While walking down the street, I saw a girl approaching me who appeared to me alone and homeless. Who could this girl be? Is she new to the neighborhood? Is she lost? Maybe she doesn’t have anywhere to go. Is she a runaway criminal? What would she say or do if I were to introduce myself? I wondered. As she got closer to me, I realized that her clothes were dirty, holy, and nearly falling off of her. This poor girl is homeless. Where are her parents or what happened to them? Why would they just let her wander off like that? Did she get separated from them? Did they give her up at birth? I’m going to get to the bottom of this, I thought to myself. I took a deep breath before introducing myself because the thought of this girl being homeless disturbed me. I introduced myself by saying, “Hello, my name is V.” “Hi, I’m Tonya,” she replied. She wasn’t anything like I thought and all she wanted was a place to stay. She seems nice, I thought. I showed Tonya around the neighborhood and introduced her to my parents. “Your parents are nice,” Tonya said. “I know, I don’t know what I would do without them,” I replied. Tonya looked puzzled and sad. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “Oh nothing,” she replied ignoring the tears that welled up in her eyes. “Something’s wrong, now what is it?” I asked firmly but concerned. The conversation was interrupted by my mother. She peeped her head out of the front door to ask Tonya if she wanted to stay for dinner. Tonya was delighted to stay and answered “Yes,” with a smile on her face from ear-to-ear. As my mom was heading back into the house, she said “It won’t be long before dinner is done, so you two go ahead and get washed up.” Tonya and I did as we were told. After dinner, Tonya and I washed dishes quietly. Tonya still looked puzzled and sad, but from the look on her face I knew she didn’t want to talk about it, so I didn’t say anything. The silence was broken, “Tonya,” my mother called from her bedroom. My mom and dad were talking to Tonya, while I was wondering what was so important that it couldn’t wait until the dishes were done. I erased the thought from my mind, realizing it would be disrespectful to think and even more disrespectful to say. Tonya returned to the kitchen smiling. Well nothing bad happened, I thought to myself. “Why are you so happy?” I asked. “Because I get to stay here as long as I want, your parents said to give me all of your old clothes. I’ve dreamed of living in a place like this! This is great!” Tonya said enthusiastically without taking a breath. “That’s great!” I replied. After the dishes were washed and neatly placed into the dishrack, I showed Tonya where she would sleep and gave her my old clothes as I was told. Tonya was pleased. Tonya may have been homeless, but she was nice with a beautiful smile and a figure older than her age. I watched Tonya sleep and found myself thinking of her as my girlfriend, rather than a possible sister. I dreamed of cuddling with her while kissing and caressing her until the both of us fell asleep. Tonya had become my weakness in one night and I didn’t even know her well enough to be feeling this way. I allowed my thoughts of Tonya to put me to sleep.

10 years later….

Tonya graduated from high school, had a job working as a waitress and an apartment in Norfolk that she loved. After high school, Tonya went to college to become a Doctor in Business. After graduating college, she got a job working at a local bank.

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