TG Universes & Series:
This story takes place across several decades and references events in "Someone Who Cares" "True Friends and Family" "New Beginnings" and "Making of A Family"
Dorothy Vega looked over the new students this year and smiled at how far things had come for her. It was a feeling of both joy and sadness for her. She remembered all the highlights of her life. All the triumphs and tragedies, all the loves and losses, all the people who mattered to her and those who she thought mattered. She thought about them all and felt a tinge of content.
Dorothy was born in a small city in LA County, California. She was the youngest of her family, having three older brothers. Those boys were all expected to do great things on their own, bringing money to the family while creating families of their own.
Dorothy was different, she wasn’t expected to do anything except be a mother. That didn’t appeal to her, she wanted more from her life. In school she worked hard on her schoolwork and earned top marks in her classes.
She was either in the library studying or in her room doing homework, never out partying or dating. Boys saw her as a conquest, she was the one who had no interest in boys was the one who would be their greatest sexual achievement. Dorothy ignored them, chatting a little with the girls about them but having no interest in them.
Her friends knew the real reason why she shied away and approved of it. They could see she was different, she was the one who could make it out of their city and do something big. They were glad to run interference with the boys, it meant they would actually get them instead.
Her parents were always disappointed in her for refusing to date. Her father had arranged for her to date sons of friends and bosses hoping this would improve his standing at work and get him a better job but Dorothy refused to play along. Her mother feared there was something “wrong” with her, but Dorothy just didn’t have any interest in dating.
The truth was she did like boys and did have crushes but she wouldn’t let them get in the way of her schoolwork. She had to repeatedly assure her mother she would make her proud of her but not at the expense of her future. She said she’d get married when she wanted to, not a second before. The arguments were futile, her mother had one plan for her and Dorothy had another.
Her senior year she earned several scholarships to study at UC-Berkeley with all expenses paid. She paid little heed to her fellow seniors, knowing that most of them would just lounge around after college and either become pregnant, make someone pregnant, or work for their families. Her friends were devastated that she was leaving but they swore she would always be welcome by them when she did return, and if possible she would welcome them when they visited her.
She chose to study education, working hard over the summer to get a jump start on her education. She found a menial job that paid her room and board for the summer while also allowing her to save up money for after college. It was this job that she met a man named James who would sweep her off her feet in ways she had never known before. He was tall and thin, had thick blonde hair that he kept swept back and cropped close to the base of his neck. He was gorgeous.
James had no family of his own. He was a ward of the state, abandoned by his mother just after he was born. Like Dorothy he had to work hard to get a scholarship, but since he was in the foster care system he just put his head down, accepted the abuse, and kept at his schoolwork to ensure he had somewhere to go after his graduation. His choice to start early wasn’t really a choice, he was aging out two days after graduation and needed to go somewhere else fast.
James was studying education like her, only he had other plans for education. He wanted to teach in new ways, different ways that made Dorothy ponder what the best style was really. The two debated back and forth for hours with James bringing up points that she never considered including the use of media, arts, and discussions to enhance the topics rather regurgitating the book’s information.
As the summer wore on the two were inseparable. It was inevitable that the two would grow closer than just work colleagues, they were now a couple in all but name. Getting teased about their closeness James took the initiative and kissed her one afternoon, earning a deep kiss back from Dorothy. It cemented their relationship, there was no denying they had something special going on together.
Dorothy had to endure some annoyances from her parents hoping she would give up on school and follow her friends into motherhood. Dorothy wouldn’t hear of it and eventually asked that they not bother her about it again unless they wanted her to stay away permanently. She won out but her parents weren’t happy.
James tried his best to keep her happy and her mind occupied. The two helped one another in their schoolwork with Dorothy being strong in math and science while James was better in history and literature. Dorothy chose to become a math teacher while James decided on history, both of which were their best subjects and where they held strong passions for.
As the school years wore on the two had moved in together with each working hard to help share the rent and expenses. It was hard work but the two earned enough to live on their own after graduation.
By the end of their senior year James proposed to Dorothy with her accepting it without a second thought. She had found the man for her, despite just wanting to get an education and a good job she found the love of her life. The two loved one another deeply and what little they had was enough for them as long as they had each other.
