Cupid Ch. 1

It was already the dawn of summer, and I was sure I was going to have my very first heat stroke at the age of seventeen. As usual, the sun was in its normal attention seeking mood at this time of year, and I wasn’t in the mood for it. Sweat dripped from my face, arms, and pretty much all over the rest of my skinny body. I’m 5’5 and weigh 115 pounds, if I lose any more weight, I’ll die.

My name is Alec Foster, I’ve been living as an orphan my entire life. I say this, but I’m actually in the system registered under a family. They adopted me on my sixteenth birthday, however, I ran away shortly after the first week I was there. So, for sixteen years I have been living at Safe Haven, an orphanage in Long Island founded by vegetarians. So, when I finally tasted my first strip of bacon in the back of an Ihop kitchen, where they usually dump their extra food, I knew going back to that place was not an option.

Don’t get me wrong, besides the food, everything else was pretty great there. For sixteen years, I made friends, enemies, and hot pockets. The problem with living in an orphanage for sixteen years is that… I’VE BEEN LIVING THERE FOR SIXTEEN YEARS! I’m not really bothered by it that much anymore, but at the age from three to thirteen all I could think about was having a family. I still think about it every once in a while, but after I ran away from the Newman’s (my family for a week), I knew in 2 years, when I turn eighteen, I would look back and say this wasn’t enough. Getting acquainted with them after so much lost time just felt like a big facade.
Anyway, as I stood underneath the broiling sun, I looked down and could hear Reese whimpering. I guess the sun was getting to him, too.

“It’s alright, boy, we’ll find shade soon.”

I had no idea where I was going, but I didn’t want to give him no hope at all, so I told him what I knew was possible. We were just waiting out the clock until I turned eighteen so I could start my life without any fake memories with our fake family. So, wandering around the country seemed like the only way to avoid getting sent back to the Newmans’.

As I looked down at the poor guy, I could clearly see Reese’s curly black fur was drenched in heavy amounts of sweat. I could barely see his eyes from the way his curly fur just sat on his body like a lifeless rag that has been hung out to dry. He was dehydrated, and so was I.

Reese, as you could probably tell, is my dog and had been with me my entire life. Penny, one of the original caretakers of Safe Haven, said when they found me, a small puppy with a collar with the name Reese written on the tag was found with me. He was pretty small, like the size of a teacup pig at the time, and looked as if he had just left his litter. Penny said he was laying right besides me in my blanket on their big porch. With no other option, they took us both in, and he’s been with me ever since.
I was never really sure what breed he was, but he looked like a mix between a Golden Retriever and a Barbet. He had long black curly fur all over his body with an odd design of a white lightning strike across his belly and his eyes were light brown with a hint of hazel. Everyone who saw him through his appearance truly made him unique in his own way.

As you would imagine, I was tired by now. We just walked a good 6 miles already, my clothing was soaked in unwanted sweat and I was freaking exhausted. I wore a worn out pair of blue jeans and a dark red T-shirt with a picture in the center of it.
The picture displayed a cheeseburger with everything on it saying, “Yum,” in a word bubble with saliva dripping down it’s buns. It might as well have been my own saliva because my stomach was killing me. My shoes were low top vans and I couldn’t feel my toes anymore. This called for a break.

The pink “Hello Kitty” backpack that I stole from a public pool, which I spray painted it black (for obvious reasons), carried supplies. In the backpack, there were 3 bottles of water, a rolled-up ball of bills summing up to seventy dollars (that was “found” on our journey), some snacks, and a few kitchen items to help us stay civilized. I went ahead and pulled out a bottle and poured a small amount in a bowl to allow Reese to go ahead and hydrate. I took a few sips from the bottle as well, then put the items back in my bag as soon as Reese was done.
I took a short glance behind us and saw a long open road. There didn’t look like there was a rest stop for miles, nor did it look that way in front of us. It was an abandon desert, like something you would see out of an old western movie, nothing but tumbleweeds laid in our midst. There were no plants, water, and definitely no life for miles.

At times like this, I’m the most pessimistic person on the planet. So, in my head all I could see was the place where Reese and I were going to die. No bodies would be found thanks to the heavy layers that would soon cover it.
However, since Reese depended on me to take care of him, my only option was to keep moving forward. We pushed on for about another two hours, only to stop at the only tree that was present in this extremely dry land.

There was definitely nothing special about this tree, it wasn’t even big! It just looked like it was one of those trees that you find in a brand-new park. Although, this was a bit of the opposite of that. Yes, it was skinny, but it looked as if it was about to die. There were no bright leaves, nor was there any chance that it had been watered in a while. I felt bad for the tree, we were using it just because we needed something; the shade.

Now, Reese and I had been on the run for about a year, and because of this, we knew this was the best time to stop. There was literally no one in the area that we could see, so resting by the tree was a good thinking, especially since it was the only one we had seen in miles. So, we were using it in a good way, right? I sat down beside Reese under whatever shade the tree could produce (it wasn’t that much), and went ahead and closed my eyes. Roughly ten minutes through, I hear Reese begin to bark.
“Get up kid, and tell the mutt to shut up!”

I opened my eyes to see standing before me was a tall husky man with a machete handle sticking up from behind his back and a sawed-off shotgun barrel pointed in front of me. I took a quick look at his dark beady eyes, and only a fool would tell you he wasn’t pissed.

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