Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 530 - Her First Love[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:18:04]
As expected, Britt pounced the moment Eli was asleep. Mandy really should have seen this coming when she told her daughter she was getting married but she had been too optimistic.
"I get that you\'re lonely and he seems like an okay guy but Mom! You can\'t marry someone you hardly know! There\'s no guarantee he isn\'t putting on a front for you like that creep you married before," Britt said heatedly. "I don\'t want you to get hurt."
Mandy laughed indulgently. Mikey was the last person on earth who would hurt her since they had come to a mutual understanding. He had never said the words but it was obvious he was in love with her even after such a short time.
"You\'re sweet, Britt. But I wouldn\'t say I hardly know him. He was my first love. We lost contact for a long time but when we reconnected everything clicked right away."
Her daughter was stunned. "Your first love?! You didn\'t date anybody when I was growing up until Lucas…was this guy before my dad?"
Britt knew the basic truth behind her birth. She had tried to hide it when her daughter was little to spare her feelings but when she was eleven she had demanded to know why she didn\'t have a father like everyone else, since she already didn\'t like her sleazy stepfather.
That had been a difficult conversation. Britt had carelessly told her mother that if she didn\'t want to stay in contact with an ex that she shouldn\'t have had a child with him. It was nothing but the product of childish angst but Mandy couldn\'t keep the truth from her any longer after that.
The girl had been horrified and apologized immediately with tears in her eyes. After that she was extremely overprotective of her mother.
Throughout the rest of Mandy\'s marriage, Britt begged her to leave her husband because she could see how poorly he was treating her. Lucas was a nasty drunk and had hit Mandy on multiple occasions but she couldn\'t afford to leave.
She always told herself that everything would be fine and she could stick it out as long as Britt had a roof over her head, clothes on her back, and food in her stomach. But that changed in an instant when the man tried kissing her fourteen-year-old daughter.
Lucas had thought he was being sneaky while Mandy was in the kitchen finishing up dinner. He hadn\'t realized that she could see him. Or that the kitchen was where the knives were.
Knowing she didn\'t have any family and not wanting her daughter to go into the system if anything ever happened to her, Mandy\'s will had stated that Britt would go into the care of one of the kind older women who had volunteered at the women\'s shelter she went to as a pregnant teenage runaway. They had become quite close during that time to the point that Mandy thought of her as a mother.
Belinda had been true to her word and took care of Britt while Mandy was locked up until she died when Britt was nineteen. The prison didn\'t allow minors to visit unless an a.d.u.l.t was with them so Belinda had also been the one to help her visit her mother each week until she was eighteen. They exchanged letters too.
It wasn\'t much, but Britt\'s fierce determination to keep her mother in the loop about her life even though she was in jail helped ease the ache of missing so much a little. Mandy didn\'t get to see her go to prom, graduate high school, or get into beauty school.
She offered motherly advice in her letters and visits as best she could but it wasn\'t the same as raising her daughter for the last four years of her adolescence. Yet Britt remained as loyal to her mother as ever. She appreciated Belinda for everything she did but never once thought of her as a replacement for her mom.
Mandy smiled at her brave, beautiful, overprotective girl. She knew Britt would accept Mikey at some point, however begrudgingly, because he made her happy.
"Yes," she replied honestly. "Long before your father."
Britt frowned in confusion. "How old were you exactly?"
When she first met him? Five. Normally a child that young wouldn\'t have been in a group home but Mandy had been a little terror.
Her mother had been a p.r.o.s.t.i.t.u.t.e and died of AIDS when she was three. Unable to accept this fact, she lashed out violently in every home that tried to adopt her. So she ended up in a \'last resort\' home for severe cases with six other children of various ages.
None of them gave her the time of day. As much as Mandy lashed out, she was largely ignored. Much later, she understood this was a tactic to get her to stop since a.d.u.l.ts believed tantrums were a way of trying to attract attention. The foster parents were busy people so she ended up largely shunted to the side.
The closest child to her age was an eight year old girl who thought she was a nuisance and shoved her away forcefully any time she came near. After a while she stopped trying. The ten and eleven year old boys followed suit.
The other kids in the house were fourteen and sixteen year old girls. Preferring to be with their friends, they were hardly ever home and when they were, they ignored Mandy.
That left only one person in the house. The oldest boy, Michael. He was quiet and hardly spoke to the others. Apparently he had lived in this place for about a year and had immediately gotten a job after moving in and spent all of his free time there.
One day he quit without warning. The foster parents had been confused and asked him why. He told them that he had only gotten a job to buy a used computer. Now that he had one, he didn\'t need to work anymore.
Mandy didn\'t know what he had done exactly to make it happen, but he was the only person in the house who had his own room. The only times she saw him were at meals and when everyone left for school.
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