A Life Unknown
Katelyn Bonner was warming up a can of soup in her rundown fifth floor walkup apartment. She saw a roach crawling up the wall and disappear in a crack in the plastered wall. She shivered at the sight of it and tried to focus on the task at hand.
It had been three days since she’d eaten anything and her stomach felt like it was eating itself. She had moved to this city with hopes of finding a good job and supporting herself. What she found instead was a roach infested apartment that cost more to rent than she made weekly.
The apartment overlooked the city, so at night it was easy to forget that she was paying six hundred dollars a month for a one-bedroom dump. Katelyn had big dreams for her life but wasn’t awarded the same opportunities as everyone else was. She had to work harder and budget just as hard to make it through day to day.
Growing up she was moved from foster home to foster home until she was eighteen and basically kicked out of the system. In her experience the people who fostered children did it for the money, and she didn’t have anything and she didn’t ask for anything. This would get her in a heap of trouble as a child and she learned the hard way.
Her goal for moving to this city was in hopes of finding out who her birth parents were. There was no record of a father at all and her mother was listed as Nadia Bonner from Memphis Tennessee. Other than that, she had no other information about family.
Katelyn had a high school education because the state required her to go to school. She wasn’t ever a rebellious child and caused no issues for the several families that raised her. She did however know from a young age that she was different than anyone else she’d ever met.
She had these abilities that would allow her to do different things with her mind. Things that she knew would eventually set her apart from anyone else she’d ever met. Now she was here in this hell hole of a city looking for a woman that gave her life just to see if she’s the reason she had these abilities.
At this time in her life Katelyn had given up on finding her birth mother and was just trying to survive. She sat on the hardwood floor in her shithole apartment and sipped her soup with a plastic spoon. A spoon that she’d gotten from her job at the local fast-food place. The bowl, pot, and cup she had she got from a charity thrift store for less than a dollar for all of them.
Katelyn could hear the city below her and knew that she had to give up on this idea of finding a family and start living for herself. She needed to find a secluded place where she could figure out what these abilities she held could do. She also needed to find a job that would pay more than what she was making now.
With that thought in mind she pulled out her phone and searched for cities in the state that had nice places to rent for cheap. She found a house for rent in a town called Huntingdon. It was a hundred and nineteen miles from where she lived in Memphis population around four thousand people.
It looked to be a quaint little town but had a lot of land for sale. Katelyn liked the idea of it and decided that this is where she wanted to move to. She got up off the floor and washed her bowel and spoon. She then opened the cabinet and pulled out the old coffee tin she had and went back to the living room floor.
She counted out the money across the floor. She had learned that over the years she could survive on less than most people and if she kept the money she needed for food then she could save up a lot faster. With that in mind she began to count what she had.
In the last four years that she had been here she managed to save six thousand four hundred and twelve dollars. This would be enough for her to leave the city and put down the deposit along with first month’s rent on the house she found. She had a full paycheck coming Friday, and she would add that to her savings.
Katelyn decided this was a go and pulled out her phone and called the number linked to the house for rent. An older woman answered the phone, “Hello.” She said kindly.
“Hello, my name is Katelyn Bonner and I’m interested in the home you have for rent.” Katelyn said.
“It’s a single wide mobile home three bedrooms, two bathrooms, with a separate laundry room. If you have kids then there’s a big yard for them to play in.” The woman said.
“Sounds nice the only thing I didn’t see was a price.” Katelyn replied.
“Oh, that’s right I forgot to put that on there. It’s four hundred a month with a four-hundred-dollar deposit. The only thing I ask is no pets, you can have a fishbowl but no cats or dogs please.” The woman said.
“I don’t have any pets ma’am and when can I see the place?” Katelyn asked.
“What’s the earliest you can get here?” The woman asked.
“I can be there tomorrow morning.” Katelyn replied.
“Where are you currently?” The woman asked.
“I’m in Memphis and looking to relocate.” Katelyn replied.
“Oh, and what do you do for work there in Memphis?” The woman asked.
