Caroline

This one is from Bridge Over Sand.


Caroline is an engineer. She’s realizing that very little has changed since middle-school.

CAROLINE
When I was in seventh grade we had to do these projects, these projects where we got partnered up with people. And I got partnered up with Billy, who was awful. He was like one of the hangers on, y’know, he like hung around the popular kids and hoped to get invited places with them but behind his back they called him pizza face. You know the type. So when Mr. McCloskey announced the partners Billy made this like audible groan, y’know, for the whole class, ’cause he had alot he had to prove. So we exchanged phone numbers and after school I called him so we could coordinate about the project. But he never called me back. And in school I tried to talk to him to coordinate about the project, but he would just call me names and tell people I was only talking to him because I liked him. In the end we never got together at all. And I made the whole map of the triangle trade myself, with little diagrams showing the sugar cane, rum, fish and slaves, and little tall ships that moved through slits in the cardboard from West Africa, to the South, to New England, and across to England. I wrote the paper too. When it was time to give the presentations he grabbed the map and the paper and wrote his name on it, and stood there silently while I delivered the whole presentation, and showed how the boats moved. I got an A on it. Mr. McCloskey was very impressed. He congratulated us for making such a conclusive and detailed report. After class I went to Mr. McCloskey and I told him that Billy didn’t do any of the work at all, that he wouldn’t even talk to me about the project, that he shouldn’t get the A, I should. And you know what he said? He said Get used to it. That’s what happens to women, he said, they do all the work and men take all the credit. I just chalked it up to him being an asshole but I guess he was right.

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