Well, this isn’t so bad, right?
It’s already been a week now, and, hey! You’re still alive. Park benches aren’t that bad to sleep on if you used your weathered backpack as a pillow, you’ve managed to avoid getting mugged or worse for this long, and you have even managed to carve out your own ‘territory’ that the other homeless people don’t seem too interested in bothering you about.
Homeless. You hate that word.
Ugh don’t think about it don’t think about it…
This is still markedly better than being forced into a marriage with that prick Drew, right? You left him two years ago, but your mom still hasn’t gotten the memo. So she gave you an ultimatum - Start “behaving yourself” (Meaning a shotgun wedding and a career in modelling, which you loathe), or go and live with your Aunt Deb because she can’t stand to see your face anymore.
So you left.
Only problem was, Aunt Deb couldn’t take you in. Her latest man wasn’t at all for it, and she didn’t have the strength to argue.
You decided not to fight that one, and assured her you’d figure something out.
It’s been a week. Why haven’t you figured something out yet?
No, don’t think like that, you scold yourself. Cynicism will literally kill you in this city. You need to stay positive. You have your health, your sanity, your life, your… Backpack, and your public park bench...
You sigh. You need a job, urgently. Some form of income.
Stretching out on the bench, you sit up and roll your aching shoulders. Then, you decide to check the classifieds. You’d use your phone to check out listings online, but it only has fifteen percent battery life left. That could easily go to waste, and you don’t quite have enough change scrounged up for a hot chocolate at Timmies, where you can linger as a paying customer for a while and charge it from their wall.
There’s a free newsstand box next to your bench, with new homes and apartment rental guides. You scoff. If only. But there’s also a thin employment paper available. Just one left. You stand up and snatch it from its metal and plastic enclosure.
Okay, dish pit at a local restaurant for minimum wage? That might be fine with you, but minimum wage won’t get you into an apartment anytime soon. A night time security job? Well, you briefly wonder if the trope of security guards sleeping on the job would be alright with them. But, it still doesn’t make enough money, you work out. No, wait, it’s actually a scam. You sigh. Lower expectations and continue.
Wait… What’s this? Live-in maid? Oh shit yes, a roof over your head! That’s all you really need right now, right? You instantly take out your phone and dial the number, then hold it up to your ear as you read the description further.
You hang up before whoever is at the other end can answer your call. Social study? With monsters?
… What the hell?
Monsters are a very new thing for your town. Actually, the world in general. But the way this listing reads it sounds more like a spot on a reality TV show than an actual job. You let out a long sigh, concerned about that sanity thing as you actually start to consider it. It would mean a (relatively) safe place to sleep, right? Somewhere you could keep your stuff? And a regular source of food, too. Plus, you don’t really have anything against monsters, just heard the same thing that everyone else had.
That the mountain they used to live under was where several children had disappeared a while back, and they never ended up coming home.
That implied that they might be dangerous. But… If there was an ad petitioning for a live-in maid (You note that it specified a human maid), maybe they were safe enough?
You also couldn’t help but be curious about their magic.
Sighing one final time, you dial the number again.
“H-Hello?” a stuttering female voice greets you.
“Hi, is this Dr. Alphys? My name is _____ _____, I’m calling about the monster maid position. You placed an ad in the paper?”
You hear something fall over and several objects bounce around as she scrambles.
“Whoa, are you okay?!” you ask, startled by the commotion.
“I-I-I’m f-fine!” she stammers anxiously. “I-I just… Uhh. We’ve h-had that posting open f-for months now. A-and, you’re the first to call! I’m just s-surprised!”
“Oh,” you mumble. So, it hasn’t been a very popular posting. “Well, I guess that’s good news for me, then!” you say cheerily, giving your fakest laugh. You’re really starting to have doubts about that sanity thing. What are you actually doing right now?
“R-right!” she agrees easily. “Wh-when would you like to, uh, in-in-interview?”
“I’m available as soon as a couple of hours from now,” you tell her, hoping you don’t sound too desperate. “If, uh, you’re eager to fill the position?” you offer. Great, make her sound desperate. Smooth.
“Th-that’s great!” she clamours excitedly.
“Where should we meet?” you ask. “Do you have an office, or…?”
“Oh! Uh-h, h-how about we meet at the house. That way, y-you can meet them!”
“That’s not a bad idea,” you smile. Might as well know who, or what, you’re going to be looking after. “What’s the address?”
You have to ask the gentle woman on the other end of the phone to repeat herself a couple times so that you can type it into a new text message on your phone, saving it as a draft. Then you try to quickly look it up on Google while you still have her on the line, and realize it’s across town. You could spend the morning begging for a bus ticket, or, you could swallow your pride for once.
“A-actually,” you attempt. “I don’t suppose I could ask for a ride? I just realized that the house is across town from me and I won’t make it in time. I, uh, don’t drive.” You wince at yourself. Playing the beggar sucks.
“Oh! S-sure, I guess! I don’t mind!” Alphys says. Maybe she is desperate.
You breathe, relieved. That wasn’t as hard as you thought it would be. “Are you near downtown? I live near the war memorial park,” you lie. “I can meet you along the road there?”
“Th-that’s no problem! I’ll see you th-there in two hours!”