I always have a habit of scanning the first page of a story first and here are my initial observations.

You seem like you’re in a hurry with small mistakes like not capitalizing your first pronouns and not spacing your sentences properly. Like another reader has pointed out, bolding the entire story is very hard on the eyes. 

Now, I’m noticing repeated words, like “turning around”. Try to think of a different way of phrasing your sentences. Your style would definitely improve.

Please review how to punctuate and format your dialogues. There needs to be a period after your quotation even if you have a question mark within your sentence. I’ll point out an example. The first quotation you have included in your story. Add a period after “called out”.

Be careful of tense shifts. You started to use present tense when you wrote “[my] car really isn’t anything special”.  It also seems weird to be suddenly talking about the car and then jumping to her arrival to her apartment. There’s a transition problem.

Take note of commas too. The sentence with Mrs. Mullins babysitting her child was rather confusing since your comma placement was odd. I had to read the sentence a few times to understand what you meant. It would have been better to say something like this.

Mrs. Mullins was a sweet, old lady, who babysat my three-year-old brother Connor on the days that I went to school, or when I went for a job. 

Please do not add unnecessary quotation marks to highlight specific words. Just let the words do their jobs. Also, do not randomly hyphenate words like “baby-sat”. There are rules for hyphenation and it would be great if you checked them out.

Maybe, instead of telling what has happened all the time, you can try the use of showing. You show how the characters are by their behaviours or actions. For Mrs. Mullins, you could have shown how she doesn’t judge your protagonist. It seemed a bit redundant for your protagonist to say that Mrs. Mullins was open minded and then have a flashback.

Frankly, I don’t think it was necessary to give the whole description about the actions she took to unlock the door, then lock the door, etc. I know you might have been trying to describe her everyday life, but try to make the sentences flow better. They seem rather choppy and discontinued.

Also, when the man reappears, there should be something notable about this man, something that made her remember him. Was it his eyes? His smile? His voice? I know when I remember people. There’s usually something that triggers my memory.

More importantly, the way he is speaking is bizarre for a man of his age. I presume that he would sound more mature. 

I’m catching onto another trend, and that is this phrase, "he smiled." Please tell me how he smiled or at least that his smile was a smirk.

I suggest that you read your dialogue aloud. The dialogue shared between your protagonist and the man on page three was awkward at times, particularly the part where he says, “the next one year.”

I know I might have focused a lot on grammar and sentence structure, but I believe that is where you have to improve. Your story could be much better if you work on the technical aspects first. 

Then, do try to develop your characters. Maybe, ask yourself, so what? So what if she does this? So what if he says that? Try to also think why your characters would behave a certain way. Your protagonist seems pretty emotionless about her situation. Her eyes only widened when she heard about his proposition. I mean, she’s living poorly. 10 grand should have been more than her widening her eyes. It should have made her knees shake, her hands tremble, etc.

There is definitely potential in this story even though like a reader has also noted that the plot is a bit cliché. However, you can always add twists to seemingly cliché stories. 

Hopefully, you will take what I have suggested in mind and also, keep your promise.

Thank you,

Jubie (cubierock11)