Minutes feel like hours as adults hurry by ignoring her. Just another day outside the assistant principal’s office waiting to be lectured, and Jenny just wants out of it. For a while, for a long while, she enjoyed school. Placed in the advanced classes she excelled, making her parents proud, and making her feel like she had found her place. She was stupid, she tells herself, to think her life could be any different from her mom and dad’s.
It began with an overdue library book. She was called in to the office, apologized profusely, and listened while the condescending little schmuck on the other side of the desk compared her mistake to theft. She got two days detention, no big deal, except she had never been in trouble before. Then came being a minute late to homeroom. The fact that her car stalled out did not matter to them, rules are rules and this goes on your permanent record. “How do you think an employer will react to your being late?” He asked her as if she did not already work to help make ends meet.
One incident became two, become a dozen, and then more. She has come to realize that it does not matter how bright she is. She plays by all the important rules, which cannot be said of her “peers” that never get in trouble, but all those little rules, those they will leave her out to dry for. Jenny is a smart girl. She knows why. She comes from the wrong kind of family in a small town. Sometimes she thinks of begging mom and dad to move back to the city, but they will not. They think life is better in the burbs.
She knows better though. Jenny knows it is only better if you are the right kind of person, and she is not. She is convinced that life cannot get better, that the world is full of petty little tyrants like the assistant principal. She cannot know she is both right and wrong, cut off as she is from the wider world. It is also full of people who will see her potential, if she does not give into that growing urge to give up and give in.
- Encouraging young writers (curiositycreates.co.uk)
- Covering Old Ugly Notebooks (styleitpretty.wordpress.com)
- The Creative Epiphany – Life’s Texture (thecreativeepiphany.wordpress.com)
- Blog on Creative Writing Workshop and Conference in Birgunj, Nepal (neltachoutari.wordpress.com)