She’d moved at least six times now, and every place she found was more uncomfortable than the last. She never allowed herself to stop, and the exhausting routine of packing up her few possessions, and heading for somewhere different had become strangely normal. ‘On s’habitue a tout’, you can get used to anything, she kept repeating to herself, especially when she dropped her battered backpack down on another undesirable bed. It was never really a bed, more like a fairly flat place to lie down on, and close her eyes in a fight or flight rest.
All the hide-outs so far had been so well chosen that she was sure she had not been seen. But this one was letting her down – there were people across the shore, but at that distance, there was little chance they would see her, or make out that she was not just another walker, stopped for a picnic.
But then, there was a group of people walking on this side of the beach, towards her. She climbed over the rocks, further beneath the jutting out roof of her cave, but it was no good. They were looking over at her now, and she knew they had seen her changing her clothes, washing her face. They were turning their heads to each other, probably discussing what on earth she was doing. She kept on looking busy, not glancing over at them, desperately hoping they would pass her by. After a few pounding moments, they did, obviously deciding she was just weird, and not in need of assistance.
But she was. She needed a friend. She needed a bed and a shower. She needed a work permit, and a safe way to escape from what she’d left behind. This moving from one rough place to another could not go on, especially as the summer was rapidly blowing away.
She knew all this, but she did not know where to go. For now, all she had was her bag, her painful memories, and her feet. For now, she was a nomad hoping that somebody would see beyond her strangeness and find her a home.