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Send No Blessings
Blessings, that’s what her mother called her children, all eight of them. To Beth, the oldest, fifteen and a sophomore in high school, eight seemed too many to be cooped up in the family’s double-wide trailer. Beth wanted something more, something different, for herself. She had never been anywhere but her small West Virginia town and she wanted to get away, especially when she learned that there was to be yet another “blessing.” Typing was the key, she thought. She was better at typing than even Stephanie King, who got good grades in all her classes.
How wonderful it would be to work in an office, enjoying a place that was your own! But there were other things Beth wanted, too, most of all love and recognition from her father, who seemed to do nothing but put her down. She craved love. And that was why, when Harless Prather came along, it seemed to be almost a miracle. He was older than she, out of high school, had a job, and was ready to marry. Marriage would take her out of the family trailer, but to what? Could she settle for a life that might turn out to be just like her mother’s: too many children, never quite enough money or space, never a chance to find out who she was and what she could do?
Beth had a choice to make, which did not get easier when a new semester proved far more difficult than she had expected. Should she take love when it was offered? Or was there something more? Beth’s family and its problems, her teachers, and Harless, too, all helped, but it was Beth alone who really set her course for the future.