Her family was angered that she chose someone who wasn’t from their city and that he was so different than any of them in both his race and his looks. Her father disowned her, her mother refused to acknowledge her existence, and her brothers turned their backs on her. Their reputations mattered more than her happiness, she just brushed it off and after a few minutes of crying she deleted their contact information and moved on with her life. James and his love mattered more than their standing.
Both were able to get jobs in the nearby public school system. Dorothy landed a middle school job while James landed one in the high school. They weren’t the best jobs but they were jobs and they paid well enough to allow them to find a decent apartment to settle down in and save money for a home.
The two worked hard and found time for one another despite the heavy work load. After their third year working Dorothy became pregnant. She worked through to the end of her pregnancy and had plans to return to work once her son was born but things changed.
James started to become heavily depressed over the pregnancy. Dorothy couldn’t understand what was going on with him but tried to be supportive. After three months James finally admitted to her the truth: he felt like he was always meant to be a woman.
Dorothy couldn’t help but feel horrible but held herself together for James’ sake. They sought out mental health treatment which confirmed his gender dysphoria. It wasn’t a joke or a passing feeling, James really was a woman on the inside. Dorothy’s pregnancy and the feelings that he could never have a child brought on the depression, James tried to hide his feelings but it eventually became too much for him and Dorothy caught on.
James resigned as a teacher after the baby was born, taking over the role of mother as he transitioned to female. Dorothy supported her 100%, even coming up with her new name- Jaimie. She would stand by her spouse through thick and thin no matter what the future may bring.
The family became reclusive as Jaimie’s transition started to change her outward appearance. She had saved up a lot of money when they rented their apartment so she could afford the needed treatments to make herself pass better. Her body took to hormones quickly and with just a little padding she looked so much like a female her neighbors didn’t know what to make of her.
When it was time for the baby to be born she was by Dorothy’s side. The two proud parents welcomed baby James into their lives with smiles in mid-May. He looked more like his mother than his father but had some of his features like his nose and eyes. He was handsome and both parents were elated.
There was trouble brewing though. Dorothy had to tell her parents about their new grandchild and once that happened Jaimie’s life would be out in the open and there was going to be a monumental meltdown. Jaimie knew she would either have to leave the family or give up the child to his grandparents, she was not ready to do either.
Dorothy prepared for this fight but knew it was futile. Her parents were well off, they would use their friends and influence to get their way. She hoped that Jaimie didn’t do anything drastic.
One month into James’ life he met his grandparents. He took an immediate dislike to them as they kicked Jaimie out of her own home. Dorothy listened to their ranting and raving and threats until she kicked them out. She gave them an ultimatum: accept Jaimie or never contact the three of them again. They chose to leave but vowed revenge.
Jaimie took the threat seriously. She would not leave the apartment, not even for her appointments. Her psychiatrist became concerned and visited her at home only to see she had legitimate reasons for her fears. Dead rats and dead flowers were delivered right as she talked, with the doctor vomiting at the sight of them.
Jaimie eventually had to leave the apartment to obtain diapers for James. As soon as she reached the street she was grabbed and beaten, with James being swiftly taken away. The only thing said was “dad and mom send their regards you freak.”
Jaimie was beaten so badly her ribs broke and tore open her spleen. One of her lungs collapsed and her skull was cracked. She was lucky to be alive. Dorothy filed charges on Jaimie’s behalf but they were ignored. Her brothers were let go and James kept in the custody of his grandparents pending a court hearing.
Jaimie was distraught at missing the hearings. Dorothy was trying her best to fight to keep James but her parents used Jaimie’s transition against her. The judge ruled in their favor, citing the child’s needs were not being met despite evidence to the contrary. The fact that her brothers badly beat Jaimie blatantly ignored and when it was attempted to be brought up the judge threatened Dorothy’s lawyer. There was nothing they could do, her parents had won.
Jaimie was released a week later and her mental condition deteriorated. She held together for Dorothy’s sake but as time went by she steadily grew worse. She wouldn’t eat, got very little sleep, and barely left her bed. Dorothy tried to cheer her up but it was futile.
In the early morning hours of what would be James’ third birthday while Dorothy slept Jaimie took her own life by an overdose of several different medications. She left a note to Dorothy explaining to her why she was doing what she was doing. She felt guilty about losing James to his grandparents, for causing Dorothy to become estranged from her family, for making Dorothy endure isolation and pity. She was hoping Dorothy would move on and find someone else to share her life with, someone who wouldn’t bring her anything but trouble.
