e in this world. Ill work on my happy ending, eventually with one of them. Also, hes kind of like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde because he is so nice to me but hes a jerk to everyone else. Thats not my type and not okay, ” Paige said, seriously.

”Ok, well you know best, honey. Get on outta here, ” she said with a smiling while playfully pushing Paige to the door.

”Bye, Carrie. Ill text you! ” Paige said as she happily left the health center and then the building saying goodbyes to staff and clients.

She drove to her home, contemplating Carries words. No one knew her truth, not all of it. Not even Carrie. She thought back about when they first met. If anyone deserved the world, it was Carrie.


-7 years ago-

Paige was wandering the streets with a rolling suitcase. It was late at night and she had just come out of a bus station. There were no taxis. Paige didn have a phone. She left it behind.

She was trying to find some kind of convenience store or motel, but she was completely and utterly lost, having never been in this town before. She had decided to just walk in a single direction and if she bumped into someone maybe get directions.

However, she felt her hair stand on end when she heard footsteps trailing behind her. They started getting faster and closer, so she started moving faster. She darted around a corner and saw a woman motioning towards her to hurry into an alley. For some reason, she trusted her in that moment and she ran to her. The woman led her through a series of alleys. Finally, she came to a stop. They were in a makeshift shelter behind a building. The woman motioned for Paige to sit, so she did.

”Girl, ” the woman said seriously in a Texan drawl, ”I don know what you
e running from but you do not belong here, I can promise you that. Do you realize what wouldve happened if I didn show up? ”

”I can go back, ” Paige whispered, her eyes welling with tears.

”Oh, honey, theres always a way back, ” the woman said, trying to reassure her. Paige started crying in earnest now.

”Now, now, honey, theres always room for second chances. I don know what happened but you can figure it out, Im sure, ” she said trying to reassure her again.

”I can ! ” Paige sobbed. The woman tried to pay her on the back, but Paige flinched.

”I didn mean to scare you, just trying to give you comfort. You seem like you
e hurting, ” she said, holding her hands up as if to show Paige she meant no harm.

Paige studied the person before her. She had old clothes and was a bit dirty, but not as much as she would have thought for sleeping under a tarp behind a building. She wiped the tears from her face on her arm and asked, ”Is there a hotel or motel nearby? Ill get you a room, too, just take me there. ”

”Sure, honey. I just need to grab a couple things and we can go there. You don need to get me a room, though. Just knowing you won be on the street tonight is thanks enough. ”

”Whats your name? I basically owe you for being okay tonight, ” Paige asked.

”Im Carrie, ” the woman replied. ”Whats yours, honey? ”

”Paige, ” she whispered.

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