An Interlude of Misery

Things with Terry remained strained. On the surface He was pretty much the same as usual, only more quiet. I was the awkward one. I could not meet his eyes for the life of me. For two days we worked in that terse environment, until relief came through a bright-eyed perky freshman who volunteered to help after school.

To Terry went the job of training her, and she was so eager and willing that she eventually she took my place in processing books and shelving, and other librarian duties. Meanwhile I fully devoted my time to the after-school tutoring services—rightly so, for my grades were the best. When I’d first came to the job of tutoring at the library, I was more advanced than most high school applicants, and even though I had technically been a sophomore, I was already in Pre Calculus and had been planning to take the AP tests for French, Spanish, and Physics.

At home, things were the same drab monotone–and only because Zuri had not disclosed my secret.

Why she chose to strike a deal with me rather than tell mom I didn’t understand then. But now I know that if she had told Mara, I would have felt as threatened as a cornered animal, and who knew what kind of outcome that would lead to? The only chance to keep me pliable, I think, was to let me think I was still in control.

October. The Indian summer left me. Autumn rains came in earnest.

I gave up the struggle one of those gloomy days–and then was so sick I missed school the next day. After that, my money ran out so fast that I considered contacting my father (I quickly squashed that idea, though). Instead, I asked my brother for a loan, then begged mom to give cash as a Christmas gift—and to give it to me in advance.



part 8 of If You Only Knew

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