A gust of wind blew off the hat from the young man's head.
His sluggish reaction gave away his past: lazy, inattentive, stagnant, inert. For a second, it seemed he hadn't even realized what had happened. Aaron looked down at his watch- 8:27. He whistled and watched as the young man, brown-bearded and dressed in a grey T-shirt with dark blue jeans, slowly jogged over to the hat, where it lay by a manhole, with his arm extended. The wind lifted the brim-capped hat once more, and over it lifted, above the sidewalk on which Aaron was standing, over the railing, down the hill, and straight into the ocean.
A short jog up to the railing, fingers through the hair, and a short and quiet expletive, and the man was off. Aaron Redder smiled and thought to himself, If only you tried, your ears would not be so cold.
Aaron continued his path down the sidewalk, his end goal now in sight: The Bastone's Bar. He has been frequenting the establishment since his arrival to the city just two months prior. It was the only place in this region that would make him feel at home. Since Aaron was a refugee from southern Italy, the bar and the areas around it were the most comfortable to him. Italian was a language commonly spoken, and all foods tasted just like the kind he had before his parents were taken from him.
After sneaking himself onto the barge loaded with boxes of raw ingredients, canned goods, cloths and wines, he met up with another group of refugees who said they were en route to Liberty City- Aaron's intended destination- to join up with a man named Bastone. Bastone was from the same part of Italy as them, and he put out the word that he had needed some extra hands to help him. Aaron, alone and without a cause, asked them to help get him a job, preferably something less dangerous than what they were intending.
When they reached the City, the group of 4 signed up with Bastone as hired guns or extra hands to do some hard work for their new boss. The promise to Aaron was kept, and they helped sign him up as a deckhand for a close family friend, with a decent starting pay and free housing until he landed on his feet.
Every Friday night, he returned to Bastone's Bar to catch up with his friends and see how they've been. Despite his stronger grip on the English language than most foreigners, he was still awkward and shy and made very few friends other than the group from the ship. That was where he was headed, now: his weekly social-hour.
The vertical sign was illuminated, and he could make out the words "Bastone's Bar", lit up in yellow-green, from where he stood. He crossed the dark, empty street, only a block away from his destination. He passed a short alley between two raised-foundation housing buildings, which supported groups of workers over night. As he stepped between them, he heard a gasp and a clang of metal against cement. "Help me!" someone had shrieked, just fifty feet from where he stood.