Boarded up shops and busted streetlights. Graffiti, broken glass, and overflowing garbage bins. A sudden burst of unruly laughter from the teenagers huddled together down the rain-slick sidewalk.
The man stood still, heart pounding, out of place. Did he get the address wrong? No, the voice mail told him to wait on this corner tonight. So he waited, desperately praying for 16, 842 hours of torment to end.
Suddenly, there she was — pierced, tattooed, trembling. Wild and strange, yet achingly familiar. Uncertain. His heart broke for her. How could she be uncertain?
“Daddy,” she whispered. “Can I come home?”