Prologue Colton- Eight Years Old
“You’re a pain in my ass” my mom growls. “All you do is whine” she adds as she takes a puff of her cigarette. “Get outta my sight, you little bastard, I’ve got someone coming here tonight, so stay in your room” she hisses.
Her words used to cut me deep, but not anymore—I’m used to them now. She’s not always this way with me, sometimes she’s okay—Like when she’s high. I walk to my room, I snort to myself. “Yeah, right—my room” I laugh humourlessly. My room, consists of a sleeping bag on the floor, and a lamp, and that’s it.
My stomach rumbles with hunger and I try to think of the last time I had a decent meal, licking my lips, I decide to go to the local shops down the road from me. Opening my window as quiet as I can, I climb out—luckily for me our house is just one floor. I know my mom won’t even notice me gone, she said someone’s coming here tonight. Which means her dealer is, how she pays for her drugs—I don’t wanna know. But I know I don’t see any of it. Sometimes I wonder why she even kept me, why she didn’t just give me up for adoption.
I reach the shops and enter our local grocery store, the last time I took from this place was last week. I’ve been stealing from here on a weekly basis, luckily for me, I’ve not been caught. The shopkeeper who is an elderly man scowls at me as I walk in, but then his attention is elsewhere as a customer comes over with a basket full of food.
Alright for fucking some...
I use his distraction and pick up the first thing in the cool section. Which is a meat pie, I pocket the pie and turn to walk out. What I didn’t notice was that there was a security guard behind me.
When the fuck did he get him?
“I’ll give you one chance to put it back, little man” he growls.
Fuck that, I’m starving...
“Fuck you” I growl and run as fast as my legs will go. But I’m not fast enough, the security guard catches me.
“I gave you the chance to redeem yourself” he whispers in my ear as the shop owner comes over with a smug smile on his face.
“I got you now, you thieving little fucker—” he growls.
“Let me go” I hiss.
“Nah, you little shit—I caught you on my new camera’s the last time you stole, and I brought in brucey” he grins gesturing to the man holding me. “I’m an old man, I can’t be running around after thieves stealing my shit—the police are already on their way” he adds.
“What? No!” I protest as I see the red and blue lights flash in the window.
“Look at this here sign, boy” he growls pointing at a sign by the checkout.
All thieves will be prosecuted...
“This is the second time you stole from me, and I’m a nice man until people take the piss, you hear me boy?” He says with a cough.
The police enter the shop, my heartbeat furiously as they approach me. “What have you got here, bill?” One of the officers asks him.
“This One has been caught stealing from me” bill growls.
The police officer squats down to my height. “Does your mom and dad know that you steal from grocery stores?” He asks me seriously.
I can help but snort-laugh. “Yeah, right” I mutter. “Doesn’t give a shit”
The officer looks puzzled at me, then looks back towards his partner and back to me. “What’s your name, son?” he asks me.
“Colton” I mutter.
“Colton—What?” He asks me.
I shrug in response, fuck if I know what my surname is—think I was lucky enough to get a first name. The officer looks back towards his partner again and back to me as he stands back up.
“I think you better come with us, young man” he sighs.
What the fuck can I say? My mom will be worried? Wondering where I am? I’ve just told him I don’t know my surname for fucksake.
“Er, not before I get what was taken from me” bill growls.
My heart drops as I know I have to give the pie back, taking the pie out my pocket I look at it longly, before I hand the pie back to the man. “I’m sorry, Mr bill” I mutter.
Bill takes the pie from me as my belly rumbles loudly, loud enough for everyone to hear. I blush in embarrassment at the sound tells them just how hungry I am.
“How much is the pie, bill?” The officer asks him.
“A dollar, twenty” Bill replies.
The officer gets his wallet out his pocket and hands bill ten dollars. “For the pie and whatever else he stole” he says taking the pie from bill and hands it to me. “Come on, son,” he says softly putting his hand on my shoulder, escorting me to the police car.
I eat the pie so fast, I’m surprised I don’t throw up.
“So, where’s your parents?” He asks me as I get in the backseat.
“My mom’s at home” I mumble.