When Dorothy found her in the morning it was too late. She was dead. She broke down as she called for help but there was nothing anyone could do.
Her parents came by to make her a peace offering that would allow her to get James back but only if she left Jaimie. Dorothy threw them out and told them “you wanted him so badly you caused Jaimie to take her own life. You believe you can give him a home we couldn’t well do so. Just remember you will have to explain why he no longer has a mother who loves him. Please, just leave and don’t contact me again. I never want to see or hear from any of you again.”
Dorothy buried Jaimie in a nearby cemetery and immediately started looking for a new job. Her principal was sympathetic and gave her high praise as did her colleagues. None of them could understand the torment that went through Jaimie’s mind but all agreed that Dorothy needed to move away from the horrible memories that lived there now.
With just seven years as a teacher her job options were limited. The best offer she had was a school in the town of Newhall, Missouri. It was a principal job but few wanted it. Dorothy accepted it quicky, packing everything up and moving east within a week. Her life insurance policy on Jaimie paid out quickly thanks to friends in the industry so she could afford a home right away but just getting away was enough for her.
The townspeople weren’t welcoming to her. They had a strong dislike for outsiders and let it become known fast. Dorothy reciprocated and let it be known that she would give as good as they gave earning both respect and derision but getting the message across loud and clear- she won’t give in to pressure.
She made few friends in Newhall. The closest ones she had were Valerie Johnson and Tiffany West. Both had sons and like her were seen as outsiders by the community. Valerie was abandoned by her boyfriend, Tiffany’s boyfriend was a known drunk and womanizer. She found solace in both, working out some of her motherhood issues by babysitting for them or being a shoulder to cry on when things got rough for them.
As time went by they had to distance themselves from her for their children’s sake as they would now be her students. Michael Johnson and Scott West still looked at her as an aunt despite having to quell those feelings. Dorothy kept an eye on them as well, knowing she was watching mostly kept them from getting into trouble and wasn’t afraid to let them know they were doing wrong when they did.
Over the next few years the distance that was growing became apparent as Tiffany tragically passed on from cancer and Scott’s father kept him away from the rest of his family. Tiffany never let her sister Greta and brother –in-law Quentin in on her closeness with Dorothy so they were unaware that she was in pain over the loss, they only thought she was mourning the loss of a student’s parent. Valerie took the loss hard and threw herself into her work, only interacting with the community when she had to.
Michael started to pick up on his mom’s grief and became isolated himself. He would only interact with a couple of his classmates, mostly Jaimie McKinnon. The two shared a unique bond between them, it wasn’t puppy love it seemed almost brotherly. The two boys played together, did homework and schoolwork together, and talked together. She hoped Jaimie might bring Michael out of his shell.
Her heart broke a second time in a matter of weeks when Jaimie’s parents were killed in a car crash that nearly killed him as well. He was in the hospital for months afterward, losing the rest of the school year but getting advanced on the basis of his previous good grades alone. This decision was extremely unpopular with the parents. Dorothy fought them over this, Jaimie’s situation didn’t matter to them they didn’t want the kid in their class anymore. She ignored their complaints and let him advance with his classmates and with the warning that she would fight for her students despite their parental complaints.
When he was finally released he was changed. He attended summer school to bring him up to speed but the bright, loving child she knew was gone. In his place stood a sullen, sad child who was only focused on staying unnoticed and working hard. She felt for him but it wasn’t her place to say or do anything about it, she brought it to the attention of his foster family but they ignored her.
When schools started Jaimie barely spoke to anyone. Michael kept to himself, barely acknowledging his friend Jaimie and ignoring Scott altogether. The other students picked up on both of their personality changes and abided by their unspoken requests, giving them all the space they wanted. Michael’s behavior just fueled the fires against his mother, Dorothy fielded some complaints about him but told off the parents for being idiots and to actually bring her valid complaints not gossip fueled drivel.
Scott West saw the most drastic change among the boys. He was a bully now, using his size to intimidate and harass the smaller students. Jaimie immediately became a target, with Scott going out of his way to intimidate him. Jaimie didn’t give in, he didn’t pay attention to anyone at all just to himself.
Scott spent much of his time before and after school in her office doing tasks to get him over his behavior but it always seemed to be for naught. He was a good student but he hid his smarts and whenever he did great it was always followed by acts of violence and bullying that cemented his reputation as a bad boy among the students. She was concerned but there was nothing she could really do until he crossed the line, which he was careful to skirt but never cross. The boy he knew was seemingly gone, replaced with what his mother would have hated.
