her the rest of her life.
“Listen,” he said, taking a step toward her. “I realize your
family’s sunk a lot of money into this wedding—I know I should have told you
sooner. It’s only fair that your father send me the bills. I’ll make sure they
“All right. I’ll make sure Dad forwards them to you.” She
turned and walked away. Pride was the glue that kept her from breaking into a
When she got back to the sorority house, the place was buzzing
with activity. Excited talk and laughter swirled around her like dust devils as
her friends raced up and down the stairs, emptying their rooms. Boxes and
suitcases littered the hallways. Silently she walked past her friends, up the
staircase and into her room. Sitting on the edge of the mattress, she reviewed
To save money for the wedding, her parents had opted not to fly
out from the East Coast to attend her graduation ceremony. By waiting until
after graduation to break the engagement, Eddie had not only destroyed her plans
for the future, but he’d cheated her out of sharing this special day with the
people who loved her and supported her dreams.
Meanwhile, though she had her teaching degree, she was without
a job. She hadn’t applied for a position here in Washington, believing she would
be living with Eddie in Denver in a few weeks. And she’d decided to wait until
after the wedding to apply for a Colorado teaching certificate. Eddie hadn’t
encouraged her to apply for work, but then, he hadn’t offered much in the way of
advice for several weeks.
Not only had he pulled the proverbial rug out from under her
feet, he’d single-handedly destroyed any chance she had of finding a full-time
teaching position come autumn. Every teaching job would already have been filled
by this late date.
She could always fly home and live with her parents, but she
had too much pride for that. Her family had helped her with her college expenses
as much as possible, had sacrificed in order for her to attend Queen Anne
University. She wasn’t going to take advantage of their generosity any longer.
As an adult, she would find a means of supporting herself. While she might not
be able to find a full-time teaching job, she could always do substitute
Despite what he’d done, she still loved Eddie. She’d always
loved him, even knowing he was weak. Even knowing how easily he could be swayed
She held her breath and waited for the constriction in her
throat to ease. The one thing that gave her hope was that she knew Eddie better
than he knew himself. It wouldn’t be long before he realized how much he missed
her, how much he needed her. Within a month, maybe two, he would be back,
pleading with her to marry him.
She could wait that long.
* * *
Three weeks later Carol found herself a studio apartment
north of the downtown Seattle area. It was small but comfortable, and all she
Since graduation, she’d been busy submitting teaching
applications to seven different school districts. Again and again she was told
that the hiring process was complete, but that human resources would keep her
name on file.
She made calls every day, and it wasn’t long before her
persistence paid off. She was asked to substitute for a physical-education
teacher during summer school. A paying job, even if it was only for a week, was
a start. A job was a job, and she was elated.
Summer classes weren’t known for attracting the best and the
brightest high-school students, but she didn’t let that dim her enthusiasm.
Dressed in gym shorts, a whistle looped around her neck, she led a group of
fourteen physically unfit students onto the Ballard High School football field.
They whined all the way, but she pretended not to hear.
As there were only a few years’ difference between her
students’ ages and her own, she resembled a high schooler herself. Luckily she
was tall, five-nine, with rich chestnut-colored hair that bounced