Growing up in a small town is hard when the whole town hides secrets from each other. It's even harder when you grow up in a town that has less than 500 citizens and you live in the only Trailer Park in the town. The town is so small and poor that the people who live in the Trailer Park are called "Dumpsters" because the Trailer Park was often referred to as "The Dump".
Sarah Miles had always been close to her family, especially her mother Nell. They had shared everything with each other, or so she thought. But one day, Sarah discovered that her mother had been lying to her about many things. It all started when Sarah overheard a conversation between her mother and her close friend. While drunk as a skunk, the women laughed about their glory days when they could get any man. Sarah never knew much about her mother's promiscuous past.
Sarah couldn't believe what she was hearing. She had always thought her mother was a respectable woman, but now she wasn't so sure. As Sarah listened to the stories of Nell's past, she began to wonder if the man she had known as her father all her life was really her biological father. Older people in the trailer park had always hid things from the kids but Sarah was always suspicious about the man she grew up believing was her father because they shared no similarities, and her grandmother has always treated her with little love.
Trailer Park Living Living in a trailer park in Texas, Sarah's family struggled to make ends meet. The trailer park is situated in a dusty, desolate part of Texas, surrounded by barren fields and abandoned factories. The trailers themselves are old, faded, and cramped, with peeling paint and rusty metal frames. Many of them have makeshift additions or extensions, built out of scrap wood and cinderblocks. The yards are small and cluttered, with broken-down cars and trucks parked haphazardly in the driveways or on the overgrown lawns. Some of the trailers have makeshift patios, but they are usually covered with old, threadbare carpets or peeling linoleum.
The people who live in the trailer park are mostly blue-collar workers, with a few retirees and disabled veterans thrown in for good measure. They are a close-knit community, despite their poverty, and they look out for each other in times of need. On hot summer days, children can be seen playing outside in the dirt or splashing around in above-ground plastic pools that have seen better days. Some of the yards have work equipment in them, such as lawnmowers, weed whackers, and chainsaws. Many of the residents work long hours in factories or on construction sites, leaving early in the morning and returning late at night.
The overall feeling of the trailer park is one of exhaustion and resignation. It is a place where people come to live when they have nowhere else to go, and where they stay because they can't afford to leave. There is a palpable sense of hopelessness in the air, but also a fierce determination to survive, to make the best of a bad situation. The residents of the trailer park may not have much, but they have each other, and they cling to that sense of community as if their lives depended on it.
Despite all the brokenness, they have their share of good times together. Most of them have lived there their whole life and they are like one big family. They laugh and love like family, but they fight like family too.
Annual Summer Barbecue The air was thick with smoke and the smell of grilled meat as the trailer park community gathered for their annual summer barbecue in Hattie's yard. Hattie has lived in the trailer park longer than anyone and she was pretty much the sergeant at arms.
Bubba, a stout man in his late forties, was grilling burgers and drinking beers with his buddies, while Earl, a lanky man with a mouthful of tobacco, was leaning against the side of Hattie's trailer, watching the scene with a smirk on his face.
As the night wore on and the beer flowed freely, Bubba noticed that his spare gas tank was empty. He had filled it up just a few days ago, but now it was bone dry. Looking around, he saw Earl chatting with some of the other guys and a sudden suspicion crept into his mind.
"Hey Earl, you wouldn't happen to know anything about my damn gas tank being empty, would ya?" Bubba asked, his voice low and menacing.
Earl looked up, his eyes narrowing. "What you talking bout, Bubba? I ain't touched your gas tank."
Bubba shook his head, his face turning red with anger. "Don't lie to me, Earl. I saw you mowing your grass at night a few days ago, and that's when my gas tank went missing. And you haven't mowed that grass since the kids had the Easter Egg hunt in your yard months ago!" Earl shrugged nonchalantly. "So what if I did? It's just a little bit of gas. I'll pay you back next week."