“I currently work in a fast-food place but I’ve already put in applications in Huntingdon.” Katelyn replied.
“Look I’m sure you’re a nice girl and all but I don’t want to be chasing my rent money like I have in the past. I want to be able to collect it on the first of the month and if you have an issue then I’ll fix it as needed.” The lady replied.
“I can tell you’ve had issues in the past, so I’ll tell you what. I’ll pay for the deposit and the first three months’ rent up front. That will allow me time to settle in and find a job in the area.” Katelyn replied.
“What if you don’t find a job in that time?” The lady asked.
“Then I’ll move out no questions asked.” Katelyn replied.
“You’re wanting to get out of the city pretty badly to put that much pressure on yourself.” The lady said.
“I do want to get out of here. I currently live in a fifth-floor walk-up that I pay six hundred a month for. It’s infested with roaches and I hate it here.” Katelyn replied.
“I would hate that too, but I don’t want a roach infestation either. I’d like to rent to you, but that’s something no one wants to deal with.” The lady said.
“I don’t have any furniture or big things to bring with me, so I won’t be bringing along any roaches.” Katelyn replied.
“Do you mind if I ask how old you are?” The lady asked.
“I’m twenty-two.” Katelyn replied.
“How long have you been on your own?” The lady asked.
“I aged out of the system at eighteen, so four years.” Katelyn replied.
“You were in the foster care system?” The lady asked.
“Yes ma’am my whole life.” Katelyn replied.
“I see and you don’t have any family?” The lady asked.
“No ma’am I don’t. Is that a deal breaker?” Katelyn asked.
“Not at all, I just can’t imagine you being on your own in this world and trying to relocate.” The lady replied.
“I’ve spent the last four years saving as much as I could so that I could make a life for myself.” Katelyn said sadly.
“I tell you what young lady, you come by in the morning when you get here and I’ll show you the trailer. If you like it then we’ll settle it and you can move in.” The lady said.
“Will I be able to move in then and there?” Katelyn asked.
“Yes, you will and we’ll get an exterminator out there just in case you bring along any of those roaches.” The lady replied.
“That would be nice, but the only thing I’m bringing with me is a few clothing items I have.” Katelyn replied.
“You don’t have anything else to bring with you?” The lady asked.
“No ma’am, the only thing I own is my car and clothes.” Katelyn replied.
“Are you sleeping on the floor?” The lady asked.
“Yes, I sleep on the floor with a few blankets I got from the salvation army.” Katelyn replied.
“Oh, dear girl what kind of life you must have led. Is there any way you can get here tonight and we’ll see what we can do to get you settled in?” The lady asked.
“Unfortunately, I can’t, I have to work tonight and it’s a big tipper night. I’ll need the extra money to ensure that I can get food and necessities.” Katelyn replied.
“I thought you said you worked in fast-food.” The lady asked.
“It is fast-food but it’s not a chain restaurant like the big names. It’s a restaurant here in Memphis that has a wait staff like a normal restaurant. The only difference is that the kitchen follows the same basic steps as a chain restaurant unless someone orders off the extended menu.” Katelyn replied.
“Is that like a 1950’s diner?” The lady asked.
“Yes it is.” Katelyn replied.
“I think I know where you work and I like that you’re willing to work the night and come in the morning. You seem very responsible, so when you get here in the morning I’ll show you around the place and you can get settled.” The lady said.
“I appreciate that and where do you live?” Katelyn asked.
“I live about a mile up the road. If you decide to take the place I’ll make sure to stock it with groceries for the first month to help you out. I’m sure a young girl like you hasn’t had a decent meal in ages.” The lady replied.
“Ma’am you honestly don’t have to do that for me. I don’t eat much more than a can of soup here and there and even that’s a bit much for me some days.” Katelyn replied.
“I’m sure things have been hard for you in this life, but I assure you that I’ll do whatever I can to help you live a good life.” The lady said.
“Thank you, and what’s your name?” Katelyn asked.
