Always, he held the threat of not getting into Georgetown over her head if she protested. Ironically, the girl who had entered puberty with such joy, and had teased the boys with such skill, was getting a bit sick of sex. She wasn’t in control anymore, and she suspected that was part of the problem. As time for college acceptance letters came due, she worried a bit.
She’d applied to Georgetown, of course, and the University of Notre Dame (which her parents were a little more pleased about, since it was in-state) as well as Brown University. Grudgingly, she’d applied at some other Indiana schools. She had about six places she was waiting on, but her heart was in Georgetown already, and she didn’t know if she’d get there.
Finally, one day a couple letters came. One of them was from Georgetown. She was the only one at home, and she’d gone online to see what she could expect. Some commenters at a website said the Georgetown rejection letter was three pages long. Others said acceptance letters came in regular number 9 envelopes.
Monica’s hands shook a little as she opened the envelope. To her it felt thin. Please, God, she thought. She slid out the single sheet of paper. She was in. She was in. She felt like she’d reached the end of a long journey. Immediately, she got online to YouTube, and watched videos of Georgetown. Finally, she’d be getting out of this town. Her parents would be thrilled, but also maybe a bit worried as to how to pay for it. She didn’t care. She didn’t care if she had to borrow every cent of it (which she probably wouldn’t; her parents weren’t poor), she was going.
They decided right there to go out to eat. They went to Bubbles, which was downtown and had unusual, but awesome food. Both of her parents had a martini each. Monica was too young to drink, but after the last few months, she didn’t feel like a girl anymore. She dove into her food with a gusto that pleased her parents. For a while, Monica didn’t seem like herself. They chalked it up to her senior year and added pressure about college. They were go-getters, and they prided themselves on graduating from good schools. Now their only child would go to one of them, and it was one of the more prestigious schools in the country.
The trio made their way back home. The martinis had relaxed them, and Monica went upstairs. After locking her door, she opened up the huge cedar chest and took out the thousands she’d made as a private dancer. She’d planned this as her spending money at school. She didn’t know how long it would last, but however she had made the money, she was glad she had it. Even though it was a Friday, she settled into her room with a movie on her DVD player. She fell asleep before it was over.
* * *
Soon, it was time for another one of her appointments with Houlihan. She’d given it some thought, and she really didn’t want to be with him anymore. How to get out of it though? Hadn’t she held up her end of the bargain? And now she had the acceptance letter and she’d joyfully responded with a resounding yes. Everything was set. Except for one thing. She was going to tell Houlihan she wanted out. She had a plan. She’d used him, and he her, but now it was over.
She came into his office. She was a little rushed because she’d had some business to take care of over in Nick’s neighborhood. He was surprised she had called him, but when she asked for his help with something, he was able to come through. Good old Nick. They came from different backgrounds, and she normally stayed away from guys like him, but if nothing else, she realized that good people and brilliance come from places you’d least expect it.
“Monica … “ Houlihan drawled. “How’s the hottest girl at St. Veronica’s?”
She sat in one of the chairs in front of his desk. “Not good. Not good at all.”
“Why, what’s going on? Flat tire on the Mustang? Broken fingernail? Let Houlihan take care of you.”
She looked at him. “I’m pregnant.”