Personal Growth- 2,000 Words

I thought I would, for the next few days, start sharing the first 2,000 words from my various titles with you-and exactly 2,000. If that ends in the middle of a sentence, so be it. I know it is always a big chance when you purchase digital books, or books from little know authors. I figure that by sharing these snippets with you, I may be able to introduce you to a book you may enjoy reading. If you like what you see, you can feel free to purchase the books at the links below. If you don’t like what you see, come back again each day to experience a new book you may just fall in love with!

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My hand rested lightly on the top of Tecumseh’s furry head. I sat on the top porch step, leaning back against the supporting post. I had simply wanted to be alone for a little while. Apparently, Tecumseh didn’t think that applied to him, but I didn’t really mind. He was one of the strong, silent types, after all.

“Uh, I’m so confused Tecumseh.” The black and tan wolf hybrid looked up at me with intelligent, stern-looking eyes. It was almost as though he were asking me what on earth I had to be confused over. “Well, I just can’t help it. It’s a confusing situation at a confusing point in my life, you know?” Tecumseh nodded his head up and down. I laughed. I was sitting here having a conversation with a dog. An intelligent dog, sure, but a dog nonetheless. If someone could have seen or heard me, I believe they would have thought I was crazy. Not that I really cared what other people thought, but it still made a person wonder about herself.

Back when I was in Florida, I hadn’t really thought about all of the things that turning sixteen meant. For starters, I could go ahead and get my driver’s permit. I could have gotten it earlier, but well, it hadn’t really crossed my mind. I could also try to get a job. I realized that while the amount of money I currently possessed would last a while, it wouldn’t last forever. I wasn’t foolish, at least when it came to money and the problems associated with it. I had gone hungry before and had to buy groceries and pay the bills when my mother wouldn’t.

The social security checks had started rolling in the week before, which would help to pad out my money. Aunt Janie and I had worked out what I thought to be a very fair system. She would take the main amount of $200 out of each check. She would put $50 away for my little sister, Babette, and give me $50. Still, it wouldn’t last forever. $50 a week wasn’t exactly an amount you could live off of, even with my substantial savings. Yet, in order to go out and find myself a job, I would need transportation. The house shared only two vehicles between everyone right now, so I would need one of my own. It was all connected, and it was all based on getting my driver’s permit. I would have to get started on that first step down the road to adulthood and self sufficiency.

Recently, I had also begun thinking about what would happen after graduation. I had time, but that time kept passing me by so quickly. I mean, I had just about seven months until I would finish my sophomore year. What would I do after my senior year? Unlike a lot of other people, I didn’t entertain ideas about college. Possibly a trade school- one that took a year or two to get through. I didn’t want to waste another four to eight years in school, though. I was barely making it through the years of high school I had left. I wasn’t doing badly in school- just the opposite- but I was not one of those people who enjoyed high school. I simply found it to be a burden I knew that I must bear in order to do anything productive with the rest of my life.

Beginning in eleventh grade, my school offered a program after school where high school students could attend a trade school for a small fee. The choices weren’t amazing, but maybe I would do it. You could go for early childhood development, electrical training, plumbing, or even to get your CNA license, or for phlebotomy. I didn’t really want to do any of those long term, but being licensed in one of those areas right out of high school would certainly be helpful. Besides, it was nearly free if I went ahead and took the opportunity now. It would cost around a hundred times more if I decided I wanted to do any of it after high school ended.

Family life, in and of itself, was no problem, which was strange to me considering that it had always been the base of all my problems in Florida. Aunt Janie and Uncle John were supportive, helpful, and showed each and every one of us how much they cared. They also pushed us to better ourselves in every way possible, and having that driving force behind me made me want to be even more successful. I couldn’t help but think of all I could have achieved if my own mother had been so supportive.

My oldest cousin, Jack, was getting ready to graduate high school, and he already knew what he wanted to do. In fact, he was already enrolled for the next year’s classes at an automotive school around an hour and a half from the house. It would take him two years if he went about it in normal fashion, but there was an option to test out of classes you didn’t need. For that reason, Jack had begun studying up on things he didn’t know as much about. The hands-on stuff he had down pat, but safety regulations and the like were where he fell short. After he finished his basic training, he wanted to go on to an extra program that would teach him diesel engines. That program normally took another year to do, but a ‘fast track’ option, with additional schooling hours each week, could allow a person to graduate in either six or nine months.

His friend, Spike, was going to the same school as Jack, and the two often spoke of opening up a mechanic shop here, just outside of town, after their schooling was done and over with.

