A woman of twenty-nine with strawberry blond hair and crystal blue eyes walked through an empty building. The sound of her footsteps echoed loudly on the wooded floor. The mirrored walls reflected her pretty face. It looked downhearted and worried.

"For 7 years this place is our life. Bloom is going to be so crushed she realizes we won't be coming back here! How are we going to live through this?"

Laughter suddenly filled the air. Hannah turned around and she saw a pretty little redheaded girl of six years old. She had beautiful carrot red hair with the same blue eyes. She was twirling around like a ballerina, laughing and gazing in the mirror. She smiled softly at her daughter, her eyes lighting up little with amusement.

"Mama, Ms. Hudson said that I look like a fairy princess when I dance like this." Bloom said to her as she spun around in two full circles gracefully.

She exaggerated it by ending with a grand pliee and opening her arms over head slowly yet elegantly. The six year old smiled brightly as Hannah applause her. She loved making her mother smile. It always makes her feel good.

"Ms. Hudson is right, you do." Hannah laughed at her daughter's dramatic ending.

Hannah walked over to her daughter and bent down to look her in the eyes.

"But to me, you look like an angel when you dance." At that, Bloom' smiled grew even wider.

"Thank-you, Mama." She hugged Hannah, feeling proud and so loved.

"You're welcome, sweetheart." The woman hugged her daughter back, forgetting her troubles for a split second only to be brought.

"Come on, baby. It's time to go home."

Together, they walked to the entrance of the building where Hannah looked at it for the last time as her dance studio. The day she opened it, devoting the time and love that went into it. She remembered the faculty that help nurtured Bloom into a small and strong as well as a strong dancer. The students were giving off energy that kept her awake for so long. The inside was always inviting people, dancers and non-dancers alike to come in.

"Mama, do you feel alright?" inquired the curious six years old.

We'll be okay. We will be alright. She looked down at the big bright eyes, the same color as hers, who smiled at her. I promise you that, baby.

"Yes, baby. I'm fine. Let's go."

She walked towards the bus stop, determined to make it for the both of them.

The Christmas season was evident in the urban downtown of Detroit. The snow swirled around in the air as it fell to the ground. The Christmas lights and trees were displayed in the windows of apartment homes. People were carrying shopping bags full of presents home, where the warmth of the heat and family melted the winter's cold.

Unfortunately for Hannah, the Christmas season made her feel all the worse. This would be the first Christmas without any warmth what so ever.

Looking on the Greyhound bus looming in front of her, she saw a mother holding a little girl's hand as she carried a bag of wrapped gifts. Aside from the cold weather, they both looked so happy. Hannah couldn't help but feel envious of the mother who stepped on the bus as she remembered yesterday afternoon.


Hannah got off the bus with Bloom, carrying a small olive green duffel bag, and walked over to the hospital. Bloom was held to her very tightly to keep the frigid air out. Like everywhere else in the city, the hospital had the Christmas season up and running. She sat Bloom down near the children ward where the kids were playing with some toys.

She gathered the coat around the eight year old redheaded child, trying to compose herself. She could feel the tears that were threatening to fall. I have to do this; I can't keep Bloom with the way things are. Be strong, Hannah.

"Now Bloom, I wanted you to promise me that you'll be a good girl, okay?" whispered Hannah, her voice was trembling with sadness, fear and guilt.

"Okay, Mama." Bloom simply answered. "Where are you going?"

"Mama has to go somewhere for a while. But she'll be back for you, alright?" trembled Hannah.

An uneasy feeling crept in Bloom's conscious, saying that something's wrong.

"Is something wrong, Mama?" asked Bloom.

Hannah's hands trembled as she gripped the small figure in front of her. Many things were wrong – she lost her dance studio, had financial problems that were mounting, and she owed people some money just to keep her home. and she couldn't keep the most precious thing in her life.

She looked at her daughter, who was waiting for an answer, hoping that all was well.

"Yes, but everything is going to be alright, honey. But promise you'll do as I say and be a good girl, alright?"

But not knowing what else to say, Bloom started to shake her head yes. But the tension she felt did not disperse. Then Hannah handed her the small olive duffel bag with trembling hands. This will be the only memories of her for Bloom. She prayed with all the remaining sanity that she had left, that she will not fall apart.

"Mama loves you."

I love you, Mama."

Hannah pulled her into gripping hug like she wasn't going to let go. After a few long seconds, she finally withdrew herself from the number one person in her life. She turned around and walked out the door, making sure she'll never look back. If she had, she would see Bloom sat in the midst of the kids, waiting patiently with.

(Flashback ends)

She remembered that she spent the ride to the station crying silently about the growing distance between her baby girl and her.

'I bet that woman lives somewhere decent. Maybe a nice mid-town section where the people are banging on your door demanding your payment. She probably has a respectable living that gives her an apartment with heat, beds and no worries about being evicted from it.

With a heavy sigh, Hannah walked forward towards the bus, heaving the bag over her shoulder. She climbed the stairs on the bus and walked to find an available seat. Tired and weary from the war and guilt waging inside her