Chapter 3

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"Your belongings," the official says, handing me a plastic bag filled with my things.

"Thanks," I say, accepting the bag.

I check to make sure I get back everything I came with and exit the building when I see that I do. I walk out of the parking lot and turn left onto the sidewalk, not seeing Kyle. I guess he forgot. I walk home in silence and realize I can now check my phone. I attempt to turn on my phone and sigh when I see that it's dead. I should've known.

I go to my old house and climb in through a back window. Nothing's changed. It's exactly how I left it. There's an awful stench radiating from the fridge. I wasn't allowed to clean it out before I was taken in.

I go downstairs to where my father kept his painting materials and grab a mask and some gloves.

You never know what could be hiding in the depths of that fridge.

I open the door and the stench worsens. Spores of mold cover every inch of the interior, food being impossible to recognize as food.

"Ew," I groan, putting on the gloves and setting to work.

I toss the once edible items into the garbage bag as I hear footsteps behind me. They get closer and I panic, turning around and throwing moldy food at the intruder.

"What the hell?" Kyle asks, jumping out of the way.

"What are you doing?" I ask, my hand over my heart.

"My house wasn't livable so I spent the night here," he explains. "I wasn't expecting my girlfriend to try to kill me with moldy fridge contents."

"Sorry," I laugh.

"What even is that?" He grimaces.

"My best guess is cheese," I say. "Get gloves and help me."

"Hell no," he says, backing away.

"Oh, come on!" I groan. "You're the boy."

"But you're doing such a good job on your own," he smiles.

"Babe," I say.

"What, princess?" He asks.

"Either help me, or get hit with more mold," I smile.

"You suck," he groans.

~*~

We finish the fridge in a little over an hour, bringing the garbage bags outside.

"What happened to your house?" I ask when we're sitting on the couch.

"I don't know," he shrugs. "I got to the property and all I saw was a slab of concrete."

"You didn't even get the chance to take your belongings," I say.

"I've got nothing," he sighs. "And I don't know what happened to all the money. If it was in the mattress and the house is gone, where's my shit?"

"It's probably burned with everyone else's," I say.

The local hooligans have a nasty habit of starting fires. They probably burned down Kyle's house soon after he was put into the Department. I was actually surprised to see mine untouched.

"You can stay as long as you want," I say.

"Thanks," he smiles, moving in for a hug and stopping when he notices my fingers covered in band aids. "Mack?"

"It's worse than you think," I sigh.

"What happened?" He asks.

"I snapped," I begin. "I think I broke Natalie's nose."

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