She’s young, blonde and distracted in that self-centred, teen way. She’s got a daggy boyfriend and her clothes hang off her tiny hips. She lives on raspberry liquorice and red cordial. She’s got no boundaries and is prone to the odd inappropriate and thoughtless remark. Just your typical teenager really.
If I had to guess I’d put her at sixteen, though she could be younger. She says she is eighteen but it’s hard to believe her because her habit has already stunted her growth and because the standard line when the youngest ones walk in is, ‘I’ve just turned eighteen.’ It’s the underage mantra.
She has a boyfriend and works for the both of them, walking the street. They both have a heroin habit. They share it, and their homelessness. But I don’t see the romance in this addictive relationship, which is wearing them into the ground.
‘I’m off to work,’ she chirps, her tender age unmistakable in the skewed movements of her uncontrolled and angular limbs. He lingers after she has been taken by a car, stoned and playing at spotter*, mostly failing to take down the number plates like he’s supposed to. He’s dopey and pretty much monosyllabic. Another typical teen: baseball cap, acres of boxer short above his waistband and a slouchy ‘tude.
She is very sweet of course, naive and faintly abrasive, but unarguably sweet. Yesterday she wrote on the whiteboard:
I (heart) you guys. thank-u for ur (heart) and support without this place I wouldnt get through (heart) Angel xxx