Kane drove around for a while before he found her, a young girl, seemingly apprehensive, defensive body language, and no track marks. He saw her from a block away, five-foot-four, brown hair in pig tails, a little like Diamond might’ve looked before the lifestyle robbed her of her best years. She wore a thick camouflage jacket, patched in two places with duct tape, over a yellow flowered sun dress, white knee highs, and men’s work boots two sizes too big, and she stood on the corner with a leg extended, kicking at the curb’s edge, like she was trying to show a little sex appeal but didn’t know how.
Despite the camouflage, she stuck out like a sore thumb on the south side, a difficult neighborhood for the most seasoned veteran. Three girls, whose neon pink or yellow winter coats set them off from the brick wall they leaned against, kept their distance from the kid they watched. Their leathered, blotched skin and off-the-rack wigs gave them the appearance of a heavy metal band, and they weren’t ready to compete with or encourage the child whose strange presence made them wary about their choices and hesitant about hers. By the end of the week, they would’ve found in her an angle to play.