It had been a couple of years since the bill collectors had called or people had threatened to take away our home. Late at night, I no longer heard the muffled sounds of my mother crying. But it was still tough. There was no extra money, no breathing room. I waited tables and babysat. I picked up a few dollars sewing and ironing, although nothing regular. I was sixteen—sixteen and watching the world slip away. This was my last year of high school, and it looked like everyone at Northwest Classen had a future, everyone except me. All my friends were talking about college. They went on nonstop as they compared schools and sororities and possible majors. No one seemed to worry about what it would cost. Me? I didn’t have the money for a college application, much less tuition and books. Some days it seemed like college might as well have been on the moon.
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