The Rival Part 4

T.J. co-plotted this part. This is all new and the last flashback. Part 5 is entirely in the present.

Prom night, Porter residence

The family's money woes were angering Monica as she was forced to wear a secondhand dress that she didn't know the origin of. It was beautiful and in her favorite color and fit her body perfectly.

That didn't matter to Monica. It wasn't a new dress, everyone else was wearing new ones except the girl whose dress she ruined and even that it was "upcycled" into a new design. Jeanie refused to tell her where she got it from, she kept that secret from her daughter as the truth would cause her to have a meltdown that she did not need that not. For the first time in months the angry witch had mellowed out as she needed her mother's help and Jeanie was not about to ruin that mood.

Like getting a new dress, Monica demanded to go to a stylist but Jeanie couldn't afford one. She barely had enough to pay for the limo and Monica's date's ticket making Monica have to wear her hair in a modified bob look that fit the dress but wasn't what Monica had envisioned. She wanted extensions, highlights, curls, and bangs but instead had to make due with an easy to reproduce cut that was nice but not her idea of how she had to look that night.

Her date waited outside for her with an annoyed, bored look. He took a look at her as she opened the door and gave her a long wolf-whistle, making Monica blush at the feeling she was getting. Jeanie just shook her head, her date was laying it on thicker than was necessary and drawing attention to himself.

The two left in the cheap limousine, hoping to arrive last so everyone saw Monica but instead was the first there. It was yet another in a long run of disappointments. and failures for Monica This year had been hell for Monica and it was only getting worse.

Summer school, prior to senior year

Monica spent the summer toiling away in school under the watchful eye of Ms. Paula. She hated it there, it was the last place she wanted to be in summer but she needed to pass her history class or she wouldn't advance. It was made worse as she was the only junior there and the only one who was there due to poor grades, the rest were freshmen and sophomores who were out sick for a while or who had given birth during the year and only needed some finishing touches on their work.

Monica was watched like a hawk and unable to use any of her tricks on the others. Her work was entirely different than the others and she had to take all tests orally and alone so there was no chance of her cheating. She passed, but she knew she was not going to graduate without a lot of help from others and she needed to find a new way of getting people to do what she needed to pass without actually having to study or do her homework.

She and her mother Jeanie had moved out of their high priced condo and into a small three bedroom house after Jeanie had been unable to find a decent job and Jeanie repaid the money owed to her ex-husband Shea. She would get a modest child support check until Monica graduated but she was being forced to find work anywhere at a reduced salary which meant Monica was on her own most of the time.

That meant Monica was sleeping with various boys from 14-year-old freshmen to 21-year-old college students, it didn't matter so long as she had a guy in her bed. It was a game to her, she would see how far she could push things before Jeanie said something. She was in control of their relationship and Jeanie had no way to stop her without it hurting herself.

Jeanie didn't bother telling her to stop anyway, she had no fight left in her. She was forced to get a job as a private tutor for a rich kid out on Wellesley. The boy's parents knew about Jeanie's probation and assault conviction and were willing to risk her hurting their son if it meant he was going to do well for them in the future especially as she was a great teacher inside the classroom even if she was a horrible human being outside of it.

Monica had all but given up on her mother as she was in full control of everything at home and used the time to plot a way of getting nailed down to one of the rich boys in school. She knew what it meant, she would have to get pregnant but a little white lie wouldn't hurt and if she played her cards right she would do the deed after graduating and not have a worry anymore. The problem was which boy would be the rube.

Her heart was set on Richard Samuels. Rick, as his new sister had dubbed him, was the one guy who was immune to her charm and pressure and it infuriated her as well as caused her heart to flutter. She had to get him into bed, he was the ultimate prize and through him, she would have a great future filled with money and power. Getting a little revenge against Rick's adopted brother Thomas was an added bonus as was seeing the look on Jaimie Finn's face as Rick got with a "real" girl and not some fake.

The snag was Rick hated her with a passion. Thanks to all of her previous antics Monica could not get close to him and whenever she tried she always met resistance from Jaimie and the rest of her friends. It angered her to no end that such a hot piece of ass was still a virgin and going to waste his seed in a fake vagina owned by someone whom Monica considered a freak of nature. Rick belonged with Monica, not Jaimie.

She had to get something done or she would never get her chance. It was an open secret that the Finn ladies were about to become engaged to their boyfriends and once Rick did that Jaimie Finn and he were going to wed in a year. It was now or never and she would do whatever it took to get it done.

