Disclaimer: I don't own Newsies, sadly, they belong to Disney. Mac, however, is my own creation. I also own Smiler and Snaps, and Romeo is 'borrowed' (to me, he is the kid who is last to receive bread from the nuns in the movie). Please read and review!

I look around the bunkroom with a heavy heart and a sad smile, taking in the two rows of bunk beds – some neat, some messy – and I wish I could turn back time and alter my destiny. But I can't. Nothing will change the fact that I am turning 18 in two days time and will be leaving for my new job next week.

I am moving on.

I've been preparing for this huge change in my life for about 8 months now, ever since Kloppman took me aside shortly after my 17th birthday to talk about my future. I knew it was coming anyway, but I didn't expect it to arrive quite so soon. However, my time to go is nearly upon me, and I must accept the facts.

I am moving on.

I can still remember the day I arrived here at the Lodging House. It was pouring it down with rain, and the wind was blowing up a gale. I was just 13 years old, I was desperate for shelter, and the Lodging House was the first likely place I came to. I was welcomed in by Kloppman, Jack and the other boys, and I loved the atmosphere so much, I never left. Until now. Now (or rather, next week) I must return to the big wide world, no longer a boy but a man.

I am moving on.

I am not the only person who will be flying the nest this year. My best friend, Snaps, (who is about 4 months younger than me) will also be leaving soon, to take up a job as a photographer at The Sun, under Denton. But for now, he is safe at the Lodging House, while I am leaving in a matter of days.

I am moving on.

I look around the room once again, this time focusing on the youngsters who have been a very important part of my life for almost 5 years, and it suddenly hits me just how much I'm gonna miss them all. They have been my roommates, my friends, my brothers, ever since that day when I wandered into the Lodging House, and I won't ever forget that. But soon I, Stephen 'Smiler' Lloyd, must leave them all behind, each and every one of them, and make my way forward on my own.

Because I am moving on.


A/N: The boy to whom the name 'Smiler' belongs actually appears in the movie; I just named him. He is the boy second from right in the second row back when the boys link arms in 'Seize the Day reprise'.