As the summer wore on, Brielle found that working at The Boot Factory wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be. She came to enjoy her job and seemed to be getting along with the people there. She learned everything quickly and the supervisors were impressed with her performance. When she began to get paid, she brought home six hundred fifty dollars per week, after taxes. This helped her to keep what was left of the nest egg she’d built in California and not to need to live off it.
Although the first few weeks seemed to fly by and Brielle was doing quite well in her new job, the video she’d taken of the class reunion fiasco continued to spread and she was making enemies she didn’t know she had.
Most of the classmates had seen the video as it made it’s rounds around the world, and they began to panic. What would come of their reputations? Sure, in Thomasville and Glover County, they were well connected and, therefore, well-insulated from any criticism or push-back.
Thomasville is Once Again at Risk of Bad Publicity
At home, they were the sacred cows- the town elites who were beyond reproach. But anywhere outside of Glover County would be a different story. And what if Internal Affairs or the TBI came snooping around? Sheriff Bobby and the rest of Brielle’s former classmates had a lot to worry about. And it was all because Brielle would no longer keep her mouth shut and take any crap from them. She would no longer be silenced.
Over the years, Brielle had grown quite outspoken and confident. She had morphed into a bold woman and come to know what she wanted and what she would never again tolerate. It was this that threatened her classmates and former bullies. For they knew that they no longer had the power over her that they once did, and it shook them to no end, even angered them.
How would they attempt to put that Bennett bitch back in her place? What would they have to do to press their proverbial jackboots on her neck and force her back down this time?
The Making of Unknown Enemies
When the month of August arrived, the weather had gone from a dry heat with a cool breeze to unbearably hot and humid. On the weekends, Brielle would stay home with the kids and allow them to play outside on the condition that the girls get in the shade, in the back yard anytime they felt like they were getting too hot.
Because of work and managing a home and three kids, time seemed to race by. Jane’s fourteenth birthday arrived during the middle of August and Brielle held a birthday party for her. Brielle’s parents, Grandma Bennett, and the rest of the family came to the party, bearing gifts for Jane.
The family gathered in the kitchen as the stereo played the song, “Sweet Jane,” by Cowboy Junkies.
“…Heavenly widened roses
Seem to whisper to me when you smile
Sweet, sweet Jane.”
Brielle stood in the kitchen, decorating Jane’s birthday cake with red roses with red icing on a white frosted cake.
Jane’s Fourteenth Birthday
“Oh, that looks lovely, Brielle. Jane’s going to love her cake!” Marcelle gushed.
“I think so,” Brielle said with a smile.
Jane sat on the patio, looking sad. Grandma Bennett came out and sat with her.
“Jane, what’s with the long face, sweetheart?” the older and wiser woman asked with concern.
“I’m sorry, Grandma Bennett. I’m happy about my birthday but I miss my friends. Last year, I had my friends over for my birthday party back in California and we had such a great time. But I don’t know anybody here. I just miss my friends,” Jane answered in a low voice.
“I know, sweet girl, but you’ll make new friends here too. Just give it time. You’re a pretty girl, you’re super smart, you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, who wouldn’t want to be friends with such an awesome young lady?” Grandma Bennett assured Jane as she put an arm around Jane’s shoulders and gave her a big squeeze, then kissed her on the cheek.
A Scared Teenage Girl and Fear of the Unknown
“Yeah, maybe,” Jane responded in a meh-voice.
Jane knew that she would start school soon. She would start a new school in a new town and she was out of her element. How would her new Tennessee classmates receive her? How would they act toward her?