The raven-haired boy held his hands underneath the running faucet inside the corner store’s restroom. His t-shirt and jacket laid crumbled on the floor on top of his backpack that was leaning against the wall. He took the bar of soap and ran it under the water, rubbing it until suds began to form. Once the soap was foamy enough in his hands, he began to scrub his arms, up to his elbows and then to his armpits taking a little extra time there. He had deodorant and body spray tucked away in that backpack of his.
Jughead Jones was homeless. This little sink was going to be his bath for right now. At least he didn’t have school the next day, but he didn’t want to walk around smelling like he walked out of a dumpster. He would shower at the school, but since it was Saturday morning and they were having some sort of sports game, he knew it would be too risky. Once his body seemed to be covered in soap, he took some water into his palms and began to rinse it off. He slipped off his beanie, tucking it into his back pocket and then used the soap bar to rinse his hair. He took the towel he had lifted from the locker rooms at school and began to dry himself off.
The situation he was in sucked. It was embarrassing but he had to make it work. He didn’t have much money on him and his dad would barely offer anything to him. Maybe he would offer one or two words of encouragement, but words can’t buy food or clothes. He grabbed the deodorant from his bag and rubbed it onto his armpits. Taking a quick sniff of himself, he nodded in approval. Jughead got changed, packing up his bath supplies and slipped out the beanie from his back pocket. He adjusted it onto his head and draped the backpack over his shoulders. Walking out of the bathroom, he snatched a few candy bars and went to the counter. The clerk looked at Jughead and then started to scan the bars. Jughead hadn’t noticed the droplets of water sliding down his face until they dripped onto the counter.
The teen paid for the bars and then walked out, unwrapping one of the chocolate bars. He took a bite from it and then started down the sidewalk. He munched away and surveying the neighborhood. Inside the teen’s mind was his plot about where he was going to sleep. Which house was empty or had a for sale sign? It wasn’t going to take long to figure out how to shimmy through a window or unlock the door. However, he did have to watch out for those alarms. The last time he pried open a window, a loud beeping started and dogs in the neighborhood started to bark. Before he could close the window, he took off running in the opposite direction. He managed to find an empty warehouse and sought shelter until the cops passed, but then he ended up falling asleep.
All that remained of the candy was its wrapper. He headed to the nearby park, tossed the wrapper into the trash can and went to sit down at a picnic table. He set his bag down and exhaled. The silence broke when he heard his nickname. The boy turned his head in the direction and saw his friend, Betty approaching him with a cute smile on her lips.