Bubba's eyes narrowed even further. "It's not about the gas, you sum'a'ma bitch. It's about you coming into mah god damn yard without permission. You had no right to do that Earl Mathis. You had no got damn right coming up in mah yard."
Earl spit a wad of tobacco onto the ground. "I don't need your permission to do anything, Bubba. You ain't the boss of me."
The two men were now standing toe-to-toe, their faces inches apart. Bubba's fists were clenched tightly at his sides, while Earl's hand was hovering dangerously close to the knife in his pocket.
"You still mad about that damn $17.50 I owe you? That's why you took the gas, ain't it?" Bubba said, his voice rising with anger. "I told you I was gonna pay you back when I get paid," explained Bubba.
Bubba's eyes flicked over to the knife, and for a moment it looked like Earl might pull it out. But then he seemed to change his mind and slapped Bubba across the face so hard his lost his balance and fell against the smoky barbecue grill.
Then, Bubba, stumbling to his feet, picked up a fist full of ashes and flung them into Earl's face causing Earl to lose vision. Bubba punched Earl then Earl punched Bubba. Before you know it they were rolling on the ground fighting. The other neighbors in the yard tried to break them up, but it was no use. It wasn't until Hattie came outside with a shotgun and fired a warning shot into the air. The two men finally stopped fighting.
As Bubba and Earl stumbled to their feet, their faces bruised and bloodied, the other neighbors laughed and shook their heads in disbelief. But Bubba wasn't done yet. "It ain't over, Earl. You can count on that," he yelled, before storming off into the night. Earl spat out another mouthful of tobacco and grinned. "Anytime you want another ass-whipping, just bring it on."
People talked about that fight for months and it became funnier and funnier every time the story was told. Bubba eventually gave Earl his money back but they had another fight because Earl tried to charge Bubba interest on the money he gave him due to how long it took Bubba to pay him back. Those two stay at it about something on a weekly cycle.
Rabbit was a man who lived two trailers down from Sarah's family. He was in his late fifties, but he looked older, his face etched with lines of worry and sadness. His hair was greasy and unkempt, and his beard was a tangled mess. His teeth were stained and yellow, and he had a missing front tooth, which gave him a lopsided smile.
Rabbit was always wearing the same pair of dirty overalls, which were frayed at the cuffs and had holes in the knees. He wore a white t-shirt underneath, which was stained with sweat and dirt. He always had a cigarette tucked behind his ear, and a small bottle of whiskey in his back pocket.
Despite his rough appearance, Rabbit had a kind heart, and he was always willing to lend a helping hand to his neighbors in the trailer park. He was known for his bravery, having risked his life attempting to save two little girls from a burning trailer years ago. He was internaly scarred because he was able to save one little girl but he couldn't save the other one. However, that one heroic act could not erase the years of bad choices he had made, including his addiction to alcohol and his penchant for getting into trouble with the law.
Rabbit's behavior was erratic, and he had a tendency to act out when he was drinking. His run-ins with the law were frequent, and he had become a fixture in the local jail. In fact, his name is actually Clifford but the people started calling him "Rabbit" because he seemed to hop in and out of jail most of his life.
He stole a box of chicken from the gas station down the street because he said they were closing and all they were going to do is throw it away anyway. He served a two month jail sentence for stealing that chicken but as soon as he got out of jail for that, just a few weeks later he was arrested again because he urinated in Mrs. Bosworth's rose garden in front of her trailer.
When the sheriff asked Rabbit why he did it, he said because he couldn't hold his pee any longer and Ms. Bosworth's flowers looked liked they needed some water anyway. He spent a weekend in jail for that but a month after being released, he was arrested again for breaking the glass at The Dollar General.
He told police he did it because his house key must've fallen while he was in the store earlier that day. He couldn't get in his house and it was cold outside. So, he broke the store window to get inside and found his keys. While he was in there he took a bag of chips because he was hungry. The local sheriff told him, "Rabbit, I swear man. If I had a dollar for every time you get in trouble I'd be rich. Why can't you get your shit together man?"
