Robbie was the last one out the door and had to jog a little way to catch up to the group. He never cared for McDonald’s but when it came to their breakfast he was all over it. He wasn’t really awake yet so he kept to himself for the most part catching slight fragments of conversations here and there but not really feeling like giving any input. A couple blocks from the warehouse and they had caught up with Roman at the pretzel stand, there wasn’t much that Robbie didn’t like but pretzels were at the top of the list.

He finally started waking up and noticed that Holly was staring at the twenty like it was a million bucks. It was an amazement that Hailey would give her a twenty instead of Nick or someone that was actually responsible. Everyone knew not to give himself any money even if it was to only be held, it was clear to not trust him with money knowing his habits. They shouldn’t trust him and he didn’t even trust himself. Looking up he realized that the way they went put him pretty close to the old mans pawn shop but seeing how early it was he probably wouldn't be open quite yet. He figured by the time they got to McDonald's, ate and headed back he could stop by to see if he had any work for him to do.

Finally tuning in to the conversation, realizing he had been in a wicked stare with his feet he caught the last bit of conversation between Cara and Holly. “What about you Holls? Whatcha getting, or are you gonna just get your sister something and pocket the change to grab some candy on the way back?” he chimed in with a smirk.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrest

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Holly listened as Cara listed what she was going to get in Spanish and then translated it into English. "That doesn't sound like breakfast food!" she replied, but then shrugged, figuring that people in Mexico probably did things differently. It wasn't like the sugar-packed hot cakes and soda or candy that Holly planned on purchasing was a traditional breakfast meal either.

Robbie approached them, asking what she was going to get. He figured that she might just get Hailey something and then use the rest for candy. It was what she was planning on doing, but bringing up Hailey reminded Holly again that she was supposed to get her sister something to eat.

What was it that she wanted me to get her...? I don't think she said what she wanted. I'll just get her pancakes or something. She'll like that!

"I'm gonna get hot cakes from McDonald's because I love those, and then a Sprite because I like bubbly drinks, and then there's gonna be extra money because that's not twenty dollars worth of food... so I'll get candy on the way back! But not a lot. Hailey wouldn't like that," Holly exclaimed, talking quicker than she normally was (which was already fast) because the thought of candy excited her. It had always been her reward as a child for doing well in school, completing drug runs and keeping quiet after her mother's boyfriend sexually abused her. "What are you going to get, Roberto? Is that what you would call him where you live?" she said, glancing over at Robbie and then back to Cara.

It didn't take long for them to make it to a McDonald's and Holly followed the rest of them in. There were a lot of people there, but most of them came in and out, ordering food to take to their office or on the commute to work. A few businessman were scattered around the fast food joint, reading papers or using their cellphones, and there were some young people, probably students, eating breakfast too.

"Do you think I should get Hailey pancakes?" she asked Cara, her eyes focused on the menu the hung above the cash registers. Although she could read, her dyslexia made it difficult, especially when it was in a loud and fast paced place like this. Holly focused more so on the pictures next to the words, but she had a good idea of what she wanted to order anyway.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Cara Forrest Character Portrait: Nick Cuarto

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Needless to say New York wouldn't be New York without its tourists, but still. This early? Roman thought as he moved around sightseers more than just a few times. Along the way, he listened to Holly's humorous, borderline racist if she weren't so naive, conversation with Cara. It still surprised him that someone as quiet as Cara could really get along with Holly as she did, but the proof was right in front of him. Then again, she hadn't been on the streets as long as some of the others had been. Roman used to be the same way when he first ran away, but now he didn't really find the need to hold long conversations anyways. They were all just trying to make it through.

As per usual, the McDonalds was fairly crowded. The smell was always unsettling for him, so when he suddenly lost his appetite he simply ignored and stared at the menu. Killens wasn't exactly in the mood for something new, so he decided he would go with pancakes and water instead. He waited in the obnoxiously long line with a frown, but soon enough the line started moving, and pretty fast too. The girl at the counter looked about his age, spoke quickly and peppy. After he paid, he stepped to the side so the line could get moving. When he got his food, he moved from the counter and made eye contact with Nick, nodding towards where he was gonna sit. He chose a booth near the window so he could stare out into the streets. As soon as he sat, Roman began to cut his pancakes into bite size pieces the way his Gran did for him when he was so small.

Killens was interrupted from his daydream when he felt a pair of eyes looking at him. He looked around some and saw a big guy coming in. He knew the man. He had a scar down his face, body builder arms, at least twice Roman's size, which was probably why he was so angry when he got defeated by some as slim as Roman. Granted, it took a few ass beatings to finally take the guy, and the dude was kind of drunk, but it was months ago that that had happened. Roman gave him a look back before turning back around. The guy wouldn't do anything in public, not unless he was as crazy as he look, so it was questionable. Killens took a sip of water and rolled his shoulder out as he stared out into the streets.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrest

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C A R A / / F O R R E S T


Right after Cara answered Holly's question, she heard Robbie approach them, asking Holly what she was going to get. And of course Holly replied with an answer so quickly that Cara could not make out a single word she said. It angered her a lot when she didn't understand someone, even though it was no one's fault but hers and she knew it.