She instead set her sights on Michael Finn. He was easier to get access to as he did the least after school outside of football and martial arts. The others usually left him alone to focus on homework before going to football practice giving Monica plenty of chances to get at him and seduce him before the others realized what she was up to and stopped her.

She had to come up with a counterattack just in case Michael was like Rick and spurned her advances. Her only real option was extorting him but that had to be done delicately and required help. She would be able to do it but it would take time, something that she had to endure while keeping a low profile.

So she had little choice now. She was going to bide her time until she could get an opening and pounce on him, literally and figuratively. Her mother wouldn't stop her and she honestly didn't fear any of the Finn ladies as they would be doing the ultimate he said/she said battle with Monica winning this time as nobody ever believed the boy in this instance.

School started with little fanfare but Monica went right to work trying to get things done so she could focus on her plans. She actually tried to work this year, knowing that she could easily pass her government class and her English class while not needing any other classes to finish as she had passed her science and math requirements already. She simply took easy ones, ones that were padding the schedule but were actually good for her as it turned out Michael was in one of them and by pure luck was seated next to her.

Michael tried his hardest to ignore Monica but their teacher required them to work together and she specifically assigned the partners based on reputation and needs. Michael was the talented stockbroker while Monica was the coasting school slut, he needed to help her through the year or he'd suffer the consequences of Monica's laziness. Their teacher was hoping for something to happen to knock Michael down a few pegs, she was jealous that the boy was so highly regarded by the business department while she had failed in her own attempt at working in the industry.

After class, Michael laid out the situation: she had to do her own work and nobody else could do it for her, he wasn't going to let her coast by on her looks alone leaving him to take up her slack. He wasn't falling for her trap like other boys had done in the past. Monica had to either do the work of he would gladly drop the class and use his job to get work study credit instead.

Michael got a lot of flak and ribbing from classmates over being paired with Monica. Most of his teammates thought he was the luckiest guy in school as he was being forced to have Monica over his house and would get to go over her house frequently. That was the worst thing to say as their coaches quickly told the group to shut their trap, he was forced into that partnership and it would be rectified shortly if he wanted it to.

Michael didn't ask what they meant, he simply went about his normal routine. Head football coach Sean Kelly, formerly Sean Beretta, kept a close eye on the girls eyeing the team and knew that Monica was up to something and it didn't involve their schoolwork. Michael didn't deserve to be forced to suffer because a lazy brat was forced on him by a jealous teacher, someone who should know better given their history and someone who was facing down being disciplined for trying to fail a student without reason for actions that he didn't do.

Monica never took her eyes off Michael. Shawn Xavier told her to scram but she stuck close to the field but not hindering anything or causing any trouble. Some of the football players tried to get her attention but Sean shot them down with a harsh "boys, there are some girls that are just too much trouble to deal with. That young lady is trouble, get involved with her and you will end up on the wrong side of the law or on the wrong end of a paternity test. She isn't hanging around to get in your pants, she has her guy targeted and if you think you are going to get in her pants by helping her you have another thing coming. You may get a taste of her forbidden fruit but she only has eyes for certain boys and I can guarantee that none of is the one she really wants. Stay away."

A couple of the freshmen didn't listen to Sean and walked home with Monica after practice. She just grinned and flirted and within seconds had won them over and had them doing what she wanted. The boys would help her out, they, in turn, would get what they had desired most- sex with a pretty girl.

Monica let them inside her house and had sex with both almost immediately then encouraged them to enjoy one another while she "recharged" for the next round. She secretly filmed them going at it then joined in again before kicking them out, telling them that she was going to see them the next day. After they left she edited the video and held it online so nobody could get at it.

They repeated it again the next day, this time with more boys. Monica recorded everything and had the four boys going at one another even without her prompting. She had all four boys on video but stupidly didn't realize that she herself was captured on camera this time with all four boys having sex with her on video.

After a week the boys were ready to help her out. First, she needed them to get close to Michael and have him act as a mentor to them while really gleaning information and gaining his trust as a teammate. The boys did everything she asked for and she was giddy with Michael falling for their trap while holding true to his word and helping her work on their class assignments before practice but also making her do her own work as well.

During their afternoon sessions in the library, Monica was always sitting close to Michael so they could talk quietly. She would casually probe him with subtle questions while trying to see if she could get a rise out of him. Michael tuned her out and only focused on their assignments and after several failed flirtations he called it a day and left in a huff while Monica had a big smirk on her face.

