Between a Rock and His Hard Place - Part 1

Heather Manning has run into some really hard times lately. She never was exactly lucky to begin with, but she is pretty enough to get breaks most girls miss. Her dark brown hair is silky smooth and falls in waves midway down her shoulder blades. She has dark eyes that look more Middle Eastern than mid-western -- Missouri to be specific, where she grew up in St. Louis. Her tits are not very big, and she is a little heavier in the hips than magazine cover girls, but her ass is firm enough to turn heads when she walks through a room. She stands only five foot five, but she carries herself very well.

Heather's father died when she was 10 from lung cancer. Her younger s****r, Rachel, was only 6. Heather's mother felt that Rachel needed extra nurturing to help her through the loss of her father at such a young age, so her attention shifted away from Heather. True or only perceived, this disconnection prompted Heather to find solace in her friends at school, some of whom did not offer the best examples to follow. Heather's mother got the occasional late-night call to come pick her up from parties, concerts, and even the police station once. Her mother remarried when Heather was 15. Her step-father was retired from the military and teaching history in one of the private academies. He was much more strict than Heather's father had ever been and more than her mother. They had regular shouting matches ending with Heather screaming, "You're not my father!" As the months went by, Heather felt like her mother was clearly choosing sides against her. She swore she would get out as soon as she could.

Heather took a part-time job at a photography shop downtown at the beginning of her senior year. The owner, a Japanese man whose real name she couldn't pronounce (she called him Mr. Yumi, like his customers did), was very pleased with Heather's work and promised to give her more hours after she graduated from high school. She wanted to quit school and work full-time, but Mr. Yumi stressed the importance of finishing school, and besides, he couldn't afford to make her a full-time employee, much less provide her with benefits.

During her Christmas break, Heather began asking around about apartments near the photo shop. Through one of her ex-boyfriends, who was now a student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, she found out about a loft apartment two blocks from the shop. Her ex warned her that the place was probably a dump, but it would also be cheap, with all utilities included. She checked the place out, and her ex was straight up and dead center. The place was disgusting, but Heather thought she could fix it up and make it bearable until she could get more established and find something better.

The landlord was a man in his mid-50s named Charles Benton. He ran a gun shop on the first floor, lived on the second, and the third floor loft was a one-room apartment with a small kitchenette and a bathroom. Benton had served two tours in the Gulf and was on the ground in Desert Storm. His voice was rough when he talked, which wasn't often. He could be crude at times, like when Heather met him for the first time and he said, "If you're late with the rent or cause any trouble, your pretty little ass is back out on the street before you can say boo hoo."

Heather did the math and realized that she could pay the rent, make a $100 car payment and insurance, and have enough money left to buy minimum groceries and other necessities. So she made a down payment on the loft in May, graduated in June from high school, and was packed and headed out by the middle of the month. Her mother nor stepfather really tried to stop her -- further evidence to her that Heather was truly on her own. In fact her stepfather said, "Don't think you can come crawling back here when this all goes to shit, little lady. You're making this bed, and you can damn well sl**p in it." As scary as it was, Heather was ready to be on her own, and she knew that she would never return home again.

Heather turned 18 in August, after surviving the heat of the summer with only a window AC unit that barely kept the loft below 85 degrees during the day. By the end of the month she had no money left and was living off noodles and water, but she was making it work so far. Her contact with Benton was minimal. She would walk into his gun shop on the first of each month and pay him the rent in cash. He kept a bank bag just under the shelf behind the counter. He counted the money then stuffed it in the bag and said little or nothing at all -- just something like "alright then, behave yourself." Heather didn't linger. Sometimes she would have to wait for him for five minutes or more to come out of the back workshop where he did gun repairs. Sometimes he would let his eyes drift down her body as she handed him the rent money. But he never smiled, winked, or flirted. The only emotion she could detect was contempt.

Everything was going according to plan, although Heather was never able to save any money. Then, just before Thanksgiving, it all started to crumble. Mr. Yumi dropped a bomb on Heather by informing her that he was going to have to close his shop because of some problems with back taxes. The state was shutting him down, and Heather was losing her job. He told her that he could pay her for the hours she had already worked but that the doors would be closed at the end of the day. Heather was devastated. Rent was due in less than two weeks, and she didn't have enough to pay it. She scrambled for the next few days looking for another job. All she could find was a minimum wage gig at Burger King, and it was only for 25 hours a week. She couldn't possibly make enough to pay the rent on time.

Heather told Benton about her situation and begged for an extension. He reminded her what he had told her from the beginning. She was sobbing when he turned away from the gun counter and walked back to his workshop muttering, "All you damned k**s are alike. Don't know shit about the real world." In a flash of desperation, Heather remembered the bank bag behind the counter. She was too distraught to think clearly and had to make a split-second decision. She reached across the counter and groped around the top shelf until she found the bag. As she expected, it was full of cash. She quickly pulled out 5 twenties and then placed the bag back where she'd found it. She darted out the front door, around to the side entrance, and up the stairs to her loft apartment. Her heart was racing so fast it made her chest hurt. To add to everything else that was going down the crapper, Heather had to come to terms with the fact that she was now a criminal.

To be continued . . .
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Posted by cranfordmason
3 years ago    Views: 713
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3 years ago
excellent,can't wait for more.
3 years ago
Wow....awaiting what happens next?