[i]"Well, I'm not exactly in the mood for breakfast food right now. I'm too hungry to just order pancakes or a bagel. But I'm not sure if they sell burgers this early in the morning,"
she replied quietly to Holly's previous remark.

New York looked very pretty today, with its clear skies and sun shining through the buildings. She couldn't really think of a reason why her parents accepted to move to Mexico when they both lived in a city as beautiful as this one. Of course Monterrey was beautiful too, with it's big mountains and tall buildings, which was a peculiar mix but nevertheless looked good.

Once she heard Robbie and Holly start to talk she slowly walked away from them and into the McDonald's. Turns out they didn't sell burgers in the morning, so Cara had to settle for a bagel. She ordered the biggest one they had with a bottle of water to accompany it, and moved out of the line. Her eyes scanned the small and crowded restaurant, and spotted Roman walking towards a booth beside a window. She followed him quietly and slipped into a seat in front of him.

"Hi," she murmured, trying to make a small talk with him. She had been trying her hardest lately, talking to everyone she could (which was out of the ordinary for her quiet self), to try and improve her English conversation skills. The only thing she lacked at was grammar and spelling, but who would need that while living on the streets.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle

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It wasn't surprising that the streets were already crowded. There were children walking hand-in-hand with their parents on their way to school, businessmen bustling down the street with cellphones pressed to their ears, and vendors shouting about having newspapers or coffee for sale. It bothered Brooklyn, sometimes, when she saw families living happily. She knew that everyone had their own problems and just because they appeared to be happy, didn't mean they were, but their families must be more normal than hers had been. Even Hailey and Holly's situation got on her nerves sometimes. She knew that the two came from a single mother household and that their mother had been involved in drugs, but that didn't seem too bad. Could it be that much worse than living in a dark and run down warehouse? They had each other too, which Brooklyn lost once her sister passed away. As stupid and annoying as Holly was, she was kind of jealous that Hailey got to have a "little" sister, even though the two were the same age.

The McDonald's was crowded, as expected, but Brooklyn wasn't in any rush. She wasn't going to eat any of the greasy food they served here, so when it was her turn to order, she only purchased a black coffee. Killens and Cara had already found a table so Brooklyn lingered on the line where Holly stood, eyeing the menu.

"Get Hailey something light," she said to Holly, searching the menu for something that would be good for an upset stomach. "I honestly don't think she'd want any of this... it's all like sausage and eggs or pancakes. We can stop at Panera and get her some of the rolls or bread from there." Brooklyn knew that Hailey had trusted Holly with twenty dollars but she imagined that it was just a quick decision in order to get Holly out so she could relax. "Gimme," she said, gently pulling the money from Holly as she ordered an pancakes and a soda for Holly, and then tucked the change into her pocket. It would be a death-wish for all of them to allow Holly to keep the change. She'd blow it on candy that would leave her hyper enough for them all to want to kill her. Brooklyn would give it to Hailey when they got back, after buying her something at Panera.

"Come on Holly," she said, taking the younger girl's tray of food and setting it down on a booth in front of the one that Killens and Cara sat at. There was no way that all six of them would fit into one booth and since Holly talked so much, Brooklyn wouldn't have to make such an effort to keep the conversation going.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle

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Holly was attempting to focus on the menu board when she realized that it was her turn to order. Brooklyn had appeared next to her, instructing her to order "something light" for Hailey, although she then said that she doubted that Hailey would want anything that McDonald's offered. Instead, she suggested that they get her something at Panera on the way back. "Panera has big M&M cookies! I'm going to get one of those when we go. Hailey said I could get anything I want," Holly said, barely noticing as Brooklyn took the money from her and ordered her meal.

She followed Brooklyn to a booth by the window that was in front of the one that Cara and Roman sat at. "Did you know that McDonald's makes an M&M thing too? That ice cream thing! What's it called? They don't sell it for breakfast because you're not supposed to have ice cream for breakfast. That's not healthy, but they sell it for lunch and dinner and stuff. It's like vanilla ice cream with M&M's in it and it comes with this weird spoon. It's not like a normal spoon," she rambled, sitting down and eyeing her pancakes happily. "I love the pancakes from here," she said, lathering them with the butter and maple syrup packets that they came with before cutting it into edible pieces.

Eating was one of the few things that kept Holly from talking, so for a few moments, she was focused on her food rather than her conversation. However, in between bites she looked up from her plate at Brooklyn, who was just sipping a coffee. "Why didn't you get any food?" she asked before shoving another piece into her mouth and washing it down with her Sprite.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Cara Forrest

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C A R A / / F O R R E S T


Roman’s hello startled Cara a little bit; she thought he’d settle for just the previous nod he’d given her and continue to sulk like he usually did. She could see in his eyes a sad glimmer or perhaps a loneliness that had gathered there though the years he had spent on the streets. Compared to her, Killens had been on the streets for almost half his life, and she couldn’t even picture the struggle he must’ve gone through. For her it came easy; the same year she ran away from home she found a new ‘home’, taking shelter with people like her. And she liked that; it didn’t feel so bad at all.

