Chapter 1 ~
“Chymeron, time to wake up for school,” Amelia—the girl’s mother—said in a soft tone as she gently shook her daughter awake. “It’s your first day of high school,” she added when Chymeron groaned and tried to turn over to face the other way on the worn couch in the living room.
* * * * *
Chymeron and her mother shared a small one-bedroom flat in the poor part of town; it was all they could afford.
The flat had one large open area, which was a small living room with a kitchen/dining area in one corner. Then there was a bedroom and bathroom straight off of the living room with no hallway. Chymeron had to do their laundry using the shared washers and dryers in the basement of the complex once a week. But at least the flat was furnished and came with a refrigerator and stove, countertop and a few cabinets.
* * * * *
Her mother worked hard to make ends meet as an exotic dancer. She had no high school diploma, having had to drop out of high school her sophomore year when she had become pregnant with Chymeron—a product of rape.
A group of boys raped her mother at a party; having drugged her. She hadn’t wanted to do any drugs or drink, but they had slipped something into her soda. And the boys who had raped her had all come from wealthy families, and so as a group, their parents had paid Amelia’s parents off with a “settlement” with the stipulation that they keep their mouths shut about the rape, with no charges of rape to be filed. Nor was a DNA test done to determine who the father might be.
Amelia’s parents, coming from poverty, eagerly took the money, and immediately moved to another state, the moment the check was in-hand. However, en route to wherever their final destination might have been, they had abandoned Amelia; leaving her penniless and pregnant, without ever having told their daughter where they were going.
But Amelia being pregnant, despite her desperate circumstances, refused to prostitute herself. Instead, she would dumpster dive for recyclables and edible food, and sometimes she’d find items in the trash cans in the wealthier areas of the city which were virtually brand new, and sold them to pawn shops.
One day, when Amelia was dancing on the street to the music of a street musician, a woman came up to her and introduced herself as Daisy. And Daisy took Amelia in and hooked her up to the world of exotic dancing when she saw how talented the young girl was.
Amelia’s passion was to dance. So, why not do something she loved, while being paid to do it? Dance had always been a way for her to express herself and to work out her anxiety and stress, and now she was being paid for it. It didn’t make her wealthy, but it was enough to pay for an apartment and put food on the table.
Even if Amelia had been able to afford it, she wouldn’t have considered abortion. Still, Planned Parenthood had been a godsend, as they assisted her throughout her pregnancy, got her on WIC and food stamps, as well as Medicare so that she could have regular check-ups during her pregnancy and have her child in a hospital. Fortunately, her parents had given her a copy of her birth certificate and social security card before abandoning her, so she had an identity.
Amelia knew that she could have gone to the police to report her parents, but she feared what they might do to her and her unborn child if she did. Besides, why return to parents who didn’t want her? Her parents hadn’t been abusive with her, but neither had they been attentive to her needs growing up. They had always been too much into their drama and trying to make ends meet than to be bothered with a child.
Not that Amelia hadn’t been angry and hurt for having been abandoned; she had furious and devastated. But she had a child on the way, so, she set her focus on taking care of herself; something she’d been doing most of her life anyways.