Jack and his girlfriend, Deanna, had also been getting closer and closer as a couple, and they frequently went off together for ‘alone time,’ when the opportunity presented itself. I was glad that the two were doing so well in their relationship. What could have possibly been better than having my best female friend as a candidate for my future cousin-in-law?

My next oldest cousin, Johnny, was gearing up for his seventeenth birthday, which would occur three days before Thanksgiving this year. Even though he was only turning seventeen, he was already counting down the days until he would turn eighteen in typical teenage fashion.

Then there was Lee. Lee had just turned sixteen, himself- two days prior, in fact- and he was on the same wavelength as me. He was ready to get his driver’s permit, and often spoke to me about using the vocational programs offered by the high school. He was personally contemplating using the electrical course, so that after high school he could get a job with the local electrical company. Lee wasn’t one to jump into things, so he had done his research. Starting wage at the local electrical company- with a basic vocational degree- would allow him to earn between ten and fifteen dollars an hour. It depended almost entirely on which position he was chosen for and how well he had done during his vocational training.

Cheyenne was already speaking excitedly about her next school year, when she would finally leave primary and start her middle school years. Babette still had one more year in elementary and was sad that Cheyenne and she would not be going to the same school again next year. The two girls had quickly become inseparable in a rather profound sort of way.

Little Dakota would begin Kindergarten the next year, and if you wanted a definition of excited, you need only look at her. Dakota could not- and would not- stop talking about how much fun she would have when she finally started school. It was rather endearing and just a little annoying.

As for the group… Deanna, while very involved in her relationship with Jack, was also very serious about her personal future. It had taken her almost no time at all to decide that she was going to use the CNA certification program offered to high school students. Her reasoning was ‘there will always be a need for health care professionals.’

The CNA program, like the phlebotomy course, would only encompass her junior year instead of two years like the other programs. Deanna reasoned that she could begin dual enrollment towards her LPN. She wasn’t going to stop once she received that, however, and planned to get her RN as well. She reasoned that her LPN job would put her through school for her RN. I had never met anyone who had their future planned out in such great detail.

Rex and Hank were both still unsure as to what they wanted to do. They still had time, like I did, after all. Rex was a junior, Hank was a sophomore, and both were still batting around several ideas. One idea included joining Jack and Spike in their mechanic shop idea. Others included the local factory, the electric company, or maybe even trying to get a job with the city or county. Those were the only real career options there were here. If it wasn’t that, they would be forced to work a minimum wage job with no real expectations for their life.

I already mentioned that Spike was following Jack off to mechanic school. Dakota, though in on the same idea, had decided to take a slightly different route by heading to business school. He had reasonably stated that someone would have to know the ins and outs of running and maintaining a business. Otherwise, there would be a lot of skill and no real way to manage it.

Buck would be the only one not going off to further his education. Instead, being eighteen already, he had taken on a part-time position at the local glass factory. Until graduation, he only worked sixteen hours each week, primarily on the weekends. Once he graduated, however, he would be given full time hours and would settle himself down right here. He had everything set up for him.

Everything seemed to be going well, and everyone seemed to be moving forward. But… an entire month had passed since I had overheard Spike and Jack talking about me after my birthday party. I had heard him asking Jack if it was okay that he ‘ask me out.’ Yet, nothing had really changed. Spike had never confronted me about a relationship. Had he decided that he didn’t like me after all? Or was he waiting for some specified time to do his asking? I was anxious. I’m not sure if it was the fact that I now knew he liked me for sure, but I often found myself daydreaming about him. Spike wasn’t the type of guy I had ever previously thought of being with, yet now I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Stupid teenage hormones didn’t help at all, either. Despite trying my hardest to stop thinking about it by keeping myself busy, I knew I needed do figure something out. Something had to be done about that particular situation, or I was going to drive myself crazy. Pure and simple.

I looked back down at Tecumseh. “Well, I guess we’ll work on one thing at a time, eh?” He just looked up at me. I laughed. “Worry about the permit first?” Tecumseh appeared to agree with me. Of course, with dogs, who really knew what they were thinking? I patted his head, stood up, and went back inside- my thoughts in somewhat relative order for the time being.

Chapter Two

Only a week remained until Thanksgiving, and I realized that I had no idea what we would be doing. When I lived with my mom and my sister, we had never really done anything. My mom had usually gone…

If you liked what you read, you can feel free to purchase the book on Kindle, Amazon Paperback, Nook, Kobo, and OmniLit.


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