Man Up (Chapter 1: Book One, page 1 of 23)

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December 6, 1982 Age - 6 Months

Marla entered her tiny studio apartment carrying a heavy and sleepy Jayden.

"Whe-whe-whe…" He cried in protest of being awaken in the late hours and carted out into the coldness of the December wintery air.

"I know baby… Mommy knows…" She comforted him by snuggling him tightly in her bosom as she closed the door and locking it behind her. She looked at the clock above that hung over her sofa that also doubled as their fold away bed. She was holding off buying any furnishing; as she was still hoping that the bank would approve her for an FHA loan to buy a 3-bedroom ranch house. She desperately wanted to give her son at least a stable home environment even if she couldn't provide him with a father.

"C'mon little man, let's get you washed and into bed." She explained to the cranky sleepy baby.

"Whe-whe-whe-…" He continued wailing in protest of her keeping him up way past his bedtime.

"Jayden, I know that you're sleepy sweetheart; but I've got to give you your bath now." She explained as she yawned from her own weariness of having gone to school all day and then having to work a full-nine hour shift at the supermarket. She wanted to give him his bath tonight, that way she could give him a quick wash up in the morning with a fresh diaper change. If she did that, then she wouldn't have to wake up an extra two hours getting him ready. She could get herself up, showered, dressed and study for those two hours and then take him over to the babysitter's house at seven in the morning and be at the County Hospital for her required practicum clinical. After she finished this semester she would only have one more semester left before graduating with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She could then quit her supermarket job and begin to make decent money as a Registered Nurse. She ran water in the small tub in their bathroom as she undressed a still whining and cranky baby.

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