I groggily woke up to the sound of my watch’s alarm going off. Glancing down I saw that it was 6:40 am. Crap! I have to get there before Chelsea arrives. I quickly grabbed my bag and moved the boards out of the way before I started running down the street towards Mo’s. I ended up getting there at 6:45. Looking around, I didn’t see Chelsea anywhere, so I quickly went into the bathroom and began to do my usual routine. Luckily it didn’t take long, especially since the effects of Chelsea’s showers were still in full force and I was just in time to help open up the shop. The morning shift quickly passed by with our usual customers and a few newcomers.
It wasn’t until noon that I found myself slightly surprised to see Meghan strutting through the door.
“Meghan?” I couldn’t help that it came out as a question. She was wearing our uniform with her hair did in bountiful waves. She had on a mascara that deepened her eyes while a light pink lip gloss made her lips seem poutier than usual.
“Hello, Ally dear! I hope you are doing well and that it wasn’t a chilly night?” She remarked. Ally dear? And why would she think I’d have a chilly night?
“Uh...no it wasn’t...why would it be?” She couldn’t possibly suspect anything about my situation... She simply shrugged in response.
“Meghan. Come here now.” Mo’s angry voice radiated through the kitchen window. Meghan rolled her eyes in response before making her way to the counter, dropping her things off, and entering the kitchen.
“I see she finally decided to show up.” I turned to see Chelsea came and stood beside me. “Although I must admit, it’s been nice ‘round here without her annoyin’ mouth.”
“She’s acting weird.”
“Doesn’t she always?” Chelsea remarked before making her to a table that just became occupied with customers. I frowned in response before shaking my head and continuing on with work.
A few minutes later Meghan came out of the kitchen looking slightly annoyed before she began to get to work. Around thirty minutes later, I found myself at the cash register processing someone’s check. Chelsea came to stand beside me as she waited her turn and began mindlessly chatting about a cute old couple she just finished serving.
“Chelsea, make sure you give your tips to, Ally. She needs it more than the rest of us.” Meghan’s voice ranged out from over the counter as she placed a stack of dirty dishes on the counter. My face turned a beet red as my heart started pounding. There is no way she could know. How can she possibly know? I took a deep breath to calm myself before I started to hyperventilate.
“I-I don’t know what you mean Meghan.” I replied, hoping to play innocent for a little while longer.
“Of course you don’t, Ally dear” She gave me an almost sinister looking smile before waltz off to another table.
“Ally dear?...You’re right, Ally. She is acting weirder than usual.” Chelsea replied as she took my place at the register, processing her check. My thoughts were running through my head at a mile per minute thinking of whether or not Meghan could somehow know whether or not I was homeless. Take a deep breath. You just have to make it through the next two weeks then I can move in with Chelsea and leave all of this behind you. I then proceeded to make my way towards a few customers that just seated themselves down at the counter.
The end of the day came quickly, faster than I would’ve liked. It was quite busy throughout the day but, as much as I hate to admit it, Andrew’s daily walks and lunch breaks with me were very relaxing. He did most of the talking, but I slowly began to open up to him a little each day. For the most part he would talk and I would listen, with occasional responses here and there.
I wasn’t too fond of the work day ending because I was still nervous if there would be someone watching me again tonight. Although, I must admit it was a relief when Meghan left for the day. She continued to make little comments throughout our shift together but I tried my best to not think too much into it and keep to myself. I was surprised when she say anything when Andrew came to take me to lunch besides, ‘Be a gentlemen and pay for the lady, some people aren’t as fortunate as you Andrew’. I wanted to take a moment to apologize to her about Andrew, however, I couldn’t bring myself to do it... with her strange mood and all I decided to avoid her was probably the best option for now. At least, until I can figure out what’s gotten into her and a way I can put a stop to all of this nonsense.
After I walked Chelsea home, I proceeded to my little makeshift area. I didn’t bother stopping for food today since I just got some snacks yesterday that are waiting to be eaten in my bag. On the walk back to my little hut, I got the same discomforting feeling again, like someone was watching me. I practically ran to my hut where I covered myself with the makeshift walls out of the leftover boards and tried to calm myself down enough to go to sleep. I once again didn’t end up getting much sleep.
The next week went on the same. Meghan would show up and make her snarky comments, that had me increasingly worried about what information she knew and how, I would walk Chelsea home, I feel like someone is watching me, get very little to no sleep, and start the cycle back over again. Mo quickly began to worry about me halfway through the week when I progressively gotten worse, in term of appearance. Chelsea’s shower couldn’t last forever.
It was now Friday, a full week after my stalker began to, well, stalk me. I had no idea who it could be but I feared it was someone my parents may have hired to find me. What if they were telling them everything they saw, and now they were on their way to get me? At least I received some good news today...one week until I can move in with Chelsea! I was a nervous about moving in with her, since I was still getting to know her, but my desire to get off the streets far outweighed that of my fear of living with someone who could potentially betray me.
I was now on my way to my little hut after quickly grabbing some food from the local 7-11. I ended up grabbing three taco and cheese taquitos since they were 3 for 3 and a few granola bars and apples. These are so good! I was so entranced with eating my taquitos that I didn’t notice I was being closely followed.
It didn’t take me long to make it to my hut. I sat down my bag as I began to move the boards out of the way. I felt a sudden pain as I was hit in the back of the head before I fell to the ground. The culprit began to hit me anywhere and everywhere they could. I tried my best to fight back, but with me barely getting any sleep and not that much food in my system it wasn’t much of a fight. I couldn’t help but remember this is how my father would beat me when I didn’t do something right. It seemed like endless punches to my stomach and face while they occasionally had a tight grip on my arms or legs to stop me from flailing around. I vaguely heard myself scream but it was more of a background noise in my mind than anything. It seemed like hours but was probably only ten minutes before they decided to take my bag and run.
The last thing I thought before I blacked out was, why?