21. FuelThis shouldn’t be a thing, Shane thought as he pulled up to the gas pump.

But it was. Shane knew exactly how much he had in his bank account, and he knew filling up the tank was going to take a sizable chunk of his current net worth. And he knew, at his age, that was just sad.

As he picked up the pump handle and swiped his debit card, he knew he had to make money. The truck was on its last legs, and if it broke down, he didn’t have a lot of options.

As the tank filled and the numbers rose higher, Shane counted each meal he’d have to scrimp on or skip all together. He hadn’t felt this way since he was a teenager and had to count every cigarette and every fill-up. Back then, though, he had parents and a safety net. He didn’t have to count each meal. That life felt like someone else’s now.

He decided he’d fill it up half-way. That would do for a couple of days, he thought, and maybe he’d come up with an idea.

He knew, though, that he wouldn’t.

There was the one, last option. The one he had fought. The one he had promised himself was off limits.

He sighed, replaced the pump handle and walked over to the pay phone – the station had the last pay phone in town.

He dialed the number from memory. “Joe, it’s Shane,” he said. “I’ll do it.”