“Oh, listen at me going on and on and I never gave you my name, I’m Valerie.” The lady replied.
“Valerie thank you so much for everything you’re trying to do. I do honestly appreciate it, but I don’t want to put you out.” Katelyn replied.
“It’s no big deal girlie, I’ll just get over there and make sure that everything is taken care of for you.” Valerie said cheerfully.
“One last thing before I go Valerie, how much do the utilities usually run around there?” Katelyn asked.
“The trailer is on a well for water and everything else is electric. We have a good internet company out here, so if you decide to get that then it’ll be separate. Currently the electricity is in my name so that I could keep the water and heat on during the winter months. Didn’t want to deal with busted pipes.” Valerie replied.
“Will I be able to transfer the electric into my name or will I have to put down a new deposit and all of that?” Katelyn asked.
“You will have to pay a new deposit for the electric but if you’d like we can keep it in my name and I can give you a bill each month and you can pay it.” Valerie replied.
“That sounds like a plan to me, but I can pay the deposit to put it in my name.” Katelyn replied.
“I’m sure you can, but this will save you around three hundred and fifty dollars.” Valerie explained.
“That’s quite a bit for electricity.” Katelyn replied.
“It’s based on your credit score and the highest you’ll pay is the three fifty, so if I can save that for you then I will.” Valerie said.
“I appreciate that, so I have to go to work now and I’ll see you in the morning say nine o’clock in the morning?” Katelyn asked.
“Sounds good to me just meet me at the address on the website.” Valerie replied.
“Thank you again Valerie I truly appreciate it.” Katelyn said before disconnecting the call.
Katelyn went to work with excitement and was happy with the decision she was making. She put on a smile, served her customers, and made polite conversation with the people who wanted to talk. Because of this she was always able to make more tips then the rest of the crew.
Tonight, wasn’t any different aside from when the shift was over she was going to let the manager know that it was her last night. She was going to miss the people she worked with, but she wasn’t going to miss leaving here smelling like food and feeling constantly hungry.
The night passed by quickly and she was cleaning the dining room when the manager approached her. Someone had left her a large tip and she had to sign off for it. Katelyn signed the paper and asked how much the tip was and the manager handed her an envelope. Katelyn in return said thank you and shoved it in her apron pocket.
Katelyn finished with front end cleanup and was satisfied with the shine on the floor. While she waited for the floor to dry Katelyn went into the manager’s office. “Hey Bud, can we talk for a minute?” Katelyn asked.
“Yeah, come on in Katelyn.” Bud replied.
“I have some bad news.” Katelyn said sitting down in the seat beside his desk.
“No, you don’t.” Bud replied giving her his full attention.
“I’m afraid that tonight is my last night here.” Katelyn said nervously.
“You’re not even going to give me a two-week notice?” Bud asked.
“I would but I’m moving out of town.” Katelyn replied.
“Where are you moving to?” Bud asked.
“I found a place in Huntingdon TN.” Katelyn replied.
“That’s a long ways from here, why are you moving there?” Bud asked.
“It looked like a quiet place so I want to check it out.” Katelyn replied.
“It’s a sleepy little town with nothing in it. Here you have everything you could ever need and not have to drive very far.” Bud said.
“I’ve lived in this city my whole life and I’ve never liked it. I found a new place and I’d like to try it out. If I don’t like it later then I’ll move back to the city.” Katelyn replied.
“I see but have you given any thought to what’s left on your apartment lease? Or deposits that you’ve paid?” Bud asked.
“I have and my lease is up at the end of the month. I paid for this month so they’ll keep the payment for it and if they decide to give me any of my deposit back then they can send it to me in a check.” Katelyn replied.
“So, you’re just going to walk away from all that money and what?” Bud asked.
“If there’s any money to get back then they can send it to me in a check or money order. It’s not that big of a deal they do it all the time.” Katelyn replied.
“This is your home though why would you want to leave it?” Bud asked.
“Bud, what’s really on your mind?” Katelyn asked.
