The Deception of Love: Part 5 of Chapter 3

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Frank was interested, but he also noticed the boy was uneducated, and looked lean and hungry. “Oi. What’s your name?”

The boy looked at Frank as though he’d just suggested the moon was made of cheese. “A what?”

“You know. A name. Your parents gave you one, right?”

He shook his head, snow slipping off his coat. “I didn’t never know parents. De gang’s me family. Dey call me ‘Juve.’ Dey say it short for ‘Juvenile.’” His face lit up at the sound of it.

Frank slowly edged away, but the boy noticed his actions. “W’ere yo goin’?”

“Em…boot shining, yeh?”

Juve’s face suddenly changed, and he glowered at Frank. “Yeh? I’ll come wit you till de gang ‘rives.”

Frank felt his stomach overturn. “Em…Why? It doesn’t open for a while, and”—

Juve shook his head. “Steven’s place always open. Open all day. It’s sherter a ‘alk ‘n’ the one ‘wo blocks away.”

“No but I”—

Juve shook his head in the same vigorous fashion. “I’ll come. I need money to buy food till gang ‘rives. Dey always late.” His face darkened, thinking things over. Then he lifted his head and said in a happy voice, “Den you can join!”

Frank saw this going downhill. No matter how bad things get, we never steal, and are always honest. “Nah, shoe shining is for me, but not really the gangs.”

Juve rolled his eyes, and shook his head once again. “You change yo mind ‘fterward. You see.” And before Frank knew what to do next, Juve the street kid had walked over to him, and had started pulling on his arm. “It just ‘ound de corner.”

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