Michael didn't see the camera carefully hidden in the stacks by his teammates, but Monica saw it and knew just what to say and do to make it look like she was kissing with him while they were doing their work. It was devious, but it worked. Monica edited the videos of the two and held onto them until the time was right and she could use them to get her man whether he wanted her or not.

Michael was no fool, he never went anywhere without his trusty digital recorder and everything they had said to one another was recorded on it. Monica's subtle manipulations were on there, as were Michael's refusing to reciprocate her affections and refusing to fall for her tricks. He happily downloaded each and sent them to his cousin Rachel to backup and keep safe just in case someone hacked his laptop or stole his portable hard drive, they might delete a copy but they wouldn't delete them all.

Their finance class was actually going badly for Michael. Monica was reverting to her lazy streak and making him do all of the work which he refused to do causing problems with their assignments as they were always halfway done. Their teacher was no help, she actually chastised Michael for not working with Monica despite it being clear that he was doing all of the work.

After six weeks Michael had finally had enough and went to the main office to ask to drop the class. Jake Bollinger simply read the critiques and nodded in agreement. Michael was done in that class, he had no real use for it and didn't need to still go if he was being negatively impacted by it.

Jake walked to the classroom and called the teacher out then berated her over her treatment of Michael for doing his own work and not helping a student coast by. She should have been praising Michael and going after Monica instead, not making Michael out to be a horrible student for not doing what she demanded him to do. He then further added that she had no right o use her own lack of success against him as he had earned his stripes in the marketplace and was only taking the class because it was the only class that was open for him to take at that time and he was actually more qualified to teach it than her.

She snapped and went at Michael for costing her husband his job three years before. He was actually one of the executives that were fired for defrauding the brokerage firm after Michael found their theft of other brokers' rightly earned transaction commissions. She had gotten the job to make some money while her husband tried desperately to get back into the game and start up his own firm, he himself was still paying off debts to his former company making no actual money from his work.

Jake shook his head and happily told her "you are done here next semester. We will find someone who can easily replace you, there are a lot of recent graduates who are biding their time until a job in the field opens up and have the right credentials to teach. Michael is an asset to your class, your pettiness cost your students a chance to earn a lot of money as well as see the fun part of your profession. He could still do that as a tutor, in fact, I think it would be a good idea. However, you will have no interaction with him and everything done will be done under strict oversight by his current boss."

Jake pulled Monica aside and growled at her "you are walking a thin tightrope this year. You have reached the point of no return, you have to pass everything to graduate. This class may be nothing to you but English, government, and math are. You actually failed all four quarters in math due to us finding some notes hidden in the chair and table you sat at last year that was in your handwriting that just so happened to have the answers to several tests including the final. You are getting a student teacher in Mr. Stoner's English class, don't think that she will let you coast by and pull your usual shenanigans as she is a master at spotting things that are wrong including cheating. Enjoy her, I think you will find yourself challenged in multiple ways."

Michael heard what Jake said and asked: "so we really are getting Deborah?" Jake laughed and added a hearty "did you really think she wouldn't get assigned the worst class alongside the best one? Of course, you get her! Actually, Justin Stoner is a good man despite being a tough grader and shares a lot of history with Deborah that may help him open up more. He knows what he likes and he liked her writing and her style. Your father arranged Deborah to be placed here in hopes of obtaining a job but Justin asked for her personally."

Monica waited until after school to confront Michael about him dropping the class. Michael expected this and bluntly told her "I'm not your patsy and I will never be your boyfriend. I am in love with a beautiful woman who is smart, funny, caring, compassionate, affectionate, and sisterly. She is my dream girl and I am not about to drop her for someone who has no morals, ethics, or decency let alone self-respect. Don't think I didn't know your whole plot, you thought you could seduce me into doing everything for you then get me to knock you up. Well, it failed. I don't need the class and I assure as hell don't need you. Goodbye."

Monica was left to figure out her next move. Her boy toys were going to be needed but she had to wait to strike back at Michael as she would be immediately disbelieved should she put her plan into place right away. This called for patience, something that she was starting to learn was a virtue especially as her life got busier and more complicated.

