The Reluctant Rebel
Lisa sat on the stoop in front of the runaway shelter smoking a Marlboro. The cold winter wind nipped at her face and hands. Michelle and Tammy stood on the sidewalk in front of her, bouncing on the heals of their Nike's in an effort to stay warm.
"7 days are up tomorrow." mumbled Michelle
"Yep, mine too." said Lisa
"What you gonna do?" asked Tammy, pulling her thin jean jacket tighter around her 12 year old frame.
"Dunno." answered Lisa.
Michelle just shook her head and took a drag of her cigarette.
"Just know I ain't goin home." said Lisa, tapping her ash into the dirty snow beside the stoop.
"How come you ran?" Tammy asked her.
Lisa didn't answer. How could she explain what she didn't understand. How do you describe an impulse that drove you to do what didn't make any sense. So she simply shrugged her shoulders and took another drag of her cigarette.
"Can I get a drag on that?" Tammy asked Lisa.
"Keep it." said Lisa, handing her the last third of her cigarette.
"My cousin will let us stay with him." Said Tammy. "He's got an apartment with a couple bedrooms."
"Really? That would be so cool!" exclaimed Michelle "Anything's better than going back home with my stepdad."
"How bout you?" Tammy asked Lisa
"Sure." she answered.
"You never did tell us why you ran." Michelle said.
"Don't wanna talk about it. I'm going back in it's freezing out here."
"Wait for us." Said Tammy. The two girls ground their cigarette butts out on the pavement and followed Lisa inside the warm building.