“Does she know you’re out on your own—stealing?” The other officer asks me.
“Like I said before, she doesn’t give a shit” I growl. “Certainly not enough to feed me, that’s for damn sure”
“What the fuck?” The officers growl.
I snort-laugh. “No, shit”
“Stop the swearing” they growl. “How old are you, anyway?” One of the officers asks.
I shrug. “Seven or eight? I don’t know, I don’t exactly have anyone who cares enough to celebrate my birthday with” I mumbled sadly.
“What about your dad? Is he not involved?” I look to his name badge officer Lucas Robert and I look to the other officer and look at his name badge officer Michael Sainté.
“Mom never told me about my dad—she’s always got different men in the house. Tells me to go to my room a lot” I tell saint.
Yeah, that’s what I’ve decided to call him—and Lucas can be luke. A lot easier than the mouthful. I watch as their expressions harden at my words.
“Can you show us where you live then?” Saint asks me.
I watch his expression, it softens slightly but you can still see the anger lurking.
I nod in response as they both look at me. “It’s okay, Colton—it’s okay now,” Saint says softly.
I nod my head, Cos what else can I say?
I show them to my house, my sense of direction had gotten pretty good over time. “You stay here, okay,” Saint says with a small smile.
“O—Okay” I stutter with a nod.
I watch as Saint and Luke both approach my front door and knock. Even from here I can hear my mom’s horrid voice. “Who is it?” She asks as she opens the door. I watch as her eyes widen in shock, she looks behind her and suddenly I see someone running from the side of the house. Leaping to the front seat, I shout. “Saint, Luke” pointing to the man who’s trying to escape. Luke sees him and runs after him, he doesn’t get very far as his pants fall down and he trips.
“Yes,” I whoop excitedly.
I look to saint and the woman who gave birth to me. My heart drops as she’s doing a shooting motion towards me shaking her head. Saint looks down towards me, then back to her. I can see that his body stiff now as he talks to her, she shrugs and lights a cigarette. I see Luke approaching the car as he talks in his walkie talkie asking for back up, my mom’s dealer has his pants back up but his hands in cuffs.
Saint hauls my mom out the house whilst she’s in her pj’s and nightgown. “You little shit, what have you been saying about me?” She growls as they approach the car. “Nothing, momma” I panic. Her eyes flare with hatred towards me, never have I felt anything from the woman other than this look. Saint turns her so she can no longer see me.
I see another police car approaching as saint and Luke walk towards it. All the while my mom’s hateful gaze is on me, the whole thing sends shivers down my spine.
What did I ever do to her, besides exist??
A tear falls down my cheek as she and her dealer are put in the back of the car. Saint and Luke talk to the other officers for a bit before coming towards their car. I wipe the tears from my face before they see, as I remember my mom’s hateful words towards me. Nobody likes a cry baby, Awww you gonna cry—Cry, baby?
“Okay, let’s get to the station,” Saint says aloud.
“What’s gonna happen to me now, Saint?” I ask him.
“I don’t know, little man,” he tells me.
A few hours later, my mom and her dealer are arrested for possession. My mom is also prosecuted for neglect, she signs her rights away for me to the state. The social worker told me that I’ll go to a good foster home, where I’ll be safe and have food three times a day.
Just before I’m about to leave with the social worker, Saint comes over and squats down in front of me.
“Hey, So— it’s been a pleasure meeting you Colton” he smiles at me.
“I’m scared, Saint” I whisper looking at the social worker.
Saint smiles sadly at me. “Don’t be scared, you’ll be just fine” he tells me, he looks at the social worker. “I’m just gonna take him to Luke to say goodbye,” he tells her.
“Be quick please, I don’t wanna hit traffic” she grumbles.
When we’re out of sight, Saint hands me a phone. “This is just a little pay as you go phone, it’s got my contacts deets and Lucas’s deets in there, okay?” He tells me as he puts the phone in my pocket. “You keep that safe and only use it to call me or Lucas, if you’re feeling scared or anything—okay?” He tells me.
I smile brightly at him as he scruffs my hair with his hand. “Okay,” I grin.
