“Shiznits.” Taylor gasped, standing up from the chair.
April grinned at the made-up curse as she waddled into the room. Taylor never actually seemed to curse, and her version of cursing made it obvious that she was a mother. April found it endearing and she smiled at her young employee.
Taylor had quickly made herself a vital part of the store running smoothly. She always worked hard and wasn’t afraid of taking charge when needed but was respectful to everyone. April liked to consider her a friend and was training her in the office for when April had to take maternity leave.
Taylor loved her job, and her bosses were so friendly she almost thought they actually cared about her. She knew that was impossible though. She and Logan would always be on their own. Nobody wanted to be associated with the unlovable foster child turned single mother.
Life had never been easy for her, but she always made ends meet. Lately though she had hit an all-time low. She had to keep pushing to make a better life, not for herself, but for her son. However, between recent and old medical bills and moving she was fighting to provide basic necessities.
Logan was absolutely everything to Taylor. He was the only family she had ever had and the only thing that kept her striving for better. She would do anything to protect him, even moving across the country at the drop of a hat, leaving everything they owned behind, without the finances to do so.
“Everything okay?” April asked with a kind smile.
Taylor longed to say, no. Nothing was okay. The life she had started to create had completely fallen apart. Now she was losing any hope of pulling things back together. She felt dizzy and sick to her stomach but knew she was just hungry, so she forced a smile and turned to her boss.
As Taylor looked up, April realized again that the woman didn’t look good. The bags under her hazel eyes were mostly hidden with makeup but still visible. Her red hair was pulled back into a messy bun instead of neatly styled.
She wore a pair of worn-out jeans that looked like they were one wash away from disintegrating. Her threadbare T-shirt wasn’t much better. April had seen homeless people with better footwear than Taylors ratty tennis shoes.
Though Taylor hadn’t said anything, April was growing more and more concerned. Taylor had just moved to town a couple months ago, but even in that time she had lost a significant amount of weight and her skin had lost almost all of the pink tones. April was worried she was having a hard time financially and really needed help.
From what she could gather the move had been very last minute. Taylor packed up her son and anything she could fit in her old beat-up Ford Escort and left. She drove as far as she could before landing in Silver Creek. Anytime she was asked for reasoning Taylor would just smile and say they needed a change in scenery.
“I’m running late. I’m so sorry I have to go to the daycare center.” Taylor hesitated, “I can come back and finish up this section if you don’t mind me bringing Logan.”
“Oh, that’s absolutely not a problem. I am eager to meet him. You’re welcome to bring him any time.” April smiled and massaged her swollen abdomen, trying to mask her concern.
As Taylor rushed out the door April couldn’t help the dread rising in her gut. Something big was scaring the young lady and April wanted to help. She decided contacting Tucker was the best idea. She knew her boyfriend would be just as concerned as she was.
April stood, walking over to her desk with a sigh. She had set her phone down somewhere, before heading to the floor. Baby brain was the bane of her existence.
An envelope caught her eye, and her heart skipped a beat at the big red letters that read notice of eviction. They couldn’t be getting evicted. She had gotten all of their paperwork and payments straightened out when she started working here five months ago. She ripped open the letter and began to read.
Immediately she realized it wasn’t theirs. Taylor was losing her apartment. April assumed the young woman had hit a rough patch financially, but she hadn’t thought it would be so bad. Checking the date of eviction, she realized that it was a week and a half ago.
She wondered where Taylor and her son were staying. No wonder Taylor had seemed so stressed out. The young single mother, with no family or support had just joined the ranks of the homeless. April found her phone and called Tucker.
“You should talk to her about it when she gets back.” Tucker suggested with a sigh. “Give the boy something to do out of hearing range though.”
“Of course, but what if they don’t have a place to stay.” April asked. “Childcare alone is expensive, and Logan won't start school for a month. What if-”
“April…” Tucker interrupted calmly. “If we can help her, we will, but it’s not good for you to get all worked up over it, hon.”
April sighed before agreeing. She hung up and tried not to watch the clock as time passed by. Three hours later when Taylor still wasn’t back April was really concerned. She wanted to go find her, but on the way out the door she ran into Tucker.
“Taylor never came back.” April gasped.
“Talk to her tomorrow, keg-stand.” Tucker suggested, but his brow pinched in concern as he looked out the front door of the store.
“Tuck,” she sighed.
“April. We don’t know where she is to check on her, and frankly it’s none of our business.” Tucker wrapped his arms around her waist, turning her to face him. “I know you’re worried, and that’s one thing I adore about you. In this scenario though, there is nothing we can do.”
April sighed but nodded with a frown. She stared out the door as she rested her head on Tucker’s chest. She hoped more than anything that she was wrong, and Taylor would show up to work feeling better and explain that she had decided to get some much-needed rest.
“Let’s get you three home.” Tucker suggested placing his hand on her swollen abdomen.