“You’re my best server and I don’t want to lose you to some bullshit dream.” Bud replied.
“It’s not a bullshit dream Bud, it’s my life and I want to be at peace in a small town.” Katelyn replied.
“I can’t rehire you if you don’t give a two week notice though.” Bud replied.
“I don’t want to be rehired and besides that I’ve given this place six years of my life already. I would think you of all people would understand where I’m coming from.” Katelyn replied.
“How do you figure it to be six years?” Bud asked.
“I started when I was sixteen and I’m twenty-two now, that’s six years and a few months. I deserve to find my place in this world regardless of where it is.” Katelyn replied.
“I know you do Katelyn, but have you given any thought about how this will affect you? You have no family, no friends, and you don’t know anyone there. You’re going out on your own with nothing.” Bud said shaking his head.
“I don’t have any of those things here either Bud. Have you ever seen me with anyone or heard me talk about my family gatherings?” Katelyn asked narrowing her eyes at him.
“No, what does that have to do with you going out on your own?” Bud asked.
“It has everything to do with it, Bud I’ve been on my own my whole life. I was raised in the system and at eighteen I was given twenty-five dollars and a blanket and told I was on my own. The foster family I was staying with told me they couldn’t get any more money from the state for me and told me to leave. I was still in high school just weeks from graduation. I was already working here and the state wouldn’t allow my foster family to take my money so it was put into an account. I was allowed to take it when I was kicked out of my foster home. I used that to get myself into the apartment I have now and I’ve been on my own since. I hate the apartment I’ve been living in the last four years and I hate this city, if you want you can see my apartment and how I’ve been living the last four years and know that what I’m doing is what’s best for me.” Katelyn said with anger.
“How did I not know any of this?” Bud asked.
“You never asked anything personal and I don’t like to share.” Katelyn replied.
“Then what made you share now?” Bud asked.
“Your need to tell me I wasn’t living my life correctly.” Katelyn asked.
“Where do you live?” Bud asked.
“Down in east town in a five-floor walk-up.” Katelyn replied,
“That’s a bad part of town how do you manage?” Bud asked.
“I don’t bother anyone and no one bothers me.” Katelyn replied.
“There’s more gains and violence over there than anywhere else in the city.” Bud stated.
“It’s not as bad as you think, if you keep to yourself and your head down then you’re fine. It’s when you go meddling in other people’s business that there’s an issue.” Katelyn replied.
“Do you need anything?” Bud asked.
“No, I’m good why?” Katelyn asked.
“If I had knowledge of how you were living I would have offered help a long time ago.” Bud replied.
“I’m not a charity case Bud, I’ve managed to do pretty well for myself over the years.” Katelyn replied.
“How when you live in a crap apartment on the east side of town?” Bud asked.
“I tell you what when we leave here I’ll show you my apartment and tell you my story. I’m only inviting you now because I’m leaving shortly after I pack my things.” Katelyn replied.
“All right I’ll follow you to your apartment and we can have a conversation.” Bud said with a nod.
“I’m done in the dining room and everything at the service station has been restocked and is cleaned up. Are you almost done here?” Katelyn asked.
“Yes, the kitchen staff has already left for the night, so it’s just the two of us.” Bud replied.
“You know as well as I do they didn’t get that kitchen clean like they’re supposed to.” Katelyn said with a chuckle.
“That’s not out of the ordinary, but then again not everyone is you Katelyn.” Bud replied.
“I just know what clean is and I’m about to show you why I like everything clean.” Katelyn replied.
“Is it that bad?” Bud asked.
“It’s worse.” Katelyn said heading out of the office.
Bud turned off his desk lamp and followed Katelyn out of the office. He did a walk through and they headed out the back door together. Katelyn got into her escalade and Bud got into his minivan.
Description: A girl from the big city moves into a small town and discovers she’s part of a larger than life secret.
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09Z8LH3D4
Google Play: A Life Unknown – Jessica Samuels – Google Books