Here is the fifth installment in the safe series. I know it’s been a bit since the last post about our homeless heroine. Inspiration can be funny like that sometimes. This LINK will take you to the first post.
He walked by, glancing her way only long enough to smile. She knew what it meant, of course. He wasn’t sure what to make of her so he smiled to let her know that he saw her and wasn’t going to make trouble for her. That was good. Most people who lived in these types of associations weren’t interested in causing trouble but every once in a while she would come across somebody who liked to make a scene. They would call the cops and yell at her until the officers arrived.
She watched the man walk away. It looked like he was headed for a different dumpster. She would check it next to see if there was anything worthwhile in there as well but first she needed to finish the one she was at. Carefully, she lowered herself into the messy depths and began to pick through the spoiled bags for the items of value. Plastic, glass, and aluminum all held worth.
They would only bring her cents when traded in. That was still cents she didn’t have, cents that would add up to a meal, cents that were worth more to her than the people who tossed them rather than trade them in. She wasn’t complaining, though. These recyclables that most considered trash, gave her the means for a bit more security.
She slung her bag full of bottles and cans over and out and then pulled herself out after it. The young man who had walked by before was nowhere to be seen. She looked towards the dumpster he had walked to and then down to her own lengthening shadow. She didn’t have much more time before the plant would close and she wanted to turn in her haul today. She had worked hard and didn’t want to worry about losing anything during the night. Things had a way of wandering off in the dark even from her most secluded locations.
Her mind made up, she shouldered her bags and left the complex. It was more important that she get the funds for what she had already gathered than risk losing it all for the little bit more she might find in the next trash can. Besides, the afternoon breeze was bringing a chill in from the coast and she wanted to make the long trek while the sun was still warm on her back. The seasons were changing and the warm nights were coming but, for now, it still wouldn’t be smart to head into the night already cold.
She left the association behind and made her way through the alleys and quiet streets she had come to know in recent years. They were as familiar to her now as her home had once been. The bags were heavy and she grinned at the thought of the food she would buy to fill her belly that night. She would head to bed full and warm. It wasn’t often she got to do that.