Banner by Noaluvjames

Chapter 1

Today was turning into just “one of those days.” They say that bad things come in threes, well, not for Buffy. Oh, no, not for her. She had bad things in sixes, and sevens, and-well, you get the idea. Things started out bad on this particular Monday morning, quickly deteriorated to "worse" by midmorning, and then hit "the all-time rock bottom" by lunchtime.

First, the power went out, causing Buffy to oversleep when the alarm failed to go off. The sound of a lawnmower's engine outside her bedroom window woke her out of a sound sleep. At any other time, she would have been annoyed as hell; today she was just plain grateful.

Oversleeping made her late getting her daughter, Dawn, to daycare. The people there were a pain in the ass sometimes. Heaven forbid if a parent threw off their schedule. Like she had planned on the damn power going out! Dawn, for her part, was her typical six-year old self and had to be nudged every few minutes to get dressed and eat some breakfast. Finally, Dawn was dressed and Buffy left her sitting at the table eating Cheerios. She dashed into the bathroom to take a quick shower and throw on her work clothes. Dawn was just finishing her last bite of cereal when Buffy walked out of the bathroom and went to check on her. She quickly made her daughter’s lunch then they were out the door and on their way.

After her morning fiasco, she prayed that the rest of the day would settle into a normal, uneventful routine. But, such was not the case. Her boss was in a pissy mood, it being Monday, and all. Probably too much partying over the weekend. Mr. Snyder was an ass, but she needed this job to make ends meet before she returned to college in a few weeks. She sighed and tried to placate him as best she could until he finally left the office to meet with clients. Heaving a sigh, she rubbed her temples and prayed for the remained of the morning to be uneventful.

She should have known better. Two workers called out sick. And she was supposed to believe that when it was 85 degrees today; Xander and Jesse had probably gone surfing. She spent the rest of the morning trying to shift around jobs and get replacements for the two slackers. By eleven o’clock, she had a migraine and the aspirin she had taken weren’t helping; the lack of food wasn’t either. Buffy was praying for lunchtime, so she could get something to eat, knowing that was part of the reason she had a headache in the first place. No such luck.

Snyder came back just before she was about to close the office and had her rushing around doing stuff until almost two. At 2:30 p.m., Buffy finally got to leave. When she walked up to her car, she noticed that she had a flat tire. Tears of frustration, hunger - you name it - leaked from the corners of her eyes as she opened the trunk to pull out the spare. She needed this car repair bill like a hole in the head. Resigned, she drove off to find a tire shop and hoped they would be able to patch the thing so that she wouldn’t have to buy a new one.

It was times like this that Buffy really wished she could strangle Angel for leaving her. Not that she wanted him back, far from it, but she hadn’t planned on raising a child alone. At least, not willingly. She didn’t regret keeping Dawn, not for one second; nothing could be further from the truth. She just hadn’t wanted to be a single-mother. Buffy wanted her children to grow up in a loving home where both parents were there to shower their kids with love. She had believed Angel when he said that he wanted to “settle down” and “start a family”. Liar. She had no sooner told him that she was pregnant that he was packing his bags saying that he was moving back in with his ex, Darla. Laughingly telling her that he’d only been dating her to make Darla jealous. The evil prick! She hadn’t seen or heard from him since. She didn’t even both trying to get child support from him; the father’s name on Dawn’s birth certificate was blank. Angel was having no claim to her child - not like he wanted one anyway.

After the startling revelations from Angel, Buffy had regrouped. She’d worked two jobs while she could, saving money for when the pregnancy would make it impossible for her to work. She used the extra income to buy baby items at the consignment shop. Her mother, Joyce, had helped out as well. It was her first grandchild after all. She’d even contemplated moving from Los Angeles. In the end, Buffy made her stay there; her shop was there, and L.A. wasn’t too far of a drive from Sunnydale.

When Dawn was four, Buffy made the decision to go back to college. With only a high school degree, she would never be able to support her daughter properly. She’d always wanted to be a nurse, especially after the special treatment she had received when Dawn was born. For the last two years, Buffy had taken night classes at the local community college in the hopes of getting her Associates Degree; that way she could transfer to the nursing program at Sunnydale University. Sunnydale U. happened to have the best nursing program in the state. And, if she did well there, she was practically guaranteed a job upon graduation.

Her hard work had paid off, and two months ago, she’d received her acceptance letter in the mail. In addition to the acceptance letter, she found out that she was being awarded a full scholarship for the duration of her schooling at Sunnydale U. She’d been so happy that she had wanted to frame the letter. Joyce had been just as excited for her daughter.

Now, it was a month before classes were due to start. One month before she could quit her job and devote that time to her studies. One month until her dreams would start to come true. She just had to get through that one month.

It just seemed like lately, fate was trying to conspire against her. No sooner did she get the news that would change her life for the better, that things started going wrong. She vowed she could handle anything for the next two months, and God was certainly obliging. 

Pulled from the depressing musing that was her life, Buffy listened to the mechanic who had fixed her flat. Blah blah, unable to plug, blah blah, nail too close to the edge, blah blah, needs a new tire. What else was new? She had expected no less. Fifty dollars and thirty minutes later, Buffy was the proud owner of a new tire and no lunch. She scrounged in her purse for some change to get a soda, praying that the caffeine would keep her going until dinnertime. She glanced at her watch; two hours to go.