StoryIt’s been exactly 18 weeks. Right this day, 18 weeks ago Nathan finally managed to escape that sh*thole he called a life.He still remembered packing his bag after a fierce argument with his father that ended with him having a black eye and some nasty scratches all over his body. He hadn’t even thought twice when he took his most important things as well as all the money he could find, finally storming out of that godforsaken house. That had been the breaking point, the final straw. He decided right then and there that he couldn’t live like this any longer, that he would not. And then he was gone. Hopped on the next train to nowhere with the knowledge of having left his old life and all the bad things he grew up with behind. He had felt so relieved, angry, sad, and a bit scared for the future, but no less determined to go.That was nearly five months ago, but the memory was still fresh in his mind. “…whatever.”He shoved the images of that day into the deepest corner of his mind and concentrated on the pavement he was walking on. He reached his latest destination a few hours ago and was now searching for a place for the night. The town was called “Saint Peters” and located near the east border in Missouri, five states away from his former home.Originally his “home” had been in the middle of Nevada, just a small suburb not worth mentioning, and look where time had gotten him.Well, he didn’t want to say that he was proud of that, but damn he was. Especially after all those long months.Having spent so much time on the road, he decided the first two weeks had been the hardest yet. He had practically lived on the streets, not wanting to waste the little money he had taken with him on cheap motels or clothes that would get dirty anyway. During that time he used to break into old apartments to use the shower inside and got his food from fancy stores that wouldn’t even notice if something went missing. On lucky days, he’d be given the leftovers of some fast food places whose owners were kind enough to give food to the people with more unfortunate living conditions. Very nice of them.And sometimes, when he arrived in a new town after walking or driving several miles, he’d go to a homeless shelter to sleep and eat there, even making friends with some of the people that had experiences similiar to his own. Many of them were older than him, only a few younger than his age. There were times when he considered a couple of them his closest friends, but sadly they always parted ways after a few days of travelling together. He missed them, but he liked to think back on their memories together.After those first weeks and several bus trips later, when his money had finally worn out, he decided that he needed a job. It didn’t have to be something spectacular, just something that got him through the week. So he searched for job offers, asking here and there if they needed any help for the day. Most of the time he’d gotten lucky and could even afford to sleep in an old motel on the edge of town, and well, he thought that that was way better than shivering in a cold alleyway on a even colder night. ‘Ha, look at what some hours of help in a hardware shop can do for you..’Smiling he walked around the corner of a restaurant with an obnoxious name sign that he didn’t bother to read, while silently humming to a tune he had picked up from a music shop a few blocks down the road. Right as he was about to dive into yet another train of thought, he was yanked from his feet and pulled into an alleyway where he landed hard on his back, sending pain all throughout his body.”What the-“Before he could even finish his exclamation, there was a knife at his throat. Well, that was a first for him. Within a short moment he analyzed the person currently attacking him. It had to be a man, at least judging from the broad shoulders and big stature he could make out. He was wearing a black jacket with the hood pulled over his head in an attempt to hide his face.Nathan raised his hands in the air to signal that he had no weapon or anything else dangerous in his grip and began to speak, careful so the sharp edge wouldn’t get any nearer to his artery than it had to be. It would be a shame if his only white shirt would get dirty because of a few blood stains. “Dude look, I don’t want any trouble.. j-just put that thing away and maybe we can talk about this..?”Nathan thought if he could see his opponents face, there’d be either a blank stare or a scowling gaze. But with the hood up he could only guess. “Where’s your wallet.” The words were sharp and quick spoken, but it wasn’t what irritated Nathan about it. It was the voice that made him think. ‘Cause it definitely wasn’t the one of an adult. Male yes, he was right about that, but he’d bet all the money he had left that this was the voice of a kid. Maybe older than him, maybe younger, he couldn’t be sure, but he’ d sure as hell find out about that. “Hey, how about we jus-“”I said! Where’s. The. Wallet. Your money, asshole.””Wow, now that was just rude.”He felt instant regret at the choice of his words as the knife was suddenly pressed even harder against his neck and drew some blood drips. Well, there went his favourite shirt. ‘Okay, moving on. I need to do something about this situation.’He couldn’t call the cops. So much was clear, since his phone was in the bag that lay abadoned on the sidewalk, dropped there in surprise at the sudden movement a few moments ago. Screaming for help? An option, but would probably end with Nathan’s throat slit and his money gone anyway.Talking didn’t seem to work on this guy either so there was only one thing left. It had been a few weeks since his last street fight, but he would be damned if he didn’t at least try to defend himself.So in a matter of seconds he disarmed the guy by knocking the knife out of his hand and punched him square on the nose, making the hooded figure stumble backwards with a yelp. Nathan used the short moment of surprise to grab the weapon on the ground, throwing it as far away as he could. He didn’t want to get stabbed, but he also didn’t want to stab somebody else so it was better off a few meters away somewhere in the gutter. He couldn’t help but smirk. ‘Wow, that went even better than I expe-‘Yet again he was pulled from his feet, and thrown against the wall behind him. ‘Wha- how the- give me a fucking break, damn it!’Apparently the kid had some experience when it came to fighting. Well, should’ve guessed that, judging from that knife attack earlier. As Nathan looked up he suddenly noticed something. The hood. It was gone.Before him stood a young man, looking like he was in his late teens, just like him. But that was probably the only thing similiar about them. Whereas Nathan himself had a dark rusty brown haircolor and matching eyes, the other boy wore his black hair short and had piercing green eyes – or was it blue? He couldn’t really make out the color from his point of view. It was then that he noticed the currently angry look on his face.’Oh.'”Wait please, before you do anything, let’s just talk, okay? Just a little?””Why the fuck should I talk to you, bastard?!” The teen snarled back, apparently having no intention to listen and probably already thinking of an escape plan.”‘Cause I could call the cops on you based off your appearance, but if you’ll listen to me I won’t do that?” He smirked, hoping that it would work. It wasn’t every day that a kid your age tried to rob you, especially if he seemed to be an interesting guy with questionable backstory. “…you’re a dick, you know that?””Pff, who was the one trying to rob me again?””…touché.” The boy rub a hand over his face and sighed. “So what is it you wanna talk about?””Well, first of all I’d like to know your name. I don’t wanna call you ‘that guy’ in my head over and over again, y’know?””Seriously?” He frowned. “It’s Jonah. I won’t tell you my last name though. You?””Wasn’t so hard now, was it? Mine’s Nathan. So why you out there robbing people, Jonah?” “Everyone needs a way to make money I guess.”, he said and just shrugged.”Never tried some honest work?” Nathan knew that he wasn’t exactly the one to talk, since he stole things himself only a few months ago. However, he wanted to find out more about this Jonah. He didn’t exactly know why, but he sparked some interest in him.