Christian, fucking, Miller! Yeah, that name usually makes girl start swooning. For me, nope. It means so much more. Everyone thought we would get married right out of high school, but our lives went to different directions. His being in the direction of professional ball and mine, well I serve at a biker bar near by.
When I overheard that he took an offer as a free agent to play ball here, I was just hoping that this city was big enough to to run into him. Our lives are completely different now. It's the state team at a main city, but we both grew up in a small town. We both wanted an adventure, but mine hit a dead end, unless you count the bikers and the club that warm my bed or pay my bills. I wanted to go to college, become an athletic trainer and apply for the team that picked up Christian. That was our plan. He fucked it up.
He decided to go to a different college last minute than me and broke things off. A week later was when I found out I was knocked up. My parents support me so far, but I had to drop out just before my last semester of college because mom got really sick and couldn't take care of Hudson anymore and Dad had to focus on the doctor bills for her. I had to get a job and get him in daycare. Thats how I ended up here at The Rack. It wasn't exactly what a single mother would want, but at least it means I can take care of my son.
When my parents had found out I was pregnant, I lied about who his dad was. I think they knew, but they would never say anything. Mom did, before the cancer took her she asked me to tell her and swore to take the name to her grave. She did ask why I didn't want him to know or to try to get child support at least. I told her that he had changed and it wouldn't matter anyways. Plus, deep down I was scared of loosing my son at this point.
"Hey, Payton! Turn that T.V. up! Our boys may have a chance this year!" Xander, the club's president, yelled from a nearby table.
I turned it up and tried to focus on drinks, but everyone was either too hammered already or too focused on the T.V. The reporter keeps talking about this contract deal with him. Thats when the interview starts and I see him.
"Yeah, it was time to come home. I think this move is the best choice for me at the time and I'm excited to be apart of this team. There is many great players..." Christian keeps talking and naming players.
'He looks so much like Hud.' Is all I could think.
"Hey, didn't you go to college, Payt? This prospect here has been taking online courses, he thinks he needs a tutor." Beckett, one of the guys asks sitting at the bar with the prospect.
"What you going for?" I ask.
"Business management." The kid says.
"Sorry, may not be too much help. I went to actual university and for athletic trainer. Completely different courses." I say hoping that would be good enough.
"What you doing here then?" This kid had to just ask that. Beckett knew some but the guys never ask details much, they just accepted that I was a single mom looking to provide for my kid.
"Left just before being done. Short on credits. Life happened, you know."
"Well, why don't you go back at all? Make more money, you know you're too good for this type of life, babe." This time it was Bsckett. He never suggested anything like this, he was the one who mainly ended up in bed with me even. He was younger and Xander's kid.
"I don't think I could afford it and not sure if its what I want anymore." I shrug and refill his jack.
"I can talk to the old man, he may want to help invest in something like that for you. You're family now, sweetheart." Beckett was always nice and knew I never asked for anything from the guys.
"Ask me what?" Xander asked, walking up and putting a heavy hand on his son's shoulder.
"Payton should go back and finish her credits for college. She doesn't think she could finish it, plus maybe she can help with training the team, Dad." Well, he sweet talked his dad good. Xander would do bets on the outcome of the games a lot and he did fantasy baseball even.
"Seriously, guys, its okay. I honestly do not know if thats even the career for me anymore." I really don't want to get caught up in something like what Xander may do anyways.
"No, Beckett is right, girl! You deserve to do more for your kid than serve drinks to this lot. We can look into this idea and I don't mind helping you pay! I had a college fund set up for Beck here and he never went. Should have seen that coming with how much trouble he would get in at school back in the day! Use it! At least its going to someone's future and not just sitting there till I die!" Xander smiled.
"Wait, you had money saved for me?" Beckett asks.
"I said 'college fund' not savings for you. You didn't go, you don't get that money boy. Let Payton have it to go!" Xander laughs.
"Well, Payton, no excuses. Go finish that degree!" Beckett said hugging me. I think about this hard, maybe I can work somewhere other than for baseball teams as I had hoped even.
"Okay, I will look to see what I have to do to start back up." I say.
Later that night, I get in the door and check on Hudson asleep in his, a bit too small, toddler bed. Dad fell asleep I front of the T.V. He bought a house here and we all moved when mom was sick to be close to the hospital. The T.V. was still talking about the upcoming season and highlights of last season.
"Hey, Dad, I'm home." I say gently enough to have him wake up.
"Oh, hi, hun! Did you hear who got picked up this year? Can't believe it. He is even moving here they said! God damn, Christian Miller. Always hoped I would never have to root for him again. Torn about this season now with my membership pass to the park." Dad says shaking his head.
"Yeah. I have news too! I guess I'm finally finishing up my schooling. Xander decided to pay for me. Wouldn't let me say anything against it before you think I didn't try." I hope to change the topic.
"Oh, that's great. I always liked that man!"
"Dad, don't lie. You always make grunt sounds and say things under your breath when I mention him!" I laugh.
"He's paying for you to finish school, that man is now family in my eyes! He must want the same thing I do, a better life for you and Hud. I'm heading to bed now. Got a shift at the warehouse in the morning.
I went to my room and opened my laptop. I found the site to the university school that was just on the other side of town. Its a big ten school with a lot of sports teams and one of the main ones of our state. Got to have a 4.0 to even get in. I had that and maintained it too up until I left.
I sent in my request to the admissions office with a question about my credits. I hope I don't have them lost or anything by now. Its only been two years. I left when Hudson was three. He's five almost six now. He's in kindergarten and I have more time on my hands than I used to have. I hope I can keep my job at the bar though because I need the money for the bills.
***Thanks for reading the first chapter! Let me know how you like it so far!