In school, the new student teachers took over their classes with Deborah Peterson teaching freshman and senior English in the fall, both under the watchful eye of her mentor Justin Stoner. Right away she spotted who were going to be the problem students and who were going to be the shining lights in class. Monica was immediately pegged as being the problem student simply by the way she acted once she saw Deborah in front of the class, her sneer was a dead giveaway but her arrogance and sense of elitism that she constantly exuded while interacting with her classmates was a close second.

At home, Jeanie had used some of her former colleagues to give her the lowdown on the newest student teacher. What she heard outraged her and made her want to pull Monica from the class. There was a problem though, Monica had turned 18 in early September and was now an adult. Monica couldn't afford to change classes and wasn't about to let Jake win before she had started to fight. She was left to endure Deborah or else kiss her chances of graduating goodbye.

Monica went into class knowing Deborah's history. She told everyone in the class just what Deborah really was and earned a lot of cold stares and disbelieving looks. For once Monica had told the truth yet her prior lies and attempts to bring down the Finns had caused her truth to be ignored as another lie!

Justin got up in front of the class and addressed the issue directly regarding Deborah. He happily announced "as it is a growing issue among you and with the blessing of Mrs. Peterson I'm going to speak on the matter only once. Mrs. Peterson was born male and before you ask she is a complete female. She is also married to an amazing engineer who has just been awarded three patents for his industrial valve and socket designs. If I hear anyone insulting her I will not hesitate to kick you out of class. I am looking at you, Monica Porter! Your reputation precedes you or did you forget all the times I was standing close by as you insulted Mrs. Peterson's cousin Jaimie?"

The class let out a quiet "oh shit" as they realized Deborah was well connected. Justin happily added "Deborah just happens to be Claire Peterson's sister as well as Stacy Lopez and Jaimie, Michael, and Miles Finn's first cousin. That's not counting being the daughter of Ms. Vega over at the middle school." His words loomed large over the class as Deborah started her lecture then handed out their assignments.

Monica was kept under close watch by Deborah for the next two weeks. Deborah didn't trust her and could see that she was clearly using others to help her write her assignments. From reading the curriculum she could see they were freshmen or sophomores, from seeing her around the school it was clear they were freshmen and ones who were getting sex for helping Monica as Deborah knew for a fact that she had no money to pay the boys.

She shook her head in disgust. The girl was just like so many boys and girls she knew back in high school. She spent more time trying to get out of doing work than she could have spent actually doing the work, she could have been a top student if she only focused on improving herself not her status nor exacting her petty revenge.

At home every day Monica had to complain to Jeanie about Deborah making her look foolish in front of the class. Jeanie tuned out Monica, it was a fight she didn't want to make anymore. She hated transgender people but she wasn't about to go toe to toe with Valerie Finn again especially as her niece was well connected academically and had a strong mentor protecting her in Justin.

The last time cost Jeanie her pride and joy- her job. Going against Valerie this time especially with Deborah being a relative of hers rather than the foster daughter of a friend she could lose her freedom. Monica had to deal with her on her own and do it soon or she was going to tell her to get out of her house. She would choose herself over her daughter's pettiness, it was a rare time when her self-preservation was the right choice to make.

Monica's laziness and attempts at getting others to do her dirty work finally caught up to her as Deborah confronted her in class about her most recent writing assignment. Monica defended it and told her it was good to which Deborah smirked and added "of course it's good, it was a thesis written by a professor of mine. I have a copy at home, I recognize the style and word choice specifically the jokes. You didn't write this, she did."

Deborah then showed a website that she had found on the school computers thanks to a specific network monitoring program. It was copy and pasted two days before from the library computers and done while Monica was logged in. She just grinned and pointed out "you haven't done a single thing in class since I took over. All of your written assignments were done by the boys you hang out with in the library and it reflected in your test grade. I'm sorry but you are automatically failed for the quarter."

Monica tried to swear but held her tongue. She walked home and angrily told her mother that she was failed for the quarter thanks to the tranny witch. Jeanie just shook her head and told her that she was 18, it was her own fight now. If she was going to take on Deborah she had better have something powerful in her arsenal because she was not going to go down without a big fight.

Monica stewed in her room and came up with a slew of potential lies that would cause a firestorm against Deborah. She sent out anonymous emails to the media about a transgender teacher molesting students at the school and that the school was trying to cover it up by targeting students who tried to say something against it. It was simple but effective, there were enough sharks in the Boston area to ensure that someone would bite.

