Post book memories - One day in Walsall

An old memory that never made it into the book and hadn't popped into my mind for the whole year of writing Poems From a Runaway, was one particular night in Walsall, when I would have been twelve or thirteen at the time.
I'd actually been on the run and sleeping rough in London and one day got on a train to Walsall.
Even  as I'm writing this, all the little details that I had completely forgotten over all these years are coming back.
The reason I was in Walsall because one of the homeless workers that approached me on the street had got me into a hostel in Walsall, although obviously when I would have got there it would have been a little difficult  to make a benefit claim.

I walked past what I thought was the hostel and didn't go in, and instead slept rough in a doorway in the center of Walsall.
I must admit it was pretty scary to be honest. It seemed normal to do it in London but I hadn't noticed anyone else sleeping out that night, although there was a big chance there actually was.

As I bedded down I remember two blokes in their late twenties to early thirties walk past me, notice me and then take a couple of steps back to look.
"Fkin ell he looks young" I think one of them said. They then came up to me to offer me some money and asked where I was from.

As some of you already know, I felt I always needed a cover in those days to stay undetected, I can't remember what I said my name was...it might have been Toby Sycamore because I used that one a lot.
I'd spoken it all in a fake London accent and told them I was from Whitechapel.
In fact half of my family are from Walsall, but I hadn't met my dad again until I was thirteen.

The invited me to a pub in the center of Walsall, I won't say which one it is for legal reasons as I don't want anyone getting in trouble for letting an underage minor drink in their pub.
The truth was I went to all sorts of establishments in those days, and because I slept out on the streets everyone seemed to just accept I was of legal age.

So we had a game of pool in one of these pubs and the two lads invited me back to their gaff. We got a taxi and let me sleep in the hallway in the block of flats they lived in so that I could keep out of the cold.
Please don't pipe up and say they could have invited me in because as a lot of us know, you just never know who's gonna mess you over, and maybe back then if I had saw a wad of cash then I may indeed have been tempted to take it and run to continue my adventures. 
You don't really understand how much of an impact it can have until you've experienced the adult world, so they probably made the best move to be fair. 

I seen them in the morning and that was that, the next day I think I was in London again.
I'm just wondering if those two chaps are around anywhere and if they remember speaking with a lad sleeping rough that came from London, and they gave him a drink and played pool with him.

I'd like to confess that my story was bullshit, I was 12 and my accent wasn't even real.
But I do remember what you did and I just wanna say...top lads! Respect ­čĹŐ


THIS STORY WAS A BURIED MEMORY WHICH I'D FORGOTTEN ABOUT UNTIL AFTER SELF-PUBLISHING POEMS FROM A RUNAWAY.
YOU CAN GET THE BOOK DIRECTLY FROM AMAZON AT  
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1981314350

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