Someone once told me that London was the most beautiful city they had ever seen. As I walked through the streets of London I couldn’t help but see the ugly side. The people were shadows to me, the buildings loomed over like leering monsters and the car headlights reminded me of the eyes of wild beasts. Everybody was so unapproachable, I felt lost, and even though I was surrounded by a sea of people I still felt all alone. As night began to fall, darkness surrounded me. Even though the streets of London are vividly colored, the only colour I could see came from the cold smear of red buses.
When you feel like an ant in a massive city you can’t help but feel scared, especially at night. People spill out of pubs and bars onto the pavements, but they are still never empty. I had been walking along streets for hours trying to find a secluded spot to crash over night, it took a while but I finally found a potentially nice spot to snooze, a slightly worn path in a back alley full of emptiness. I had the creepy feeling that I was being watched, although I have no idea who by because I’d never felt so alone.
I put the thought to the back of my head and after minutes of twisting and turning I felt hidden enough to try and get some sleep. Within 5 minutes of shutting my eyes I heard a group of rowdy, drunken girls. I stayed as still as possible and none of the girls noticed me. Then about two minutes later I noticed a man walking his dog at the other end of the alley. As the dog came closer I could hear it sniffing and panting louder, my heart began to pound. I was ashamed of the situation I was in. I didn’t want anyone seeing me, luckily the man called the dog over, it paused and ran to its owner, “Good dog” the man said.
A while later it started rain, I stayed in the same spot in hope that the it would dye down, but it got harder and colder to the point where I couldn’t feel my hands and my teeth couldn’t stop chattering. I rubbed my arms up and down for about half an hour trying to keep warm, I breathed into my hands and curled up into a balled thinking that some how I would be warmer. The cold night made me think about the little things I took for granted at home like, warmth with the flick of a switch, the comfort of my own bed, the homely noises of my family that I was used to.
All these things I missed so much, I cried for hours not knowing where to go or what to do. Instead of moving to a spot to find shelter from the rain, I gave up and eventually so did the rain. The next morning I was awoken by the sound of my own belly rumbling. Every time I moved I could hear the wet from the rain inside my clothes and shoes. As I looked around it seemed like the city had come to life all over again, waiting for the day ahead. Street lights going out as the sun rose up, but I still felt the same.
Nothing had changed for me. Except one thing, I realized that for the best part of my life I’ve spent my time not feeling like I belong, going from flat to flat, from bedrooms to floors and now to nothing but a cold pavement in an alley. No-where up until last night had been this bad, I just wanted to go home. So I picked up my belongings, which consisted of a tattered blanket that was big enough to cover a small child and a rusty old drink bottle, and set about finding my family. . .