For two years she endured this silent chaos. She kept Scott in check but Jaimie and Michael grew worse. Valerie tried to help him but things weren’t going well on that front. She got over her grief but stayed away from townsfolk. The two talked but Dorothy kept their social interaction to a minimum out of respect for Valerie’s wishes. She sensed that Valerie didn’t want her reputation to ruin Dorothy’s which she was grateful for but saddened at the same time.
Jaimie continued to be isolated and was frequently moved around in the county among the foster homes. Her foster parents were some of the worst people she ever encountered, almost as bad as Scott’s father. She could understand why Jaimie would become so isolated but she couldn’t help him regardless of her feelings. It ate away frequently at Dorothy and she would do whatever she could to help, but within reason. Jaimie eventually refused all help, just going through the motions and deal with school and home life without a word to anyone. He had given up on the world.
Things took a drastic turn when a stranger appeared in Newhall. Over the summer he befriended both Michael and Valerie and immediately had the town in an uproar. He kept to himself, but he would spend money like it was going out of style helping several businesses stay open with his purchases and giving money to the schools for needed programs that were in danger of being cut.
In early September at the town council meeting he proposed a crazy idea for a tutoring system for the children. This he guaranteed would work and bring them into line with state standards and more importantly bring the town money from the state. He was reluctantly pushed to actually put his words to action when nobody would teach the history part of the program making him the de-facto tutor for that subject.
What surprised her was Valerie stood up for him and vouched for him. He had the means to help them other ways but she pushed his experiences with it as being the main force. Valerie wouldn’t do this unless it was true, so she signed off on it pending a background check which he passed easily.
When he met with Dorothy things got interesting. He had ideas on how to move forward with the plans, ideas that shocked and wowed her. These ideas were eerily familiar, so much so that she looked at this man, John Finn, and saw her beloved Jaimie in him. She had to help him, he was doing what Jaimie always wanted to do but was never able to.
Right away his style was a hit and the students reciprocated with stronger grades and immediate grasps of the subject. By November other tutors were emulating his style and by the New Year he was overseeing all tutoring. She had to take over the math portion though, John was weak in that subject and couldn’t spare the time to do it. She worked a way of incorporating his style into it with John gladly giving her praise for her unique take.
By April things were going full speed for the program but John had seen something that troubled him deeply. He confided in her that he saw something wrong in Jaimie that needed to be addressed. He offered to hire him to help with the tutoring so he could afford the basics like clothes and food that he was lacking from the foster care. Dorothy agreed to this but needed his foster parents’ approval which John sought.
Meeting with Dorothy again John was disturbed. Something about Jaimie was troubling him still. He kept at it until she agreed to let him talk with Jaimie’s social worker about it. What he suspected she also suspected but was unable to do anything about, but after talking with John she felt that maybe John might be right and it should be done anyway.
That meeting occurred with Mark Sylvester agreeing with John about there being something wrong with Jaimie. John agreed to pay for treatment for him if they would only seek it, with Mark agreeing to this provided it proved true. Dorothy just sat back and tried to hide a smile, the man had a heart of gold and put his money where his mouth is.
A commotion outside the office set the three into action. Jaimie was being beaten up by Scott and was thankfully stopped by John and Mark. Dorothy had to take care of the disciplinary action so let Mark and John go. When she came back in later she learned they both had departed with Jaimie. She grew scared for the boy but knowing John she felt he was about to do something bold and for Jaimie’s benefit.
Monday she got the news about Jaimie from Ms. Albert and John. John was now his foster parent with Mark giving his full blessing. Jaimie would undergo examinations to see what was wrong with him and if all went well he would be able to start anew with John having his back. She suspected John was also secretly happy to have helped but he didn’t let on too much.
The next morning John told Dorothy that he was right, the doctor confirmed it. She felt sorry for the boy but knew it was something that should have been found out long ago. John gave her a bigger bombshell when he asked for time off from school because of required meetings. Dorothy gave him her blessing but wanted Jaimie to keep up in school and do extra to offset the loss of class time. John laughed and told her that was exactly what he told Ms. Albert.