The next day she had her four guys work together to come up with a story that framed Deborah while keeping Monica out of the line of fire. They didn't ask why she was doing it, all they were concerned about was getting more sex. She gave it to them and ensured they weren't caught with her, but it was clear to all of the freshmen guys that she was sleeping with the four.

It took a week but the first of the sharks started to sniff around the school. Monica was quick to talk with them and got the boys to lie, claiming Deborah was threatening them if they didn't do what she wanted especially as she was well connected and they wee new to the school. Monica coached them on where, when, and how things were done but did so where nobody would see or hear them.

The vultures staked out the school and tried to interview Deborah but were run off by John and Jake. Jake smelled something fishy and had Valerie investigate, getting a startling claim from the producers while William Kelly, a family member and columnist for one of the newspapers, got the full story along with the emails sent to the reporter assigned to the story.

Monica thought she was slick in using the boys' school email accounts but her timing was wrong as it was proven the boys couldn't have sent them and in fact had little contact with Deborah as they were in a separate cluster and had English with another teacher. The usage of CCTV cameras in the classroom to record her teaching sunk the claims further with Monica not accounting for them being present as she tuned out Justin the first day of school when he told them what they were doing and she was too busy sneering at Deborah to hear that they were always on when she was in the room with them.

The boys were called before Jake, the school department lawyer, DCF representatives, and members of the state police investigating the claims. The boys were scared to death of what was going on and their story quickly fell apart as they were interviewed separately. They refused to tell who was responsible but it was clear to Jake and Deborah the ringleader behind the lies was Monica as all four had ties to her thanks to the school rumor mill and close observations by teammates and classmates.

Deborah was cleared and the media forced to apologize to both the school and Deborah with the newspapers being shamed by shareholders into making donations to various charities that Deborah had suggested. Deborah gave them a strong parting shot, saying firmly "I may be transgender but I have to abide by the same rules that all follow. I am happily married, go out of my way to keep kids safe, and ensure that my mentor approves of everything that I do. Your own ignorance could have ruined my life, all because a single student can't accept that people are different. That's your real story: a young woman tries for the fourth time to ruin the life of another person."

Monica had to lay low for a week, staying home with Jeanie covering for her. Jeanie didn't dare say "I told you so" but it was clear that she was upset that Monica was so stupid and for once actually risked being arrested for her stupidity. Jeanie was finished helping her daughter after this final debacle, whatever she did after that was on Monica as she wouldn't help her anymore.

Monica didn't learn, she doubled down on going after Michael. This time she decided to go right at him and kiss him full on the lips then thank him for the amazing night. The boys were recording it as Michael tried to get away, eventually making contact with Monica who cried called out for help.

This got a response from the school officer who held up Michael while he tried to figure out what was really happening. Monica tried to claim that he hit her after she tried to break things off with him. She had her lackeys claim it was true while they showed the video of Michael hitting Monica's chest as he broke her grip, captured just at the right moment to make him look bad.

Michael was taken to the office while Monica was directed to the nurse to get her arm and chest looked at to see if she had any marks. Inside the office, Michael was berated by the officer for hitting a girl, especially one who was clearly trying to be nice to him. He went at Michael heavy and hard until John cleared his voice getting his attention.

John then announced "you are lucky that you didn't make contact with my son or I'd have your badge. As it stands you are getting reassigned because you are not going to remain here if this is how you treat victims of false accusations." The officer tried to threaten John but John just shook his head and called his cousin Willie Pena who had the officer explain his actions then report to him immediately for debriefing and reassignment.

Jake shook his head and asked firmly "did you record it?" Michael showed the recorder and played back everything with Monica clearly trying to entice him and Michael telling her to leave him alone. Jake then watched the video while John laughed, it was badly recorded and the boys were caught talking about what was going to happen before it happened showing that it was staged to go after Michael while Monica was made to look like a victim.

The boys were sent for and asked to explain themselves. When the recording was played and the video shown they swore and tried to weasel out of it until they gave in and admitted that Monica set it up. Jake grinned and gave them a month's worth of detention while adding that they were finished with football for the year and would have to earn their spot the next year if not the year after.

Monica was sent for and told that her boy toys had ratted her out. She tried to deny it but the evidence was there. She got another month long suspension alongside two months of detention and assured herself that she outright failed the first quarter in English while barely scraping by in her other classes. She wasn't in danger of flunking out or repeating yet but if she didn't calm down she was going to face a big battle.