“I didn't know they sold those. I feel like bagels are kind of an American thing. They're weird to me,” Cara heard Roman say. “But they taste good, so good choice,” he added. Cara just smiled and replied with a quiet (but louder than her previous shy greeting) “They do taste quite, um, good.”

She diverted her gaze towards where everyone else stood near the line. She could see Holly and Brooklyn talking, probably about food since it was a recurrent topic for Holly. She then brought her gaze back to Roman, only to find him leaning closer to her.

Cara took a bite off her bagel and uncapped the bottle of water, taking a long sip, listening as Roman complained about getting the pancakes instead of something else. She chuckled and shook her head at his silly complain, and kept listening as he made conversation with her. It slightly surprised her that he’d want to talk to her, when most people just avoided her, scared that she wouldn’t understand them.

“You don't have to talk to me if you don't want to,” Roman said surprising Cara again. She shook her head and smiled a bit, “I do want to talk to you. And I need to improve my English, it kind of sucks,” she added, with a heavy accent in the word ‘English’. She hated her accent, it sounded weird and choppy, while Roman’s accent was a little more sophisticated and posh. She knew he came all the way from England, and it was kind of sad how he’d kind of lost his accent through the years, though he still sounded non-American.

“And you don't have to be so quiet. I've talked to fluent English speakers who sound like they took the English language through a lawn mower,” Roman said, making Cara chuckle again. “And if you want, I'm completely willing to learn Spanish. We can struggle together. I do know a few words, from school and such. Let me think. Tengo hambre. This time cara laughed quietly at his attempt at speaking Spanish and encouraging her. She smiled as he clapped his hands together and added, “See? I'm practically a native speaker.”

“Sure you are. You could practically be Mexican now,” Cara said sarcastically. Her voice getting a little louder than before; this guy was actually helping her get a little bit more confident while speaking, even though she knew her accent made her sound funny. She took a couple more bites from her bagel and almost finished it. It was quite a small bagel, but what else could she ask for, a five-star dinner with exquisite plates? Nope.

“Alright, I have a question for you. What do you call that-” Cara said pointing to the cash register, “Because I keep forgetting the English word for it.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Bennett Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn Belle Character Portrait: Cara Forrest

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#, as written by Cure
"Oh, I'm totally Mexican now. I'm an honorary Mexican with my amazing Spanish skills."

He noticed that both of them had neared the end of their meals. He hadn't even been ten-fifteen minutes and it was already gone. It was times like this he didn't really realize how used he had become to his way of life. Being hungry didn't feel it anymore until you got food and it was gone before you even started

"What's that?" Roman said turning behind him and pointing to what she was pointing. He began to say, "Oh, I don't know," thinking she was telling him to give her the Spanish word her. Then when she clarified he said, "Ohh. Well, then I do know. It's a cash register. Capitalism at its finest."

Roman dipped his finger in some remaining syrup and sucked on his finger. The fumes in the restaurant were getting to be a bit too strong for him. Or maybe it was the sausage reacting to the eggs. It could have been both. He pointed around to other random things and gave her the English word for them. Door knob. Door hinge. Shoe lace. Shoe aglit. Just anything useless to door that first caught his eye.

"So tell me," Roman said after their small lesson. "Give me some introduction. Not your runaway story though. You've been here a year and this might be the longest conversation I've ever had with you. So now you talk to me a little bit, and I'll listen." He leaned back and crossed his tattooed arms.

People passed by glancing at them. For now particular reason; just a convenient moment of eye contact. Then they disappeared. Others passed without seeing him. It was strange to think how the big world was. Or big just a city could be. The only people he'd ever seen over again were the ones he lived with. And maybe the employees at the stores he went to, the vendors he passed, the people he fought. Then it would always stop him when he passed a kid around his age in a business suit with the newest cellphone in his hand, name branded from head to toe. Then there was him. And in the same amount of time, this is where he ended up. By choice, of course. Sometimes he did wonder how he would have been had he moved back to England. If he'd have been like his father, frowning down on people like the person he was today, but secretly wishing to have their freedom.

That was the thing about their kind of freedom though. It was sort of suffocating. There was no way out, or at least that's how he felt about it. He didn't want to be fifty eating McDonalds and living in a warehouse, making money God knows how. Either way, he figured, he would have wanted what he didn't have. If he was the entrepreneur he was born to be, he would have wanted the realm outside society. And here he was now, suffocated, wondering how much freedom he's actually had these past eight years.

He turned his eyes to Cara, realizing how rude he must have seen as he was just staring at the space between her and the wall as he contemplated. He smirked apologetically and nodded for her to continue. When she got to a good stopping point, he began to slide out.

"I'm gonna step outside for a smoke. We can pick this up later. Good chat." He gave her arm a light jab with his fist. As he passed Brooklyn and Holly, he did the same to both of them except he nudged their head. Being an only child, he figured he would hate having to live with so many people as more and more came. And true, it did reap its consequences and bad days, but it was nice to have a little something to fall back on, even if they were a little all over the place.