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Occupied – Chapter Seven

Kiana, Contributor

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Josh and Samantha made their way down the street in the cold. It had started to drizzle, and Josh pulled his light jacket tighter around himself.

“So, um, thanks for your help. I guess I’ll just try to find my way now,” Josh said.

“Do you have anywhere to go?” Samantha asked, her eyebrows drawn together in concern. “Any money?”

Josh looked down at his feet and kicked a discarded coffee cup. “Uhh, no, not really.”

“Would you like a place to stay for a while? My apartment is just down the road. I could let you stay until we find your parents.”

Josh recalled his mother telling him not to talk to strangers, definitely not stay in their house. But Josh was out of options. Samantha seemed relatively nice, and Josh didn’t have anywhere else to go. If he wanted to find Lana’s killer, he needed to be flexible.

“That would be so nice of you, thank you. Are you sure it wouldn’t be too much trouble?” Josh asked, putting on his ‘you feel sorry for me so you should give me what I want’ face, that, as Josh claimed, worked every time.

His face may have failed him a few times when his mother was screaming at him, but it worked like a charm on Samantha. Her concerned face melted into adoration and pity.

“You must be hungry. Would you like something to eat? We can pick something up on the way.”

“That sounds great.” Josh’s forced expression didn’t waver, but he was beginning to see the situation clearly for the first time. Lana’s killer could be anywhere in the world, and Josh was only one person, one eleven year old boy, in a city across the country from his home. What real power did Josh have to do anything? For now, all he could do was try to figure out if he could trust Samantha enough to tell her what was really going on. Then, he might actually have a chance to avenge Lana’s death, and to save the rest of his family from being murdered.
“Do you like Chinese food?” Samantha asked, snapping Josh out of his thoughts.

“Yeah, Chinese is good.”

“Great. I think you and me are really going to get along.” Samantha smiled down at Josh, but this time, it didn’t make Josh shiver. He was starting to see this woman, not as an enemy, but as someone that was willing to take in an eleven year old boy, whom she knew nothing about. He already had an enemy, and Samantha was not him. For the first time in days, he felt the smallest bit of safety, and that feeling planted a small seed of hope in his chest, warming him against the cold.

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Occupied – Chapter Seven