Monica's revenge was swift, she went after the boys with a vengeance. She edited the sex videos and leaked them to the biggest gossipers in school then the biggest bullies. The four boys never stood a chance as they were laughed at and called all sort of gay slurs while enduring a nasty assault in the locker room by the biggest homophobes in school.

The boys had no way out of so two finally confessed that yes they were gay while the other two tried in vain to prove they weren't gay. It took the intervention of Raul Rodriguez and his girlfriend, Avery James, to stop the worst offenders, with the two helping the two heterosexual boys out while ensuring that everyone knew that they were under their protection. Avery was the sister-in-law of a police officer while Raul was the nephew of a federal agent and a tough as nails lawyer, both had heavy ties to the Finn family which allowed them a lot of leeway and clout.

The boys did better under Raul's protection while earning the respect and affection of Avery's best friends. The two girls were unattached and the more they were around the boys the more they started to fall for them. The boys, in turn, were seeing that they didn't have to do anything besides being themselves to get attention from girls which caused them to finally see that Monica was a classic leech who just used them for her own needs while giving them a little sex but a lot of trouble.

The video didn't escape the notice of the authorities. Jake had the police review it and while they couldn't tell who took it they were able to determine that it was an amateur job done by someone who used the boys. Jake had his suspicions that it was Monica but without hard evidence, she wasn't able to be charged with anything yet.

Once Monica's suspension was up she was given her final warning to lay low by Jeanie. Jeanie herself had gotten trouble for Monica's actions as her bosses didn't like having her leave early to cover for Monica yet again. Monica was given her ultimatum: lay low for a while or she was out on the streets. She no longer had anything to hold over her mother's head, it was Jeanie's house and she was 18 now.

Monica simply went about her business at school. She got voted into office again by the horny boys but she hadn't bothered with her usual antics against Jaimie. Courtney Bollinger(as her name had been changed to) was class president while Claire Peterson and Jaimie Finn were vice president and secretary for their class making Monica have to be on her beset behavior or never be allowed to speak.

Monica's only issues that winter was the constant preparations for the prom. She hated that Reed Pena was taking Courtney's younger sister Jessie to the prom with him. She was just a sophomore who had no business at the prom much less with a boy of Reed's rugged good looks. In her mind, she should be the one taking him if he was going to go, not Jessie.

She almost had enough votes to ban Jessie but a point of order was made that showed that there was nothing in the rules barring someone who was a student even if she or he was not in the junior or senior year. This meant that Jessie was allowed to attend, she just had to have parental permission. Given that her uncle Jake was going to be there it was a moot point as he would be allowed to sign off on her behalf making all attempts to bar her pointless.

Monica fought for hours and actually opened up a can of worms that nobody had thought of as Reed was potentially going to be going to three consecutive proms thanks to Jessie being a year behind him. Randy Leeds simply told them that he'd have to obtain permission from the prom committee and from the principal to attend in two years but given who he had as parents and with Jake as principal it was a done deal. Monica had completely lost all points with Courtney grinning widely as she watched Monica sulk over losing yet another battle with the group.

Her next crusade was for prom queen and it was a battle that was tough to fight and even tougher to win. Jaimie Finn was the odds-on favorite for the title. Stacy Lopez was the consensus second choice with Courtney being the third choice. Monica fought hard to get attention and bribe everyone possible, even going so far as to help the Juniors with tips for passing the department's tests as well as understanding the school's Shakespeare unit in English.

The days leading up to the announcements were tense as Monica campaigned day and night and had to sleep with a lot of boys to get them to vote for her while getting a few girls to do the same. She even went so far as to beg several junior boys for help, with the boys roughing up several groups of students but nobody was able to overcome Jaimie's lead.

The more she worked on the prom the less she did in class which was bringing her grades down again. She had barely passed the departmental midterms and passed the 2nd quarter with "C" grades in all but English which she failed due to Mr. Stoner constantly rejecting her work for being written by others, which was actually true. The third quarter was another down quarter for her as she reverted to her old antics and grew lazy and saw her grades slip to the point that if she didn't get her act together she was in danger of flunking the year which would mean she wouldn't graduate.

The thought horrified her but her vanity overruled her rational judgment. She was solely focused on the prom and in the weeks leading up to it, all other things stopped mattering. Jeanie simply left her alone, her mind was made up that she'd kick her daughter out after the school year ended and move away to another city. She was done in Winnisimmet even if her daughter wasn't. It was her problem now.

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