A is for… #AtoZChallenge (AC)

Welcome to the A Chapter of Runaway: A Choose Your Own Adventure Novel. Please be advised, there may be adult content depending on the choices you make. Please vote for your choice and I will post the next chapter tomorrow.

Your choice from my Theme Reveal was… a tie! So I flipped a coin and Allentown won! Here is the next chapter: Allentown

She stopped at a traffic light and looked around. Having grown up in a small town in Iowa, she was way out of her element. Allentown, a city in East Central Pennsylvania, was one of the largest cities in the state. The buildings were massive and super close together.

Aralyn had been traveling for days, frequently changing direction at random and sleeping in her car. But now she had made a decision. Allentown would be her new home.

She found a cute motel on the edge of town that had weekly rates and booked herself for two weeks. She paid with the cash she had been saving up, just in case. The room was small, but comfortable enough and it supplied her with a small refrigerator and microwave. The bathroom had a good sized sink for doing dishes. She would be able to get by here without eating out every meal.

Two weeks. That was Aralyn’s self-imposed deadline. Two weeks to find a job and an apartment. Could she do it? Well, she had no choice now. It was time to take control of her life.

First, she would need a place to live. The first thing on every job application was going to be her address. She needed an apartment. She fired up her laptop and tethered through her phone, which was still attached to her Iowa address. She would need to get that addressed, too. Thank goodness for automatic bill pay. An hour later she had fired off several letters, or rather emails, of interest of places she might want to live. She knew it could take a few days at least to hear anything. Waiting wasn’t her strong suit.

The next few days were agony filled with trashy tv, junk food, and moping. Aralyn knew she wasn’t her best self at that time, but she had nothing else she could do while she waited. She really needed a place to live.

On the third day, she got a reply to her first inquiry. It was a row home that was being privately rented. She was so excited to receive it that she didn’t realize right away what it said. It wasn’t the response she had hoped for. The property had already been rented out to someone else. Rats.

On the fourth day, she got her much-anticipated email. Not one, but two of the properties she had expressed interest in were available for rent and would she like to see them in person? She promptly sent back emails and made appointments to see them both.

Both apartments were nice. Similar neighborhoods, similar price. The deciding factor for her was that one of them was a block away from a park that ran along a quaint river. That one would be an excellent place for her to live. She asked if she could put in a formal application right away.

“Well, of course, you can,” the kind woman renting the apartment told her. “I have one right here.” She handed over the application and Aralyn choked. References. She hadn’t thought of that. Shit. Who could she ask for a reference? She had to think about that one for a minute, and after she had written down the names of two people she knew from Iowa, she hoped beyond hope that the landlady would never actually call the references to find out anything about her. She crossed her fingers as she handed the application back over.

“When will I find out?”

“Oh right now, dear,” the woman said. “As long as you can pay one month’s rent up front and one month’s security deposit.”

“I can,” Aralyn chirped.

“Good, then it’s done!” Aralyn smiled broadly.

“The current tenants move out this weekend. I’ll need a few days to get the place cleaned up and ready for you, and then you can move in. Is it okay if I leave it furnished for you?”

“Yes, that would be great, “Aralyn said, and it was all she could do not to jump for joy like a schoolgirl.

They shook hands, and she walked away, smiling to herself. She was proud that she had done something right, finally. She had been feeling pretty down.

Now to get a job.

But the question on the table was, what kind of job? She had been a waitress back home. She hadn’t completed college so she would have to find something she was qualified for, which, wasn’t a whole lot. The food service industry made sense. She went online and started looking up open jobs. She found two which intrigued her the most.

Which job should Aralyn apply for?



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13 thoughts on “A is for… #AtoZChallenge (AC)

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