Luck is a strange thing. No matter how bad a situation is, luck can always turn up and make things slightly better. It’s not always fantastic, but just that little bit more bearable. Luck, however, is not the magical and good thing most people think it is – it can be a right arsehole at times. Like now, for instance. I’m spending my night in damp, bloodstained clothes smelling of my own sick but, as luck would have it, this isn’t my first time sleeping rough. See? That’s the thing about luck. I currently consider myself ‘lucky’ because I’m not shit scared of being alone for the night on the streets. My ‘lucky’ childhood of sleeping under bridges and fighting off people ‘looking for a good time’ has at least given me some idea of what the fuck to do next.
I think about luck a lot, especially at times like now. I never get that good luck, that ‘won-at-the-races’ feeling or the ‘I-have-such-an-amazing-girlfriend’ one. Fuck that for a laugh. My luck is more the ‘barely-missed-an-artery’ sort from getting stabbed and the ‘cashier-didn’t-notice-the-bread-down-my-pants’ type. But there it is. Good luck is a luxury for the well off. My type of luck is the same for everyone as poor as me; mean, spiteful and mocking.
My spot for the night is a decent one. I’ll always be thankful to Pret-a-Manger and their hot air vents. Even now, when the warm air is making the smell of blood and vomit even more potent than it already was, I’m glad for it. This Pret is too far away from busy working areas for the permanently homeless to bother with, not enough foot traffic. For me, that’s perfect. My armpits itch from the scrunched-up newspaper I’ve got shoved up there to keep warm, salvaged from a nearby rubbish bin. Huddled up in a corner by the vents, I can’t stop fucking crying.
I killed him.
That’s what I’ve done. I killed that man. I panicked. A little man with a big man’s gun acting the hard man. A fucking idiot who’s going to prison just like his waste of a dad. What about the kids? I’m going to get caught, of course I am, but what will this do to them? At least they won’t be worrying where I am right now. I usually piss off for days at a time. But shit, I want to be with them now. I can see their faces plain as day. I can see how their lives end up just as worthless as mine. I did this for them, to get them something warm to eat for the first time in weeks. To maybe get them some shoes that actually fit. To give them some normality, as short lived as that would have been.
Blue flashing light suddenly fell across me. Fear spiked like a needle in my brain. Is this it? How did they bloody find me? My whole body is shaking. Massive, wracking sobs threaten to break my ribs. And then they’re gone. The light moves on and I catch a glimpse of an ambulance. I pull my hood up and tuck my arms in my jacket. Those lights weren’t for me. Not this time.