In January Crystal went to work in town as a waitress. And even that won her mother’s anger. She accused her of wanting to meet men, but all she did was wait on tables in the diner.

Her brother–in-law came in occasionally and gave her a hard time but whenever possible, she disappeared and went out to the kitchen to take a turn washing dishes when he was there. The people at the diner were friendly to her, and she made good money with tips, and made sure that no one went too far. She was a nice girl, and he had always liked her father. He didn’t think much of Tom Parker though, and he didn’t like the way he treated her. He told Crystal more than once to stay away from him when he was drunk, and more than once he drove her home himself after dark, and watched to make sure she got home safely. 

She kept her money hidden under the bed, and she had four hundred dollars saved up by late April. It was her ticket to Hollywood, or to freedom anyway, and she guarded it with her life, counting the money late at night, in the moonlight with her bedroom door locked. She was biding her time now till she could leave. It wouldn’t be long. But each day seemed like a lifetime.

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