A new year and a second part of a story. I enjoyed the characters and wanted to add a bit more to it. I decided to cut it into three parts so this is the second and next week will be the last part.
The Pier 2
Ruth gazed at the ocean then turned her eyes to a small boat that was heading towards the pier. She stood up and tapped on her brother. He opened his eyes and looked at the boat coming. It took him a few seconds to realized that it was the coastguard.
“They found us.” He stood. “Let’s go before they get here.”
Ruth nodded her head and followed her brother. The two walked on a small road which led them to a small creek. A man was there making a campfire, and he had a dog with him. It sensed the children coming and barked as the man looked up from the pit. Jonathan pushed Ruth behind him and looked at the man.
“We’re just passing through.” He told the man.
“Oh, well you are free to go wherever you want.” The man returned to fixing the firepit. “It will be dark soon, better go back home.”
“That’s what we are trying to do,” Jonathan said. “But they keep coming after us.”
The man looked passed him and saw the boat moving slowly near the shoreline. “Runaways?”
“I see, well you can stay here for the night.” The man lite up the logs then gently blew on it until the fire came out. “Hungry?”
“Um…yeah,” Jonathan said.
“What about the girl?” He pointed to her.
The man smirked and walked over to his bag. He pulled out a plastic bag that had a few items inside. He grabbed something from it and showed it to Jonathan. It was a can of beans.
“That will do.”
“Good, sorry if I don’t have anything else, but beans are good for you and help you grow strong.” The man laughed. “So, what are your names?”
“I’m Jonathan, and this is my sister Ruth.” She saluted the man. “Ruth, what are you doing?”
“Badge.” She said.
“Huh?” The man looked at his coat and noticed the military medal. He laughed as he opened the can and placed it near the fire. “She’s a clever girl. Yes, I was in the military.”
“So why are you living on the beach?” Jonathan examined the area and so all of the man’s things.
“It's not easy finding work. I was promised a lot of things, but they lied. So now I’m in this situation. But what about you two? Why you not with your parents?”
“Dead,” Ruth said as she sat down and pet the dog. She giggled as the dog licked her on the face.
“Yeah, mom died by another homeless guy and our dad…who knows.”
“Mm…sorry to hear that. Life is cruel, and not everyone has a happy ending.” The man grabbed two cups and poured the beans in them. “Here you go, be the way, I’m Dave, and that mutt is Rocky.”
“Rocky,” Ruth said as she hugged the dog. It whimpered and rubbed its head on hers.
“So, how long have you been living on the beach?” Jonathan asked.
“Let’s see,” He counted on his fingers. “about twenty years.”
“Wow, that long.”
“Yup,” Dave looked at the ocean. “At least the weather is always nice. There’s a place where it gets cold or hot, but here it’s just fine.”
“I know we been living at the pier for about two years, but now that they know about us, we can’t go back there.”
“The child services.” Jonathan looked at Ruth who was laying with the dog. “I don’t want them to separate us. Ruth has a hard time speaking, and she only says a few words.”
Dave looked at his can. “She’s not dumb, I see a clever girl, and she is able to do things the same as any other kid or better. I have met smart kids, and she’s bright like them.”
“You think so?”
“Yeah,” Dave got up and grabbed a blanket and spread it on the floor. “If you really want to protect her and let her grow strong, let them help you.”
“What about you? They didn’t help you at all.”
“I’m different. I’m an old man, but you two are young and have a bright future. Would you like to see her be like all the others who live on the streets?”
Jonathan picked up Ruth and placed her on the blanket. “No, I want her to have food all the time and things to wear.”
“Well then you must make a chose, and I know its hard, but it will help you both.”
Jonathan laid next to Ruth, and he held her hand. He stared at the night sky and sighed as he closed his eyes.