The sheriff was going to let him off with a warning and just have him pay for the glass and the chips but filled with alcohol, Rabbit, got angry and spit in the sheriff's face. So, he went back to jail for that.
The town is very small so they can never hold him in jail long. People have just learned to live with his tantrums. As terrible as his behavior is, the town really cant turn on him because they passionately understand that he is a deeply hurt man. The neighbors in the community all believe he needs help but he refuses to talk to anyone about his problems because he believes the doctors all work for the government and the preachers only want money. He is stubborn and he is an alcoholic, but the community has still embraced him because of that one heroic thing he did 12 years ago.
However, people are afraid that one day he will either hurt himself or someone else if he doesn't get help. He is a character but he is one of many characters in this Jerry Springer of a neighborhood.
There's Tina and Tiny, two sisters who both have babies by the same man and he lives with both of them. Nobody understands it but Tina does hair in the kitchen and she is cheaper than the one beauty shop in town. So, people ignore their dysfunctional situation because she gives them a perm for $10. It's sad because the two boys are cousin brothers and they don't even know it yet.
One of the neighbors who stood out to Sarah was Loraine, an older woman who lived across the street. Loraine didn't like Nell (Sarah's mother) and Sarah could never figure out why. One day, when Sarah was sitting on her porch, Loraine came over to talk.
"I can't believe your mama didn't invite me to her little birthday dinner thingy the other night," Loraine said, her voice dripping with anger. Sarah shrugged. "I don't know, maybe she forgot." Loraine shook her head. "No, she didn't forget. She's always had it in for me. That weinch would steal my left tit if she could. You don't know your mama like I do honey baby chile. You know, she slept with my boyfriend back in high school."
Sarah was shocked. She had never heard anything about this before. "Who was your boyfriend?" she asked. Loraine's eyes narrowed. "Daniel. And she has never apologized to me. I found them both butt ass naked in the back of the pick up truck that my daddy let Danny drive because he didn't have a car to take me to prom."
That's how it is living in a trailer park. Everyone is your friend until you piss them off and immediately, they will spill all your beans in their anger. Lorraine had the biggest mouth in the whole park. She didn't have many friends because she always found a vindictive way to hurt people.
The revelation about Danny hit Sarah hard. She remembered the letters she had seen over the years, letters from someone named Daniel. She had never thought much about them before, but now she wondered if they were from the same person that Loraine was talking about.
Sarah searched through their trailer, looking for the box where her mother kept important papers and old pictures. It took her hours, but she finally found it, buried deep in a closet.
As she read through the letters, Sarah began to realize that Loraine might be right. Danny had written about their time together, about how much he loved her. And in one letter, he had requested a DNA test to see if he were the father of Nell's child.
Sarah felt like her world was falling apart. She didn't know what to do or who to turn to. She felt like she had been living a lie for her entire life. As she sat alone in her trailer, Sarah knew that she had to find out the truth. She had to find this Daniel.
The letters had mentioned a town in Alabama, so Sarah decided to take a chance and travel there. When she arrived, she found herself at an old motel called Paradise Motel. The motel was rundown, with peeling paint and broken windows. But despite its shabby appearance, the place was bustling with people coming and going.
When Sarah walked into the lobby, she was greeted by a young woman named Amber. "Can I help you?" Amber asked. "I'm looking for a man named Daniel Steele," Sarah said. Amber nodded. "He's not here right now. He'll be back later."
Sarah paid for a room but as she started to leave, Amber called out to her.
"Wait," she said. "Can I help you with something until my dad gets back?"
Sarah turned slowly asked, "Your dad? Daniel Steel is your dad?" Chewing gum, Amber replied, "Yep. That's my dad. How do you know him?" Sarah looked away and slowly looked back at Amber and replied, "I think I might be your sister."