A Diminutive Source of Income

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CHAPTER FIVE

Another night spent in the tunnel in the park, and then it was finally Saturday. I woke up groggily at dawn, and sighed in relief that it wasn't a school day.

So what was my plan for the day?

I may have mentioned before that I had a job at a small grocery store, I mean it wasn't an important or well paying job but it was the thing that provided me income. Saturday was one of the days on which I worked there. As I sat up and searched through my backpack, I thankfully found the shirt I had to wear to work. It was still quite early in the day and I didn't have to start work until eight thirty so I placed the shirt back inside my bag and stood up.

I dug through my pockets, where all my money was and came out with two measly dollars, all the money I had left. Today was the day I would get payed so that was good. It meant I could survive a bit longer. There was still my living situation to work out though. I shook my head, trying to clear it. Just get through today, I thought. Then you can focus on your desolate future.

Rubbing the coin between my fingers, I walked to the shopping centre, like I had done for the past two days, and bought myself something for breakfast on which I munched down, savouring each bite. Then I found my way to a public bathroom so I could clean myself up for work. 

I washed my face and arms in the sink, seeing as I hadn't had a wash since my parents died. I also retreated to one of the cubicles to change into a clean pair of clothing, including the shirt I had to wear. Once dressed I entered back out to the sink area and fixed my hair, checking my reflection in the mirror. Finally I decided I looked decent, and left the bathroom, backpack swung over my shoulder.

I asked a stranger for the time, and upon discovering that it was five to eight I started my trek to the grocery store where I worked. 

I arrived with about ten minutes to spare and glanced at my newly cleaned face in the window before entering. I'd gone in by a staff door, and now was in the employee section.

"Hi." I nodded to one of my fellow workers as I passed, then grabbed my employee badge off of the wall where it hung. Then I  grabbed my employee card and swiped it under a scanner set into the wall.

A bell sounded shrilly to signal that the store was now open, and it was time to get to work. I walked out to the main shopping area and walked along the shelves, checking that everything was in order before beginning my work for the day. 

As people began arriving to buy their groceries, I stacked shelves, cleaned up spills and did the other measly jobs that I was required to do. At one point some idiot came barreling into the store and knocked over a whole stack of tin cans, like something out of a cartoon. I cursed the bumbling fool as I bent over on my knees, picking up each damn can and stacking it again.

After a few hours I recieved a lunch break, but I didn't have money at the time so I didn't have lunch. When my break was over I returned to work, stacking shelves and what not again. 

I passed by the cash registers after one particular job and someone called out to me.

"Hey Destiny!" it was one of the other employees, working at the cash register. I eyed the cashier, a fake-blonde girl with too much makeup and an expensive phone held in her hand. "Can you take over for a bit? I just have to run an errand." 

What, like buying more lipstick? I thought, but all I said was, "Okay."

"Thanks Destiny you're the best." the girl replied, before rushing off.

I scoffed at her comment once she was gone. I was the best? Yeah right. That's why this girl hadn't even acknowledged my presence before today. Totally. I took my place at the cash register, and began scanning the items of the elderly woman who was next in the line.

The girl was gone for almost an hour. Like seriously, how long can it take to go on one errand? In that time I scanned countless grocery supplies for what felt like hundreds of people.

One particular boy, who had bought a couple of snacks and looked about sixteen, handed me a piece of paper with numbers on it when he paid. I stared at the paper in confusion, until I realised that it was a phone number. I blushed as the boy winked at me, and hastily handed the piece of paper back along with his receipt, causing the boy to leave looking crestfallen. I felt conflicted with guilt at having upset someone, but it was not a good ida for anyone to get involved with me, I knew that much by now.

The cashier from before came back, finally. She flashed me a smile before pushing me out of her register and I took no hesitation in leaving to get back to my work from before. Urgh, stacking shelves and cleaning. I should have been paid more for this. 

I was picking up smashed fruit from one particular aisle when I turned around to see a group of people from my school heading in my general direction. Since I really hated confrontation (like seriously), I quickly scampered around the corner into the next aisle. The group didn't seem to notice me and just continued their shopping. Phew.

I'd been working almsot six hours by the time my shift was over and I headed back to the employee room I'd been in earlier. I placed my badge back on the wall and scanned my employee card, like I had that morning. With the verication of my day's work, I headed to an office door and knocked. When the manager answered the door, all I had to do was hand him the card and he headed over to his desk, grabbed my payment and handed it over. 

I smiled gratefully, and thanked him, before walking away and heading to the outside world. Money in my pocket, I whistled as I walked, thinking that maybe work wasn't quite so bad after all. My view of the world had changed a lot in the past few days; I guess that's one of the few advantages of being homeless. Oh woops, I meant the only advantage. I chuckled to myself, but the sound was hollow as the crippling depression that would always weigh on my chest returned to the forefront of my mind. Although today my homeless life didn't seem a problem at all, I knew that without a home, and a proper job, there was next to no chance of me having a good future. A part of me wondered what my parents would do if they'd been homeless.

Another depressing thought as I remembered that they were dead, and I'd never see them again. The situation they'd left me in showed that they weren't the best parents but I had loved them despite their faults and their death was like a bullet through my heart, sapping the happiness out of me through the hole it left.

Okay Destiny, I thought. Don't cry again, you have to be strong. Despite my struggles, tears still escaped my stinging eyes. You stupid idiot! I smacked myself in the side of the head and a short scream ripped from my throat. A man waiting at a bus stop stared at me in concern at this sign of insanity, and I sighed. 

I  needed to get a hold on myself, or I really would go insane.

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Hello, reading person! Just one question, does anyone have any suggestions for what should happen to Destiny? I find it quite hard to come up with ideas for each chapter

Anyway, thanks for reading! :)

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