238 – The Girl from the Swamps

Alex Cooper had met that girl from his class at the diner. She was called Stella Deville and she had caught his attention somehow. She had a quick meal while reading a book, never looking up once. She always seemed very focused, lost in a world of her own. She intrigued him, so he caught up with her as she was leaving the diner and tried to strike up a conversation.

3934

She stayed very vague in her replies, blowing him off as he was annoying her.

3935

She took leave of him with a brisk pace, then almost broke into a run.

3936

“She’s heading towards the swamps. What could she possibly do there?” This intrigued him even more.

3937

So he decided to follow her…

3938

She slowed down as she entered the swamps. He followed her at a distance, making sure he wasn’t doing any noise. Everything else was silent around them.

3939

And then he saw her enter a rundown shack.

3941

“What, she lives in there?!”

3940

He hung around the shack a bit longer, staying hidden. He saw her taking the trash out, with a baby in her arms. His heart stopped for a moment: “Is that baby hers?… No, that’s not possible…”

3942

Being a rich kid, Alex could probably not understand Stella’s difficult circumstances. Even when she was doing her best to cope, her father would abuse her verbally as if she was personally responsible for their situation.

3943

She stoop up against him, aware that nobody but herself would defend her, but his words were cutting.

3944

3945

Sometimes she was afraid he would hit her.

3946

If not for her two little brothers, she would run away.

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