Bella, homeless and in need, collides into a man that can't be bothered with her. Is he the one who's going to pick her up or leave her in despair?
Straight off the bat, this fic is tough. It deals with homelessness in a brutal and what seems to be an honest way. Cruiz107 drives the reader into this bleak environment from the very first chapter and doesn't pull any punches.
Bella has been on the streets for 3 years after being overwhelmed by the death of her parents. She's literally living day to day, scrounging an existence just so she can make it to the next day. She prostitutes herself out, puts herself in very dangerous situations, is often dirty, cold, hungry and bored. It's a horrible turn of events as you discover that Bella was once a talented artist, one year from completing college and living a happy life.
Nothing is easy in Bella's life and her life only gets harder when she accidentally spills coffee over Edward one Sunday after bumping into him on the way to a clothes charity handout. He is livid and regards Bella with disgust, making Bella feel even more insignificant. Bella then attempts to make $300 to replace Edward's shirt her coffee ruined but after making almost half the money, she then is assaulted and comes into the view of a dangerous man, Peter.
Bella and Edward apparently are meant to be in each other's lives as they cross paths each day. Edward taking pity on Bella's hardship begrudgingly offers her a job painting a potrait of his parents which eventually leads to her staying at Edward's. From there you find that Bella and Edward's lives interconnect more personally than they ever realised.
This Edward is intriguing, in the fact that he is conveyed as a man that is ill tempered, with little patience and mostly unsympathetic towards Bella. He is the driving force that keeps me invested in this fic because after several chapters, it is clear that he now feels something for Bella but is unable to express that in a positive way. He does not understand the life that Bella has endured and interprets her behaviour in broad ignorant strokes. You can tell he feels pulled to Bella but as yet does not trust her completely.
Bella is not an innocent, she has made the choices which lead her to a vagrant life and as a reader you feel conflicted between feeling sympathetic to her plight and irritated at the effect her choices have made to several people's lives including her best friend Rose. Nevertheless her account of life on the streets is at times so visceral and heartbreaking that I felt on the edge of tears from the acts of violence Bella endures to the general ignorance of herself as a person.
The first group of people came nearer and I groaned inwardly. I hated asking young girls for money – they were the worst. But I was desperate.
"Can you spare any change?" I asked, looking down at my feet and not able to meet their eyes.
"Seriously?" one of them scoffed. "If it's to buy a bar of soap then I'll think about it." Her two friends laughed with her. "Oh, and you smell like piss." They continued walking and laughing at my expense.
I tried not to let words hurt me, but it was an impossible goal. The only thing I could do was to push it to the back of my mind and move forward.
"Can you spare any change?" I asked a lone female walking with ear buds in her ears. She kept on walking, not even acknowledging me. I wanted to think that it was because she couldn't hear me, but I saw her stiffen when I asked.
I asked the next few people I saw, getting the same response from them all – I was ignored.
I stuffed my cold hands in my pockets, ready to walk away. I had only been soliciting for about twenty minutes but I already felt defeated. I was going to have to come to grips with the fact that I would not be eating today.
Oh and there is a reason why Bella smells like piss and no one would laugh if they knew. Like I said, Make or Break Me asks you to fully invest yourself into a world that you hope never to experience but what rises it to the next level is that you realize it's not going to be as simple as Edward saving her. If he actually wants to at all.
Read it Here: Make or Break Me