The story below is written for the Wednesday Stories challenge hosted by my good friend Debb Stanton of Inner Sunshine. My story is scheduled to post on Debb’s blog, under Wednesday Stories (?) tomorrow.
A Better Life
Jill hated living in the slum part of town. The pretty paint jobs that people saw as they drove past might give the impression to others that the neighborhood was a decent middle class area. But that impression only went surface deep.
Jill hated having soggy, water downed, pancakes for breakfast every morning, hated getting up at 3am every morning so she could be at work by 4am to do her 3-1/2 hour shift, at the machine shop, before school and then working another 4 hours after school. She hated being so poverty stricken that the money she earned, working, couldn’t even be used to buy nice clothes for school so she wouldn’t get teased. She hated digging her clothes out of the huge mission bin, hoping to find something that fit right that wasn’t full of rips and holes – only sometimes getting lucky enough to find one or the other, rarely being so lucky as to find both. She hated that all her time was spent working, going to school, doing homework, and sleeping. She hated that she didn’t have time for any kind of a social life, not that she had any friends in which to have a social life with. Even in her neighborhood, she didn’t fit in. Still, it would be nice to have the time to have fun, to have a social life of some sort.
The closest thing Jill had to a friend was Miss Betty. Miss Betty had some weird long last name that was difficult to pronounce so she just had everyone call her Miss Betty. Her one rule, in that regard, was that no one but NO ONE was to ever call her Betty (unless they were family or peers), B, or Miss B; It was always “Miss Betty”.
Miss Betty little older than Jill, barely out of teacher’s college herself. She was funny and quirky, and marched to her own tune. The seemingly opposite of a “straight as an arrow” type personality. Not that she couldn’t hang with the most prim & proper, stiff-necked people and do so naturally.
Miss Betty wasn’t at all the type to let others tell her what to do or how to act. She was very much the type to take outcasts and misfits under her wing and help them. It was Miss Betty who had taken an interest in Jill and gave her hope for the future. Miss Betty who encouraged her to dream and reach for the stars.
Jill hoped to, some day, find a way to a better life. A way out of the neighborhood she lived in where things were constantly breaking down and the houses, beyond the nice ones that the general public saw as they drove past, were in constant need of repair and fresh paint.
Jill’s one mode of escape was writing. Through her writing anything was possible and Jill hoped to one day, be an accomplished writer.
Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed.