I lost my job yesterday.

It's not very important and I can get more work, but still, it's a little disencouraging. They fired me because I was late. I was trying to sort out what happened yesterday. Mum came home after a few hours screaming and crying and quite drunk too, saying a woman had lured her into her home and tried to coax her into taking drugs and having sex with her. It took me forever to calm her down. She said something about her being a social worker so I was trying to get through to the crisis team all that evening trying to track down this woman. I didn't find her.

The trouble is, they might have been justified in firing me. Is this going to happen in every job I go to? I want to focus on my job, no matter what it is, but I know in my heart of hearts that my mum has to be my priority.

At the same time, I know we can't just live on her allowance forever. The amount she spends on alcohol and cigarettes make it... difficult sometimes. A lot of weeks I remember we'd have to survive on packets of noodles and God knows what else. Sometimes I had to make dinner with whatever's in the fridge and some of those jars have been there for years. I worry I'm going to poison us. Well. She doesn't eat much at all but I make it anyway, and I do my best to make sure she has something.

I think, in a way, that's why I feel so sympathetic towards Shelby. She's a very poor person  and I know how difficult that makes things. And she's lost a brother and is completely controlled by her parents, which I can't even relate to.

Maybe I can. Of course it's not my mum's fault. I chose to be with her. She needed somebody and it was me. It's not the same. It's not the same.

I bumped into Shelby in the grocers. She had a black eye. I asked her where she got it from and she didn't answer me properly. She just mumbled something about falling down the stairs. The grocer was leering at her all the time which frankly I couldn't believe. She asked for six carrots. He put eight in the bag and said 'Is this your boyfriend then?' She said 'No,' and he smirked and said 'I thought I was your boyfriend, eh, Shelby?' And Shelby just looked at the floor and I felt so sorry for her. I stepped forward to pay for the carrots, and the grocer said, 'Oh, no, no. Let her pay for it with her parent's money. This girl owes me another kiss, and maybe a cuddle this time.' 

Suddenly I saw Shelby dart forward and slap the grocer across the face. I was shocked, but I also felt it was probably what he deserved. I couldn't actually leave him there with a bleeding nose, so I ran off through the back room to locate some toilet paper. By the time I got back, Shelby was gone.

The End

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