A true story. None of the names have been changed to protect the innocent, because there were no innocent ones involved.
My sister followed in my footsteps, going to college for the first time as a young adult in her twenties...only in her case, upper twenties. She also had a husband and a baby, stuff I didn't bother with until after graduating a four year college. Just as I did, she started with Essex Community College. Jill's life was always so self-made complicated. Adding college to her busy agenda just made it more twisted and involved. She worked, took care of her baby, and had an abusive husband. Plus three or four cats. Jill loved playing roles - bartender, mother, and now, student. She majored in Communications, visions of doing something in t.v. or theater always filling her head. Trouble was, she had no patience, nor time, for the required courses. She wanted to go straight for the good stuff, involving cameras and camera crews and acting. Her whole life was an act, so it's possible she wanted to be able to be an actor acting as an actor acting. I never quite figured it out.
One of the mandatory courses, required for all students desiring that A.A. degree, was English 101. This was my favorite when I went. Just shows how totally different we were, and not just because she had jet black hair and blue eyes, while I was the brownish redhead with brown eyes. She struggled through the coursework, aided and abetted by her all too willing sister -me. I had a baby, too. A toddler. I had already graduated from Loyola. I also worked. But Jill knew my weak point - I liked to write. She blew in my apartment one morning, nervous,shaking - a paper due the next day. "I don't know how I'm going to write it! I had an idea but no time!"
It was supposed to be a modern day faerie tale. Jill had no time because she had been busy with the baby during the day, plus fending off her husband, and tending bar at night. Plus going to a few classes here and there during the week. "You're so creative," she begged, "Can you help?".
That afternoon I typed up her modern day faerie tale. Complete with Santa and a nuclear winter. It was quite good, I thought. Jill never bothered reading it, she just blew by the next morning, grabbed it, and was gone.
Weeks later, when graduation was near, I heard from Jill. "Guess what? They PUBLISHED my story in the college magazine!".
I was amazed. "Which one?"
"The Faerie Tale! You know, the nuclear winter one? I can't believe they wanted one of MY stories!".
Neither could I.