Rosemary had spent too much time working on her paintings rather than completing the evaluations for her students. She had a meltdown due to the stress the evaluations had caused. Jeannette worked out a budget that would last her and her siblings two months, allowing them to purchase food and pay for the water and electricity bills. Rex took advantage of Jeannette’s soft spot, asking her for money to purchase alcohol and cigarettes, forcing the family to go without food for a few days. Rex kept asking for more and more money. He claimed that he “needed money to make money”. Jeannette was supposed to be taking care of her siblings but Rex’s pressure began to make it difficult for her. Rex told Jeannette that they were going on a business trip and that she should wear something nice. Rexused Jeanette to win a game of pool against a man named Robbie. Rex let the the man (Robbie) take Jeanette up to his apartment. Jeannette followed him even though her conscience told her she probably shouldn’t go. Jeanette was then sexually abused but doesn’t bother calling for her dad for help because she was so angry with him. Jeanette gets a job at a jewellery store called “Beckers Jewel Box”. She is told that she should be paid commission and get 10% on every sale- which she was not receiving. Jeannette saw a watch in one of the jewellery cases and decided that the price of the watch was technically the same amount that Mr. Becker owed her. When he went across the road for lunch she took the watch. A few days later she felt guilty returning the watch back to where she got it from.
We are going to lose our remedial reading program funding because I was painting instead of writing up evaluations. I can't bear to face the woman.
What dad needs is a strong woman (Walls 208).
I will be back in two months from Charleston. I need to renew my teaching certificate. Lori will be gone to summer camp, so you are in charge.
When the deadline arrived for the student evaluations, Rosemary had nothing completed. This put the school at risk of losing their remedial reading program funding. Afraid to face the principal, Rosemary laid wrapped up in the blankets on the sofa bed, sobbing. Jeannette swore to herself that she would never be like her mother.
I need money for beer and cigarettes. Just five dollars.
I [am so] mad at myself but even madder at Dad (Walls 209).
As Lori feels sympathy for Rosemary and all her hardship, Jeannette exclaims that Rosemary's life is no tougher than the rest of the family's. Lori responds explaining that Rex is the trouble but Jeannette believes that all Rex needs a stronger woman to take hold of him, like herself.
Keep your legs crossed, honey, and keep em' crossed tight (Walls 212).
When Rosemary leaves to go to Charleston for two months, Jeannette receives the opportunity to prove her point. Rosemary leaves Jeannette with $200 to make a budget. Since Lori will be gone for the summer to a government-sponsored camp, Jeannette is now head of the household.
I am not this kind of girl but I don't want to scream because I can't have dad rescuing me again.
Everything went according to plan, during the first week until Rex caught Jeannette in the living room one afternoon. Needing to feed his addiction, Rex asked Jeannette for five dollars. Not having it in her to say no, Jeannette handed over the money, feeling pissed off at her father for taking advantage of her. Rex continued to ask for money as Jeannette kept handing it over.
Borrowing a car, Rex took Jeannette to the bar so that he could play a game of pool. As he left the bar, a man, by the name of Robbie, approached Jeannette. He grabbed Jeannette to dance and held her close, placing his hand on the small of her back. Between games, Robbie would grope Jeannette at the bar or while dancing.
After losing to Rex, Robbie exclaimed that he was going to take his girl upstairs. Jeannette followed Robbie into his apartment. Robbie pressed Jeannette to his body and began dancing. Robbie grabbed Jeannette, pushed her onto the bed and began kissing her while his friends cheered him on. Jeannette attempted to deter Robbie from having sex with her.