I was furious. Fuming.
I was so angry, I wanted to throw a good, hard punch.
Why had I given that girl my name? Why? Why had I told her where I usually sold? Why did I even associate with her? Why did I care whether or not she stole or starved?
But it didn't matter. She'd probably forgotten all about me.
Lioness, indeed. I tried to convince myself. It didn't work.
She probably never wanted to see me again.
One of those cocky street types. That didn't work either.
She was just another street rat. Just another pickpocket. Just another person who believed in only caring about themselves. Self-centered. Cruel.
And yet... and yet I found myself looking for her.
The temptation was too great. It was overpowering.
I had to... to... to steal... in the area where... where the statue was.
Argh, I can tell you're laughing at me. I'll just go ahead and say it straight out.
I wanted to see the boy- David -again.
In any case, I hadn't stolen there for quite some time. So, I made my way over there.
On my way, I contemplated.
How long can I keep this up?
Mixed feelings of excitement and apprehension filled me as I caught a glimpse of Lioness. For the first time since I'd met her, she wasn't stealing. She was cautiously creeping up towards the statue, her gaze darted from left to right, up and down.
She looked very sly, wary, and sneaky.
And a small part of me wished I could do that.
Why can't I just be like the rest of the guys? Even this girl can... can be more street-wise than I can! I wanted to fit in, to be one of them. I knew they mocked me for my more refined ways.
But I'd give anything to be like them.
Constantly on guard, I made my way over to the statue. Technically, I didn't really need to be worried. After all, I wasn't even on a job, and there were street rats everywhere. But being a thief and a street rat had taught me to be constantly wary, constantly looking for openings and attackers.
Sitting down at the foot (literally) of the statue, I took a knife (more of a dagger than a knife) out of my pocket and began to sharpen it (for lack of anything better to do with my hands), glancing around as I did so.
After sharpening it for about a minute and a half, I took a piece of wood out of another pocket and began to whittle. I had countless pockets. My clothes were so raggedy that you could never tell which rag was a pocket and which wasn't. Very handy they were, too.
Eventually, after about a half a minute of doing this, I spotted the newsboy- David, his name was.
I didn't know whether or not he'd noticed me, but I gave him a small smile, and continued to whittle. I made no attempt to move towards him.
I was concentrating on a very intricate part of the lion I was carving when an awed voice made me nearly jump clear out of my skin.
I rolled my eyes in annoyance (mostly with myself) and said, in as snide a voice I could manage, "Thanks."
"Um... you're welcome." He sounded a bit nervous, but quickly became self-assured. "I really do like it. I can't carve, though Papa's tried to teach me."
So he does have a family. "Ay, well."
"C-could... could you teach me?"
I frowned slightly. "If your father already tried to-"
"Well, he... he got hurt in... in an accident. Before he could finish teaching me. So... so I was thinking..."
"That I could teach you." I finished for him. I thought for a moment, then shrugged. "Sure." I smiled. "Let's start with something simple." I produced another knife and proffered it.
"Okay!" His eyes glowed as he took the knife gingerly. (I keep my knives very sharp.)
"How about..." I hesitated. "A spoon."
So David Jacob's carving lessons began.