She could see a change in Jaimie over that week. He was happier and more open with her classmates. Michael kept close to him, the two becoming friends again. He even started to interact with the girls in his class, with Jessica Nelson getting a lot of attention from him but also some of their other classmates. The two boys were starting to befriend others which made her heart melt.
Scott kept his distance from Jaimie, always on the lookout for others but not approaching Jaimie unless someone was nearby. It was odd behavior for him, it was as if he didn’t act unless someone was watching him. Scott kept to himself, and if not for his two compatriots he would be all alone. He was more isolated than Jaimie, which concerned her but not enough to act on it.
On Monday morning she received an odd phone call. A principal by the name of Alice Rodriguez called from the city of Winnisimmet, Massachusetts to thank me for allowing a girl by the name of Jaimie McKinnon to accompany her foster father on his trip. This was odd but what concerned her was that she mentioned the tutoring program and that Jaimie had told her about it. She said John Finn had run it which confirmed her suspicions that it was John and Jaimie but she didn’t understand the gender confusion.
John stopped by her office to update her on what happened and confessed the truth. John got her assurance that she would stand behind Jaimie no matter what was said to the point of legal support if needed. He was deadly serious and she felt she knew already what was going on.
She listened closely. Her feelings were right, Jaimie was like her own beloved Jaimie. Jaimie was a girl in her heart and her mind but not in her body. John had her full support and she would help Jaimie in any way when she was ready to reveal her true self to the world. She did ask that she hold out until the end of the school year with John agreeing to that.
Dorothy kept a close eye on Jaimie but it was Michael who kept a closer eye on her. The two were acting closer than ever before, but they swore it was just friendship. John and Valerie were becoming closer so maybe the two were seeing something in them that was making them become closer to the point of siblings.
She hoped John would go that route with Jaimie, making her his daughter in the near future. She didn’t think it would happen for a long time, but it was evident that he cared a lot about her. He was the father she needs and if things go well with Valerie she would have the mother she needs as well as the brother she already has.
Time passed quickly and by Memorial Day weekend she was again granting John’s request for a couple of days off. This time he asked for Michael to be allowed time off as well which she abided by but with the stipulation that they write a report on the trip. She also slipped in it was best to ensure no incriminating photographs were included so Jaimie was protected.
When the group returned west Dorothy saw something that excited her, Valerie had a ring and John was feeling great. The kids were both happier and it was apparent that they had manipulated things to get them together. She was happy for her friend and proud that the kids were working to ensure their parents were happy together.
Mark had some suggestions for John to help Jaimie which she parroted. She was to make friends with her classmates and others if possible, Michael couldn’t be her only friend. The girls were friendly with her and befriended her easily, even if they only saw her as a boy. Michael got a few boys to be good to her but it was clear to anyone who looked closely that she was uncomfortable.
More time passed and John had visitors which intrigued her. The two were twins, his niece and nephew. They were the talk of the school on Friday and with her permission John’s niece assisted Ms. Albert’s class for the day. She was a good influence on the class with the boys enamored with her “maturity” and the girls emulating her style and mannerisms.
The good fortunes for Jaimie came crashing down that Sunday night. Dorothy was told about her school having a “tranny freak” by several parents and immediately she called the school’s lawyer to let him know that the school would have to stand behind their student whether he liked it or not. There was no arguing, not unless he wanted himself to be in legal trouble for refusing to abide by his contract with the town and the school.
Monday morning Ms. Albert sought her advice and was told to go on as normal and to send troublemakers her way. She made it clear that she was supporting Jaimie and would not allow Ms. Albert to let her be hurt for her own benefit. Any hassle she received would be directed to Dorothy and Dorothy alone, she was not to get involved with the parents.
Unfortunately she got bogged down with complaining parents and couldn’t be there for Jaimie for a bit. This short time away was all that was needed as Scott West and his friends assaulted Jaimie violently. She had to be rushed to the hospital and while there were witnesses nobody would say anything for fear of reprisals against them.
Scott was visibly shaken. This wasn’t his normal bullying, it was as if he was acting on someone’s orders. She tried to get him to confess but he clammed up and wouldn’t talk to anyone. She had to let him and his friends go but she warned him that she was watching him and would find a way to make him pay for what he had done. He was on the verge of tears as she said that, quietly saying “I know”.