Not even a week in this foster home, I was being picked on by the foster parents biological son. He broke stuff and blamed it on me, he got me in trouble at school on my first day. I had enough, so I called saint and he came and got me.
The next one was basically the same and the next. The one after was the one that, I stayed at for a couple of weeks and suddenly the dad started to hit me and started calling me names. I ran away after the last time he hit me for not getting him a cold bottle of beer. I didn’t bother with Saint this time, I mean who wants to stay in a house where you’re beaten daily? Not fucking me, that’s for sure. I didn’t tell saint because, well—because I’d only end up in another fucked up hell hole.
I spent a good month on the streets, stealing again—I found shelter for myself, an abandoned warehouse not far from the town centre. I was doing another rob on the market stalls when I heard a scream, a woman’s scream. Without any thought, I ran towards the noise and saw a woman, about in her early forty’s trying to fight a mugger off her.
What the fuck?
I picked up the nearest weapon I could find which was a metal pole, coincidentally. “Leave her the fuck alone” I growl welding the weapon in my hands like a baseball bat. The robber looks at me, taking his focus off of the woman. The woman uses his distraction and kicks him full force in the balls, I wince, holding my balls in sympathy as he groans out in pain.
"And that’s what you get from trying to steal from a lady” she hisses at him and uses her purse, the one he was trying to steal from her and wellies him over the head with it.
“You okay, lady?” I ask her.
“Yes, Thankyou for coming to my rescue young man” she coos.
I shrug, blushing slightly. “Was nothing” I tell her.
“Oh, I think not” she grins. “You’re my hero”
I grimace, shuffling my feet with nerves.
“Well, does my hero have a name?” She asks me with a kind smile as she approaches me.
She’s about the same height as her, she’s got brown hair and warm brown eyes.
“Colton,” I say grudgingly.
“Well now,” she says happily. “That’s a good strong name that is” she grins at me. I can’t help but smile back at her.
I smile shyly when suddenly we hear her attacker groan. Without a thought I grab her hand and run away, turning down towards my spot.
“Where are we going, Colton?” She cries.
“Sshhh” I growl. “We don’t want him knowing where we’re going”
A few minutes later, the abandoned warehouse appears and I pull her inside. “We should be safe, for now,” I say breathlessly looking out the little hole in the wall. I see the thief who tried to rob the woman who is in my safe place, he’s still holding his balls as he walks slowly past the building.
“Colton” she whispers.
“Ssshhh” I hiss. “He could hear you” I growl.
“Colton, Love” she whispers more quietly this time. “Is this your home, hon?” She asks me.
I swallow nervously as I slowly turn towards her. My pride gets the best of me as I push my chest out. “And what if it is?” I ask her, irritated.
“Well, hon—this isn’t exactly a fit place for a young lad like yourself,” she says softly.
I snort. “And what? You wanna come to the rescue do you?” I growl.
“Where’s your mother? Your father?” She asks me.
“Don’t have any” I growl.
She’s quiet for a moment and then walks closer towards me. “Well then, that’s settled” she grins happily.
“What?” I ask confused.
“You’re coming home with me,” she says to me seriously.
“What? No—I can’t” I stutter.
“You’re coming home with me, and that’s final," she says adamantly and grabs my hand pulling me with her. I take a look around what was once my home and leave with her.
“Lady, I don’t even know your name” I protest.
“Oh, how silly of me” she giggles. “The names Kathy—Kathy Coleman” she grins at me as she whistles for a cab. She looks back at my guarded expression, and her eyes soften. “Don’t you worry, lad, I’ll take care of you” she smiles warmly as we get in the cab.
I knew right then and there that I could trust this woman with my life...
She was the woman who brought me up as her own and adopted me. She had gotten in touch with saint whose number I’d given her. He was happy to hear I was safe but pissed to hear why I’d ran away and hurt that I didn’t contact him. I think he understood though.
She claimed me as her own, gave me her surname, and her love. I was forever grateful to her for what she had done for me, I promised myself that I would make it up to her.
She was the woman that showed me love, she was my true mother. My momma K...