I first picked Veronica up on Hungerford Street one afternoon two years ago. We had been called for an unresponsive, but instead, we found a small woman with a club foot staggering along the street. She was half on the nod and covered with leaves. I asked her if she was okay, as we walked up. She just mumbled, and tried to keep walking. We stood in front of her and at twice her size, it became hard for her to ignore us. We were called, we have to at least see if she was okay, we explained.
“I’m fine,” she said. “I just want to go home.”
“Why are you covered with leaves? I asked.
She wiped tears from her eyes. “The kids robbed me and threw me in the bushes. It happens all the time. They like having their fun with me.”
At least she seemed to have managed to buy and use some heroin before they accosted her. Her pupils were pinpoint and she had a weakness in her knees while standing. Perhaps the kids had been warned by the block enforcer not to rob her until she had contributed her few crumpled dollars to the day’s take.
“You don’t hurt anywhere?”
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