2 weeks later.
Tap, Tap, Tap. I look up and see a man tapping on my car window, his flashlight shining in the window of my car before he moves it around, looking in the back of it. I put my hand up when the torch flashes across my face blindingly. He quickly moves it to the side.
“Ma’am, you can’t stay here,” the middle-aged man tells me; he has to be council security because of his uniform. My son Valarian stirs, the bright light waking him, and he lets out an irritated cry. The man moves his torch away entirely, shining it at the ground, and Valarian stops.
“Look, I have noticed your car here for nearly two weeks; this is a train station,” he sighs as I pick up my son out of his fruit box bed and roll down the window a bit so he doesn’t keep yelling, thinking I can’t hear him.
“You really have no place to go, no family?” He asks.
“No, the council kicked me out of the park” he runs a hand down his face before glancing around the parking lot.
“The baby’s father?” I shook my head, knowing that wasn’t an option. He didn’t even believe me, refused to see me even when I begged him to let me on his territory so I could show him the scan, every other time, he hung up the moment he heard my voice, after a while, I gave up.
“You know there are people out that would take him, then you could probably go home.”
“I am not abandoning my baby like my parents did me,” I tell him, outraged he would even suggest it.
“This is no life for a child. You’re young if you give him up. You could still have a normal life. Something to think about. I will give you another week to find somewhere else. After that, you need to move on,” he says, and I nod before winding the window up.
I watch him leave before settling my son and putting him back to bed in the fruit box beside me. I have always been paranoid of rolling on him while asleep, tugging the blanket up over both of us before trying to get comfortable. A single tear runs down my cheek as I think of his words. “This was no life for a child” Was I being selfish? Yet, the thought of giving him up broke my heart. He was mine. I loved him and would give my life for my little man, wasn’t that enough?
Waking up the following day, I groan; it is pouring with rain. I rummage through the back for my umbrella before slipping my shoes on. Making sure my son is bundled nice and warm, I grab my bucket in one hand and pop the umbrella up as I open the hatchback. It was still early.
I then pick up my son and make a run for it to the train station bathrooms. Needing to be extra careful not to slip on the w3t ground. Once I get into the disabled toilet, I jam the bucket in the sink, filling it with warm water before shimming my pants down to pee. One thing I hated about being homeless was holding my son while going to the bathroom. I couldn’t place him down anywhere, making it hard to use the toilet while making sure not to drop him. When I finish, I slide my pants up with one hand, which is tricky while holding my son. I then wash my hand before turning the tap off.
Now the tricky part. Holding an umbrella, a baby, and a bucket of water. Somehow I manage it and make it back to the car before placing the bucket down and quickly opening the hatchback to my wagon. I set my son in his bed before hauling my tiny bucket in. I then changed his bum and used soap to lather my washcloth, and gave him a wash down before dressing him, so he was all nice and fresh for the day.
Using the remaining water, I also give myself a wash. Longing for a shower, gosh, I miss showering, something I definitely took for granted. I would use the rest stop ones, but I had no fuel to get there and wouldn’t risk spending my limited funds.
When mum and dad kicked me out, I had a small amount of savings. I also worked at the Chinese Restaurant on the main drag to keep saving, but now, since he was born and my milk dried up before I left the hospital. I was forced to stock up on formula, bottled water, and nappies. The savings didn’t last long with buying baby clothes and non-perishable food. My car looked like a mini supermarket, and I started to get low on the formula again. Rummaging through my wallet, I find my last $100. I needed to think of something fast. This wouldn’t last us much longer.
Sighing, I lean back on my door, watching the rain. The Restaurant wouldn’t take me back; I tried that. My parents weren’t an option, and his father wouldn’t even let me on pack territory when I requested to see him.
I still remember when I got his number to ring him; what a mission that was. He laughed and said there was no way he would sleep with a seventeen-year-old. Well, he did, and now I have his son. To be fair, I was not supposed to be in that part of the club at the Hotel. We wanted to meet the older Alpha’s, not the young ones that hadn’t even reached puberty, so with a fake ID, my sister and I snuck in while the meeting was going ahead in the conference hall. Alpha Valen was just as drunk as I was, so it was no wonder he couldn’t remember me. I felt this pull to him for some reason, and he must have felt it too. I couldn’t have imagined it.
Shaking the vague memory away. I grab a granola bar out and eat it. My belly is rumbling. What I would do for a home-cooked meal. I loved mum’s cooking. She was the best cook. A tear slips down my cheek, and I check my phone, yet I know I will find no missed calls. My father disconnected it on me, but I liked to look at the photos of when I was still part of the family. I missed my little sister and wished I could see her, even just once more.
I spend most of the day figuring out what I can do about money. The security guard’s words ate at me. “This is no life for a child” I was failing. I needed help and didn’t know who to ask. When it starts to get dark, the Five o’clock train pulls in. I tried to light my candle, so I had light, but my lighter had finally run out of gas. Popping the trunk, I try to find someone approachable to ask to borrow one. I grab my umbrella, hoping I find someone who might be smoking.
“Excuse me, do you have a-” the man in his suit walks past, looking down at me. I try over and over again but am ignored by everyone that passes. Feeling disheartened, I was about to hop back in the car when I saw a younger man in his work suit.
I had seen him a few times. He caught the early train and was always home on the five o’clock train. He was always dressed nice in suits and had blonde hair and green eyes, a muscular build, and a good foot taller than me.
He stares at me warily as I approach, and I stop when I feel his aura. He looks familiar for some reason before I finally place him and realize he is one of the Beta’s from the meeting at the Alpha Meet up. He had beta blood, and I knew he was Beta to Alpha Valen, yet I pretended I didn’t recognize him, he definitely didn’t remember me, and I knew he couldn’t feel my aura. I had been rogue for so long now my aura was almost nonexistent; it doesn’t help that I still hadn’t shifted. I wanted to, needed to, but what do I do with my son?
“Can I borrow a lighter if you have one” I blurt out quickly before he waves me away, everyone usually assuming I am asking for money? He stops staring at me for a second.
“Fine,” he says, rustling inside his pocket before handing me a green lighter. I ran back to the car and lit my candle that sat on a plate in my vehicle. Only when I turn around, I find him behind me, having followed me the few meters back to my car.
I jump, not expecting him to be so close. “Thank you,” I tell him, passing it back; he nods then goes to leave, walking around the side of my car when my son cries out.
“Shh, shh, I’m coming,” I whisper, pulling the hatchback down when something stops it. I turn to see what it caught on, only for it to be pulled open by the Beta I borrowed the lighter from.
“Is that a baby you have in there?” He asks, and my heart thunders in my chest nervously. Would he call child services on me?