News the next day was bad. John was going to lose Jaimie that Friday. The county was trying to take her away on the basis of John being unfit. There was talk that there could be abuse charges as well after she was removed but nobody could tell what they were stemming from or why, the only thing that would appear to be the reason was her gender change and that was a load of garbage as she knew it.
Dorothy wasn’t asked to testify by either side. John texted her to tell her he wanted her to keep as clean as possible in case this went against him. She was furious but he was adamant that she keep clear for her own sake.
John won out, getting the county prosecutor and town doctor arrested in the process and ensuring that the state would become involved in the town’s and county’s affairs. She quietly waited for the inevitable backlash but the teachers prepared to cover their own tails and kept their comments to themselves. The students were both happy and sad that Jaimie had been hurt so badly and her private life exposed to all, her classmates took the issue hard but let things settle so they could end the year better.
Things were quiet until Wednesday morning. John and his new family visited to let the kids take their tests in peace. She abided by her word and stood by Jaimie, firing a secretary who refused to help create copies of Michael and Jaimie’s school records. Jaimie may have been leaving the town but she was still a student and Dorothy would not let someone discriminate against a student.
Dorothy escorted Jaimie to Ms. Albert’s class so she and Michael could say goodbye. The sight of Jaimie in a dress was expected but the reaction by most of the boys was pure surprise. They looked like they had seen the prettiest girl in the world, which to many of them they had. The girls embraced her and treated her as one of their own.
There were two jerks in the lot, Scott’s so-called friends were showing their true colors and who were the real bullies in school. Surprisingly Scott didn’t react, he just had remorse in his eyes. She pulled out the two troublemakers but left Scott behind to face his fate, knowing Jaimie’s reaction would paint his future with the school. The two boys who taunted Jaimie were suspended with the suspensions going into the new year, from what John said Scott just hugged Jaimie after she hugged him and left things unsettled.
Dorothy called a school assembly and put up with the complaints from teachers but what she heard was shocking and surprising. Jaimie had given the school a large grant to upgrade the school to one of the most up to date in the state. Jaimie left on top of the world, leaving behind a legacy that was positive instead of the pariah and freak that many saw her as.
Dorothy accepted Jaimie’s gift on the spot and despite attempts from local politicians to hone in on the project she kept it above their heads and worked with the state. She endured months of harassment from the county and town but she slowly and steadily worked her way towards rebuilding the school. She was enduring pressure against her but she soldiered on with Jaimie’s vision for the school.
By October she was told that the town was removing her from her job by the end of the year. The powers that be did not want a free spirit with a spine who wasn’t afraid to back her students, they wanted a puppet. The project was constantly stalled and there was little support in the town thanks to the fear of reprisals from the powerful residents.
Things changed suddenly in mid-October as the state became actively involved. The upgrades were quick and renovations were set to take place slowly at first then swing into high gear during the summer. The biggest surprise was she was directly involved now with the project manager going to her instead of the town, something that was not supposed to happen. The town itself was disincorporated and the county put under heavy supervision by the state, with the county government being investigated for their actions and the former town council being found to be corrupt to the point of all members receiving prison terms.
The Finn Family visited in December and updated her on their life with Dorothy doing the same regarding the school. She was proud to see how beautiful Jaimie was becoming, she was unrecognizable now. The two visited their former classmates with Jessica Nelson immediately embracing Jaimie while the others looked on in both shame and surprise.
They brought a big gift to Dorothy- a job offer. They explained the circumstances and Dorothy agreed to interview for the job. She even accepted their offer to stay with them, enjoying the chance to see the family in their new life. That January she was surprised to see how well Jaimie had adjusted, with her visit marking the first time she had ever been humbled by such a student.
She got to see John working his magic on his fellow college students when a mistake was made about the tutoring program’s origins. Her real purpose for her trip that January was a job interview with Dorothy passing it with flying colors and earning her the top choice for the job. John assured her she was going to have one, if it wasn’t in his city it would be in a neighboring one.
Things got back to normal for her but the biggest surprise was a visit the week of President’s Day. The Finns returned and with them were representatives from their city. Dorothy accepted her job offer at a special school assembly and watched as Jaimie and her new friend Jenna were made sensations of the school. She saw the other news that John brought, the Finns were expecting with Valerie and John all aglow. She never felt more pride in Valerie and was glad she found John. She missed that sensation of motherhood but seeing her friend happy made that feeling go away.
