Roman woke up late. It was true. He didn't really have anything to get up for. And it had been so long to be in a room he could call his own. As it was, he got by. This might mean sleeping in an under pass, a well lit homeless shelter or just in the park. But, it had been hard to shake winter. He couldn't quite get warm, and maybe he'd lost some of his senses, along the way. But not for long.
"Do I smell bacon?" He was dressed and grinning from ear to ear. Ricki put the hot bacon strips on a plate along with a couple of sunny side eggs and toast.
His head was still a bit heavy with sleep. For once he'd dreamed of being home in his own room, but instead woke up in a small room with sunlight windows that lit the room. Immediately, he crunched a piece of bacon. Finally, he remembered to say, thank you before he gulped the creamed coffee.
Honestly, he didn't know the next thing to do. It just wasn't in him to call home. Even now. No way. It gave him a bad feeling of listening how he'd let them down. How he was not the son they expected. He was a disgrace. No way was his behavior acceptable.
And that's when he knew he had to leave. Except, he hadn't really made it on his own.
"Did you sleep OK?" Ricki asked.
"Yeah." Roman couldn't help but smile. "It was great." He couldn't remember a time when he'd let himself sleep so sound. He always felt he needed to be on his feet, trudging on. Somewhere. But he didn't know where. Funny, how he'd go back to old neighborhoods he thought he knew. Usually, it was Vada's street. Sometimes, he hoped it was her street, but he guessed it wasn't. He'd possibly been more lost than he thought. Somehow he persevered. The cold. The harsh winter.
It was like a vast emptiness now. What had he really accomplished? Maybe he didn't deserve to be here?
About that time, Alo showed up. He came by, patted Roman's back like he might be his long lost brother and took a seat at the table.
"How you feeling?" Alo asked, grabbing a piece a bacon.
"OK, I guess." He didn't really know what to say. He'd been outside last night. One of the warmest nights he'd remembered in a long time. Still, a hint of winter at his feet. It was Angie who gave him this address. Honestly, he wasn't going to come. He didn't mean too. But he'd seen what some police officers did to a vagrant on the street.
Roman watched the old drunk, bleeding, speechless. Then they tazered him. Roman hightailed to the burbs, after that. He was scared. Feared, he might be next. That's all he needed, land himself in jail.
Of course, he'd studied the clouds in the sky for some time. Thinking, it might be a sign. But nothing. It was always nothing. Just as it was with the girl who didn't want him to know her name. She was always on the run from something. It was a lost cause, just like Vada said. But he didn't know it then. And suddenly, just like the sun peaking through a dark cloud, it came to him. He was so wrong. Totally. An idiot, just like that feisty Angie told him. Yeah, he was pretty sure there were people looking out for him, but they weren't his parents.