Chapter 1

I've always been told that I was good with children. When my mother had her friends over to our house, I never minded the toddlers that came with them, even though they got slimy and messy from the things my mom made them. I'm 16 years old, and my mom misses the times when I was a small child, like the babies that visited ever so often. I was the only child my mother could get, afterwards she never could. I would often help with the small babies that came over, and my mom did nothing but say how good of a brother I would be. Alas, I never had a brother.

When children visited, my mom always had snacks and toys ready. I would clean them up if they got messy with their food, and I would tend to them if they got hurt while playing. The mothers of the children told me that I should become a babysitter, so I considered it while trying to save for my own car. I never could imagine driving my mom's minivan to school and work. Besides, I could use that popularity that came from me getting my own car. Few of the students in my grade had cars, and some of them are still 15. Getting my own car would mean driving more people, and making more friends. I had a bit during preschool, but they either moved or decided I wasn't "cool" enough to be friends with them.

"Dustin! We need more eggs! Could you be a dear and go to the store for me?" My mom yelled through the house, echoing upstairs into my bedroom. I just finished placing an ad on Craigslist for my babysitting buisness. Most of the moms know me, since my mom works at the PTA. Even though I'm not in elementary school anymore. I needed more buisness than just a few parents, though.

"Sure, Mom. I'll go to the farmer's market." I sighed loudly from my bedroom. I heard her say 'thank you!' but it was faint. She didn't yell it, so I could barley hear it from upstairs. I shut my laptop and stretched out my arms. Hopefully when I get back I'll have a few emails, or get a few texts while I'm there. Sliding on my sneakers, I got off my bed and looked in the mirror. My light brown hair was kind of a mess, so I combed through it lightly with my fingers. I wash my face twice a day, but I still had a few pimples on the side of my face. Thank goodness they weren't very noticable. I hopped down the stairs, making a loud bang each time my foot hit one of the wooden steps. "Bye Mom!" I swung open the door and then gently closed it while hearing a goodbye from her.

I slowly walked down the sidewalk. The farmer's market was open today, and within walking distance, so I didn't have to drive all the way to the store. I got there within 5 minutes. I loved going to the farmer's market, because I got to see all the cool items for sale there. It was mostly berries and fruits, but they also had other things like jewelry and tie-dyed shirts. It was hard to just buy one thing.`

I looked around at the stands, wondering around for eggs. I eventually saw some, and grabbed a cardboard carton. I walked over to a crate where you bought them at. I recieved a friendly smile from the pale lady standing there.

"Hello! Just the eggs?" I nodded at the woman and she put the money I handed her in the small, tin box off to the side of the crate. I heard a child laughing playfully behind me, followed by a sharp scream. I turned my head around briskly to see a young boy grasping his knee. Tears were streaming down his red face while he gurgled out moans and screams for his mother. I instictively went over to the boy and squatted down next to him.

"Are you alright?" I asked him calmly. If I knew one thing, it was to not be as scared as he was. He sniffled and choked down coughs while looking at me.

"I huwrt my knee!" He cried, and the last part got faster and louder as it transformed into a scream. He must have noticed the small amount of blood coming from the scrape.

I gave him a soothing smile. "It's okay, we can get you cleaned up." The woman that gave me the eggs was right by my side, unpeeling a Band-Aid. The little boy sniffled again and wiped his eyes on his shirt.

"O-Okay" He said, still hiccuping. He wouldn't stop looking at me, either. The woman put the small bandage on his knee after pouring a bit of water on it.

The woman suddenly turned to face me. "I've never seen him get over something like this so fast, do you have a younger sibling? You seem a lot better with kids than most people your age."

"No, I don't have a younger brother, but my mother always has toddlers and their moms come over to our house." I admitted, patting the small child on the back to try and stop his hiccuping. I gave him one last smile before getting up, then I heard the kid give another scream.

"Nooo!" He whined, and held onto my pant leg. "Don't g-go!" I looked down at him, then at the woman, the obvious mother of the child. She was trying to convince him that I had other things to do and other places to be at. It wasn't working on him though, because he whined to everything she said and continued tugging on my jeans.

"It's okay, really." I glanced down at the mother, who gave me a look that said 'I'm sorry'. I sat down next to the child again. "Well, maybe we can see each other again! I'm a babysitter." He gazed at me with wide eyes, still red from his crying. I felt a spark of happiness come from the mother next to me.

"You are? What a coincidence! Me and my husband were planning to go somewhere tonight, but our usual babysitter is out of town. Do you have anything tonight?" She looked at me with hopeful eyes.

"I don't have any jobs tonight, so I probably could." I said thoughtfully, messing up the young boy's hair with my hand. She continued talking and gave me things to contact her with, and where she lived. It seemed like I had my first job as a babysitter.