The announcement that she was leaving after the school year went over as expected. Some were happy for her, others were angered. Most though felt she didn’t deserve her job and only got it due to the Finns. She ignored the criticism but by April her job was made almost impossible by the county overseers and parents of influence.
John Finn helped her out and had her move east early. She was given an apartment for the time being and had a group of kids help her move in. The number of kids overwhelmed her but hearing that they were all friends of Jaimie and Michael made her heart warm.
Her job at Winnisimmet Middle School wasn’t exactly easy yet it wasn’t that hard for her. The parents were the same, but with so many supporters from the Finn Family it seemed easier than before. John was a source of pride for the school, his son and daughter were top students and their friends were model students even if they didn’t share the high grades.
The only problem seemed to be Martin Poland, the 8th grade history teacher. He was dull, refused to change his style to new standards, and often argued with students. She hated the man immensely but unless he did something that was a problem to the school he was staying put. She sensed this would be trouble when John got involved so she tried hard through the year to put out potential fires between the two.
The other thorn was Penelope Clarence and her family. They were terrible people, blatantly racist and homophobic. Once she learned Jaimie was transgendered she tried everything possible to have Jaimie removed from the school system, failing constantly but vowing to see that she was removed no matter the means. When she finally overstepped things and ended up arrested Dorothy proudly had her banned from setting foot on school grounds again.
By February John had brought new gifts to her. Scott West and his cousin Jessica Nelson appeared with the Finns helping them out. Scott’s real story shocked and sickened her. Tiffany’s death was the catalyst in his change but it was his father that was the source. She felt like she betrayed her friend in not seeing the problem sooner but she vowed that she would make it up to her some way.
Mr. Poland didn’t like that Scott and Jessica were joining his class and Dorothy had to intervene multiple times to get him to stop harassing them. When Mr. Poland finally went too far and badmouthed Jaimie Finn in front of her grandfather she finally had enough ammunition to remove him permanently from teaching in the city.
Her only alternative to Mr. Poland was John Finn and that was her only real choice. If she was honest with herself he was the one she wanted and the students agreed. John was a hit, working well with his fellow teachers and inspiring them to adapt similar teaching styles. Dorothy had unintentionally started a revolution in the school that she was proud to see going forward.
Once the Finns had graduated things quieted down in the school. Dorothy’s no-nonsense approach to bullying and bigotry went over well with the students and parents. She attributed it to the students’ own actions but nobody believed her.
It was the truth, the only significant bullying case was among 6th graders that first year. True to form one of the Finn Family members was involved, John’s “niece”(as she liked to be called) was being bullied by the former bully of the 5th grade. Dorothy watched as the kids ignored her pleas to make Rebecca Lopez into a sex addict or that she was stealing another girl’s boyfriend. The students laughed her off which led to her trying to assault Rebecca which led to Dorothy intervening. That was it, they kept the bullying away from her control.
The next year only saw a few incidents, all of which were directly related to Sam Raymond and her situation. Dorothy supported Sam but was handcuffed when it came to the custody situation. She wanted her to stay with her stepfather but her grandmother won out. It wasn’t until she saw the marks of her abuse towards Sam that she took direct action and helped her get away from her grandmother and eventually into her stepfather’s arms.
As she looks over her students this upcoming year she has a sense of regret. It’s the last year with members of the Finn Family as students for several years, the school just won’t be the same without them. They changed her life for the better and she feels strongly that they are some of the best students ever to cross any school’s threshold.
She also had a sense of loss. She missed her beloved Jaimie deeply. Her death was the hardest thing for Dorothy to deal with and she could never get over it. She was happy to know that her ideas live on in John Finn and his followers. She never told him how much she loved what he was doing but she always sensed that he knew she appreciated it.
Jaimie would be proud of him, especially with her name living on in his daughter. It was almost as if she was Jaimie reborn, but as she should have been not as she was. Jaimie Finn shares so many traits that she has to often stifle herself from mentioning them to her. The little girl didn’t need to know and even though Valerie knew the truth she would never say to Jaimie that she was so much like someone so dear to Dorothy.
Seeing the students pouring in Dorothy felt the tinge of regret. She still missed her son James. He would be 18 now and entering college. She hoped he had a good life and was safe and healthy. She wished she could have been in his life but she knew it wasn’t an option, he needed a strong family and she could never forgive hers for what they had done. She hoped to be reunited with him at some point but that could be a long ways off…
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