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Seventeen-year-old Dawn Johnson lives with her parents, Joseph and Carolyn, and her two older brothers, Jack, who’s 19, and 18-year-old Patrick. They’re both in college. Dawn is in her final year at Greater New Bedford Vocational Regional Technical High School. She majors in medical assistant.
Her parents have rules: bedtime is 10:00pm on school nights and dating curfew is 10:00pm on school nights and 10:30pm on weekends. Dawn doesn’t mind about that at all.
She met a boy, Jacob James, who had just moved from Somerset. They have been friends for the past two weeks. In fact, Dawn has a secret crush on him. He doesn’t know it yet. She had just broken up with Paul Jackson who cheated on her. She was heartbroken. Her best friends, Cecil LaBode and Lucy Brinks, were mad at him for what he did. They felt sorry for their friend.
At lunch, Dawn joined the girls. Lucy majors in Culinary Arts and Cecil’s shop is Fashion Design. It’s the class cycle right now.
“I have a secret. I like Jacob. He’s nice and a great friend. He doesn’t know it yet,” said Dawn.
“Our lips are sealed,” promised Cecil.
“Yeah,” agreed Lucy.
“He’d treat me better than Paul,” said Dawn.
“I know he would,” said Cecil.
“Jack’s girlfriend, Jill, is pregnant. They told us last night. Her mother pressured her to have an abortion,” said Dawn.
“Wow,” said Lucy.
“What about your parents?” asked Cecil.
“They’d be supportive no matter what they decide. The only thing is that Jill refused to have an abortion, she just doesn’t believe in it. But she’s not ready to be a mother yet. She wants to finish college; she has two years left. Jack’s the same way. So, they both came up with a solution: they decided to give the baby up for an open adoption. Her mom was actually okay with that choice,” explained Dawn. “They also want to get married before having a family.”
“That’s good,” said Lucy.
“I know,” agreed Dawn.
Then, Jacob came and said, “I’m wondering if you would like to go out with me sometime.”
“Sure. Let me check with my parents and I’ll call you tonight,” said Dawn.
“Okay, great,” said Jacob. “I like you more than a friend now.”
“So do I,” smiled Dawn.
He left and his friends were cheering on.
“Way to go, Jake!” exclaimed Peter.
“Why are you going out with her?” asked Paul who found out.
“Well... who cheated on her in the first place?” asked Lucy who showed up. “You deserved it.”
“That’s why I broke up with you,” added Dawn. “Get lost.”
“If you got a problem with that, get over it,” Cecil continued on.
At home, Dawn was doing her homework. She lives in Fairhaven. She only has Science, Math, and English. She likes to get it started right after school. That way she’d be all set before dinner. Her parents were still at work.
Carolyn works at Wal-Mart for the Entertainment Center. Joseph works for the Srta bus company. They both get home before 6:00pm. Jack and Patrick attend U-Mass Dartmouth, so they were already home before Dawn did.
Her dream is to attend Bristol Community College to be a nurse. She wants to work for St. Luke’s Hospital or at any nursing home. She’s doing a Co-op job during the shop cycle. She gets assigned at a local New Bedford Public School; different ones every time. She gets graded to do so and she loves it.
At dinner, Dawn said, “Jacob asked me to go out with him sometime.”
“That’s good,” said Carolyn.
“Yeah. I told him I’d check with you both first and I’d call him later,” said Dawn.
“Sure you can. He’s a terrific guy for you,” said her father.
“He’s my age anyway,” said Dawn.
After dinner, Dawn called Jacob to tell him.
“Okay, perhaps we can go to Friendly’s on Friday,” said Jacob.
“Sure,” replied Dawn. “What time do you have in mind?”
“How about I’ll pick you up at 6:00pm?” asked Jacob.
She checked with her folks and they approved it.
“What was with Paul earlier?” asked Jacob.
“He was probably jealous. I’m over him now. When he cheated on me, it broke my heart,” said Dawn.
“I bet it did,” agreed Jacob.
“I’m sure he’ll get over it somehow,” said Dawn.
After they talked, she was glad. She was on the computer to message her best friends to tell them and they were excited for her. She’s allowed to have Facebook since she was 13. Her parents are not worried about her since she only uses it to talk to her friends and family, not strangers. Jacob has Facebook, too, so they decided to be friends on it.
She has ten cousins. Her mother has five siblings. Her father’s only sister died as a teenager in a car crash. Her cousins are from age ranges: 19 to 12. She’s the third oldest of the 13 grandchildren from her mother’s side. Both of her grandparents are dead now.
Her maternal grandmother passed away last year of an illness. Her grandfather died when she was only 12 from a heart attack. Her parental grandparents live in Westport where her father grew up.
He was the oldest of two children. Dawn was named after her father’s late great-grandmother and her middle name, Lynn, was named after her father’s sister.
Her only paternal great-grandmother, from Joe’s father’s mother, Linda Jackson, is still living. She’s only 102 and lives in Alden Court. Her health is failing. Her only child, Jennifer Johnson, who is his father’s mother’s mother, has been dead for the past five years. So is his grandfather.
Dawn is attached to her grandparents. She would get depressed each time they die. Joe’s father’s dad died 10 years ago at the age of 90 of cancer.
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