The part of competent schoolgirl wasn’t entirely an act. Brittney had her heart set on becoming a cop, and she knew she would need good grades to make it in. So, she played by the rules of the school and her teachers, fulfilled their expectations and got the necessary recommendations to get into the school of her choice – the one that was farthest from her father.
She rented an apartment off campus because it was cheaper than living on campus. As she went about unpacking her things, she promised herself she would never go back to living with her parents, even if it meant she had to live in a box on the street. She got a job so she could afford to pay her rent, utilities, and grocery bills, along with the tuition that scholarships and federal aid didn’t cover.
The rules at college were different, but not that different. She was still expected to complete assignments, take the tests, and not speak up too much or make any waves. One thing that was different was that no one cared whether she showed up to class. So, she ditched the lectures that were stupid. Or if she realized the teacher was a moron. She would study the textbook on her own, complete projects as assigned, and take the tests, but she made a rule of never wasting her time.
Another thing that was different was the lack of bruises. As winter started to thaw into spring, her roommate asked her why she always wore long sleeves and the question brought Brittney up short. No one had ever asked her that before. At her old schools, they had all known why she wore long sleeves, despite her best efforts. It occurred to Brittney, for the first time, that she no longer had to dress like a nun.
She went out that day and bought herself half a dozen short-sleeved shirts and even a few tank tops. She considered buying shorts, but decided it was best to take baby steps.
To be continued…