Child of the Slum: Chapter 3 – Escape

Squall looked around. He had to admit, the inside of the house was impressive. The fact that three people were hording it all to themselves however, was sickening.  This place could have been used for so many different purposes. Instead, some selfish prick was using it to segregate his family from the filthy commoners.

The interior was a similar colour to the door: Dark brown. It wasn’t exactly stunning or appealing to the eye, but the brunet supposed it was what some would call classy. Squall however, had little interest in such things. Particularly given the little practicality they offered.

Looking behind him, Squall’s eyes fell upon a petite figure:  Female, about a head or so shorter than Zell; staring at them with a mixture of anger and confusion on her face. Wearing a matching blue t-shirt and jeans, her brown hair, today free of its usual braided pigtail, matching the colour of her eyes, reached down a little way past her shoulders.

The girl narrowed her eyes, brow furrowing, lips pursing. Her eyes shifted from one intruder to the next. “What…?” she asked, voice cracking. “What the hell are you guys doing here?”

Unsure of how to respond, Squall shrugged his shoulders, an apologetic expression played on his normally reserved features.

“We came to get you out of here,” Zell explained.

“Get me out of here? You mean get me out of my home? Did you guys hit your head on the way over or something?”

“Huh?” Zell asked, obviously confounded.

“What he said,” Squall replied, shrugging once more.

“You two should leave, now,” the girl stated, voice firm, “before anyone sees you.”


“I knew this was a bad idea,” Squall replied.

“Why did you even come?” the brunette asked.

“Zell told me about your situation,” Squall replied. The young woman shifted her gaze to the blond.

“You told him?” she asked, “everything?”

“Uh, shouldn’t I have?”

“We were supposed to keep it a secret.”

“How long do you really think you can keep this secret?” Squall asked, scepticism evident in his voice.


“Do your parents know?” the brunette turned away, giving no answer. “I thought so. How long do you really think you can stall for time? A few months?  You’re going to start showing the signs eventually. Your family might be hedonistic bastards with no regard for anyone else, but they’re not stupid. They’ll figure it out sooner or later.”

The girl simply stared back at Squall, brown eyes wide.

“Squall, don’t go insulting her parents,” Zell chastised.

“Tell me,” Squall continued, ignoring the blond. He stepped toward the girl. “Have you even thought about what you’ll do once they find out?”

“I’ll tell them by then!” the girl reproached, voice indignant.

“Will you?  When?”  Squall asked. His voice seemed calm, but his expression was accusatory.


“Why can’t you tell them now? Why wait?”

“And how am I supposed to explain this? Huh? You don’t know what it’s like!”

“If you’re going to make excuses, maybe we should leave now.”

“Excuses?” the girl raged. “Excuses!  You don’t have to deal with parents! Yours ran off!”

“Woah,” Zell chipped in, looking worriedly from one to the other. This wasn’t going well.

“If only yours had the –“Squall cut himself off just in time.  Venting his disdain of her family’s morals would get them nowhere. He had to drive this in a particular direction. She was almost there, almost. “You know, it’s a shame your parents hadn’t abandoned you too. Perhaps you’d be a better person.”

“Like you, you mean?” the girl sneered. “Don’t talk as if you’re a prime example of human being. You’re snarky, unapproachable, and completely detestable. You don’t even have any friends! I don’t know how Zell puts up with you, but at least it keeps you away from the rest of us.”

Zell’s eyes widened. He took a step back, looking at Squall. This had taken a giant leap in the worst possible direction.

“At least I’m not some spoiled, prissy princess.”

“You think I’m spoiled? You haven’t seen what I have to put up with. You have no idea what their standards are, what they expect of me. When they find out about this… When they find out that their perfect little daughter has gone and… and soiled herself with the child of some common undesirable…” The girl trailed off.

Her voice carried some of the sarcastic bitterness that Squall was more used to spitting than receiving. Especially the way she injected her parents elitist values. Perhaps they had more in common than the young man had thought.

“As far as they knew until last night, I was still an innocent little virgin.” The girl made fleeting eye contact with Zell. “Maybe I should be. I shouldn’t have let this happen.”

“Uh, sorry,” Zell apologised, but the girl shook her head.

“It’s my fault. My parents don’t know that I consort with your kind. If they did, there’s no way they would approve, there’s no way they would allow it.”

“If you didn’t consort with our kind,” Squall replied in as neutral tone as he could manage, “you’d never leave your home.”

“When they find out about this, I’m sure I never will. Hyne, when they find out…” the girl’s head shook slowly.

“What, what will they do?”

Her head shook, saying nothing.

“Bella?”  Zell encouraged. At the sound of the kind voice, her eyes latched onto his.

“My life won’t be worth living.”

“With that kind of future, your life isn’t worth living now.”

“Squall!”  Zell chastised. The brunet raised his hand to silence the blond.

“The way you’re heading now, there’s no reason to keep going.”

“So what would you have me do? Step out of a window and hope the fall is enough to end me?”

“Firstly, the fall wouldn’t kill you, the impact would.”


Squall smirked. “Secondly, no.  I suggest you change that future.”


“No matter what, your life as you know it now is over.  That’s a fact. Deal with it.”

“You know, this is the most words I’ve ever heard you speak.”

Squall ignored her. “Whatever you do now, your family won’t accept you. It’s not possible. I suggest you move on while you still can.”

“Just leave? Then what? This house is my home. It’s my life. I wouldn’t survive five minutes out there.”

“In that case, your days are numbered. You can’t stay here. These people aren’t your family anymore. At least, they won’t be for much longer. I suggest you find a new family.”

“Yeah, right.  How am I supposed to do that?” the girl asked, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

“Come with us.”

The girl froze, eyes wide.  “What?”

Squall shot a glance over to Zell. “You can take it from here, Right?”

“Huh?” the blond replied, face blank.

Squall raised his eyebrows, and Zell finally caught on. “Oh, yeah, right.”

Squall nodded. “Then I’m out of here. I’ll meet you out back.” Without waiting for a reply, he turned and left the two. “Oh,” he added as an afterthought, not stopping or turning to look at them. “Don’t take all day. Pack your things and be ready to leave quickly. I’d like to be gone before your parents get home.

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