The Bronx, NYC, 1:32 p.m.
Its a normal afternoon on the street. Close up on a storefront, store name: Panaderia Ventura. Inside, a grandmotherly looking woman is giving a teenager a bag and thanks her for all her hard work. It is evident the teenager is just getting off shift.
The Bronx, NYC, 2:24 p.m.
The store’s name is Njarian’s Grocery. Inside, a man calls the teenager by name: Tatiana. He tells her that the shelf she has been working is good enough. She insists she can do more but he tells her that if she is late, Asheck Ferrarah will never forgive him for it.
The Bronx, NYC, 3:45 p.m.
The store’s name is Ferarrah’s Fish Market. A man dressed in a butcher’s apron offers to cut her some fresh for her and her family. Tatiana tells him that she and all her family are vegans, but thanks himfor the offer. The young teenager takes out the trash and finishes her work. She gathers her purse and two large brown bags and leaves the store for the long walk home.
She whistles softly to herself as she walks past closed shops. Boys hanging out on the street corner stare after her as she passes them. She walks through a park past two old ladies that remark on her passing. She walks purposely past a chain link enclosed basketball court. The young men there cease their game to stare at her as she passes by. Tatiana looks straight ahead of her the whole walk never noticing the stares the boys give her. She slows her stride as she approaches a vacant cement pad next to a crumbling wall. It is clear this building has seen better days. She calls to the vacant lot telling her little ones that it is Ok for them to come out. Slowly, kittens, cats, dogs, even puppies emerge from their well chosen hiding places to greet her. She reminds them all to play nice, as there is enough food for them all. A few birds gather about to receive their share. Tatiana feeds, pets and plays with her animal friends,
Kiden remembers the first time she used her power at school. She isn’t even sure how her power works, just that using it seems to lead to terrible events. Kiden remembers when Miss Cameron was shot. Kiden was so scared the only thing she could think to do was run away as fast as possible. She overheard the Doctors at the hospital talk about how much blood Miss Cameron had lost and how bad off she was. Kiden knew she couldn’t go home or back to school. She also knew the cops were looking for her. So, Kiden turned to the only option available for her, the street.
At first, life on the street wasn’t all that bad. One night, though, some men saw her and referred to her as “fresh meat”. The men cornered her and she knew rape was the only thing on their minds. She got scared, then angry. Fortunately, her power kicked in and slowed down time. Kiden thinks that she has to get angry to turn her power on. She knows for certain that all she has to do is touch someone to turn the power off. Once her determined would-be-rapists were frozen in place, Kiden decided to leave her power turned on for a while. She went for a long walk. The feeling of euphoria overwhelmed her. As she is waking she notices the raindrops all around her frozen in place. She notices the people and cars on the streets that she walks down are also frozen in time. Kiden loves having the whole world to herself and has no idea how far or how long she has walked.
Kiden believes that four months went by in her time, equaling three days in the real world. She knows that she has not felt hungry or thirsty but she feels her hair could use a trim.
Kiden sees a young man with a large German Shepherd on the street corner. The young mans sign indicates that he is begging for money to get food for the dog. She decides to reach out and touch this young man. She talks to him and discovers that his name is Alex and he really does have a large family. Alex refers to the other friends he has as his Tribe. They are homeless teenagers but they protect each other.
For the next five months Kiden worked the streets with Alex. They used signs and even dumpster-dived to find things they could use, mostly food others had thrown away. Kiden remembers being happy. Until the day Alex decided he was homesick. Kiden thought about her family and decided to call them. Hearing her mom’s voice on the phone, she hung up. Kiden decided to hitchhike her way back home.
Alphabet City (Kiden’s Flashbacks)
It takes Kiden two days to hitchhike back to her old neighborhood. The first person she runs into is her drug dealing older brother Ty. He asks her why she has returned. Kiden tells him that she was just worried about mom. Ty informs his younger sister that their mom has found a guy, is getting remarried, and is moving the whole family to Long Island next month. He tells Kiden that things have been great since she has been gone.
Kiden gives Ty a shocked looked but turns around and walks off. When Ty asks her where she is going she doesn’t bother to answer him. Ty’s friend congratulates him on being cold as Kiden walks away.
Kiden curled up to sleep that night on the remains of a cardboard box and spread newspaper over herself to keep warm. She thinks that coming home was not in any way a good idea. It is during this night, that she remembers seeing her father for the first time. He just appeared out of nowhere with a job for her to do.
Flash forward to present day: Corner of East 23rd Street and Second Avenue, 3:53 p.m.
Kiden, Miss Cameron and the young prostitute they found are in a restaurant eating lunch. Kiden is explaining to Miss Cameron that the first time she saw her father, he directed her to Miss Cameron’s address. She tells her former teacher that is how she found her and saved her life. Kiden also states that her father told her she needed Cameron and Cameron needs her. Cameron Palmer tells Kiden that she needs to quit speaking in riddles and just say what she needs. Kiden says she can’t because she doesn’t know why she needs her. Cameron Palmer tells the girls the meeting is over and the time has come to get Kiden home. Kiden makes her last desperate plea by grabbing Cameron’s arm and telling her that her dad said she would understand. Cameron tells her that her dad was wrong. Kiden still maintains that there is no way she can go back to her family. Cameron tells her to grow up, that neither of these things has anything to do with the other. Kiden tells Cameron to forget about her and asks Miss Palmer what they are going to do with the girl. After all, the police are probably looking for her because they think that she murdered her john. For the first time the prostitute speaks between bits “I didn’t kill him”.
The Bronx: 4:30 p.m.
Tatiana opens the door to an apartment and says, “Hi everyone, I’m home”. Dogs, cats, and birds of various shapes, sizes and colors rush to greet her. It is evident her affection for them is returned as she squats on the floor to pet them. Another young teenager opens a door and stops into the hallway to greet Tatiana. She returns the greeting and refers to her sister as Laurie. Tatiana asks Laurie where their mom is at, only to be told that mom is on another hot date with a guy who works the night shift. The girls go into the kitchen to ready food for all the animals when the door springs open and in steps their mom with a clearly younger man following her. She introduces the younger man as her date, Reuben. The girls turn to stare at Rueben when one of Tatiana’s parrots takes a notion to investigate the stranger. Tatiana tries to call her bird, Berretta, back but it is too late. Rueben strikes out at the parrot and knocks the poor bird across the room and into the wall. Tatiana runs to the aid of her injured pet. Gently picks the bird up to see how badly hurt it is. Mom fusses over Reuben and demands that Tatiana apologize to him for the reaction of her pet. Tatiana proffers a halfhearted apology and her mother takes Rueben off to her bedroom for some TLC after the terrible treatment he has received from the crazed bird.
The prostitute’s story
She remembers the john showing up and pulling the knife out. He took off his shirt and sat down on the bed. He called her over to the bed and ordered her to tell his wife and kids that he had done some bad things in his life and he was sorry for all of them. At the end of his confession, the John casually stabbed himself in the gut with the knife and fell onto the bed. The girl, being dressed in only her bra and panties, thought the John had meant to use the knife on her and found herself in shock. After all, in her line of work she couldn’t very well call the police, they would think she committed the murder. It wasn’t very long after that that Kiden and Miss Cameron showed up at her hotel room.
Cameron Palmer’s living room, present day.
The girl is seated comfortably on the couch and is telling Kiden her story. Kiden is seated in a nearby chair listening intently. Cameron Palmer is getting her coat on so she can return Kiden to her home. They both notice Kiden staring at the couch beside the girl. Miss Palmer asks Kiden what is wrong? Kiden only stares at her dad in his bloodied police uniform sitting on the couch beside her.