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C3 Grace

Grace sat down on a wooden bench in front of her uncle's house, wishing the holiday would end soon so she could return to school. Her uncle, a short and chubby man with a big tummy, spent most of his days drinking beer and occasionally smoking cigarettes. She didn't particularly like him, but she had no choice but to stay with him since he was her only family in the area. He had four children; two were around the same age as Grace, and the other two were twins. His wife, who owned a large supermarket, was rarely at home, as she managed the business. Her uncle didn't work; instead, he watched football all day with a bottle of beer in one hand and the TV remote in the other.

Grace's days were consumed by household chores, leaving her with little time for herself. She'd rush home from the supermarket at 2 PM to prepare dinner for her cousins, followed by doing the dishes and other chores. However, she didn't find these tasks too challenging, considering the more difficult chores she had been tasked with at home. She only had her evenings to herself, during which she'd sit outside and reflect on her siblings. She'd often wonder how they had grown and what they looked like now. While she talked to them whenever possible, she couldn't help but imagine their faces. She also thought about her mother and her childhood days, grateful for the opportunities life had given her, determined to make the most of them for her family and her late mother.Grace had always dreamt of becoming a doctor. Her ambition was deeply rooted in her past, stemming from a tragic loss she had experienced during her early childhood. She lost her mother during childbirth, an event that had a profound impact on her young mind. Witnessing the struggles her mother endured and her eventual passing left a lasting impression. From that moment on, Grace had a singular goal: to become a doctor and help others avoid the same fate that befell her mother.However, life took an unexpected turn when Grace received a scholarship offer that she had never anticipated. It was a full scholarship, but not for medical school. Instead, she was offered the opportunity to study political science at a prestigious university. The scholarship was a golden ticket, a chance to receive a quality education without the financial burden. It was an opportunity too valuable to pass up, but it also meant letting go of her lifelong dream of becoming a doctor.

Ultimately, Grace chose the scholarship in political science. It was a difficult decision that weighed heavily on her, but she knew it was a practical choice that would allow her to secure her family's financial future. She believed that by studying political science, she could still make a meaningful impact on society and help others in a different way.

The transition to studying political science was not without its challenges, but Grace embraced her new academic path with the same determination and dedication thatt had fueled her dreams of becoming a doctor. While her career aspirations had shifted, her commitment to making a positive difference in the world remained unwavering. Grace was ready to embark on this new journey, armed with the scholarship that would shape her future.

Grace recalled her initial experience in America, which she hadn't liked at first. The weather was a significant factor in her dislike, as it was either too cold or too hot for her liking. She also found American food strange initially but eventually adapted. With limited finances, she had to work and study simultaneously, leaving no time for frivolities. She witnessed her peers engaging in typical college experiences, but she remained focused on her goals. Her first crush didn't even notice her, and while Grace knew she was pretty, she was primarily sought after for her intelligence. She earned money by helping others academically, which was a source of satisfaction for her.

Maple Hill University had a predominantly white student population, making Grace one of the few black students on campus. She was determined to excel academically and had maintained a studious lifestyle. Her first-year results were among the best the school had ever seen, though she felt she could have done even better. She hadn't been in any romantic relationships, as she didn't want anything to distract her from her ambitions.

Grace reminisced about her first roommate during her freshman year, a drug user who brought numerous boyfriends to the room for intimate encounters while Grace was present. Those experiences left her somewhat traumatized, as she believed that intimate moments should be shared between people in love. Fortunately, her roommate moved out, and Grace couldn't have been happier.

When Vanessa and her parents came looking for a place for her to stay, Grace was cautious. She had reservations about another problematic roommate but found Vanessa to be surprisingly pleasant. While Vanessa had her moments of being headstrong, she also shared what she had and had made Grace's life more comfortable during the previous school year. Grace admired Vanessa's beauty, her perfectly shaped nose, her radiant skin, and her captivating smile. They had developed a strong friendship.

One day, Vanessa asked Grace to recommend a tutor, and Grace thought of Marvin, a man she'd seen at the coffee shop where she worked part-time.

The first time Grace laid eyes on Marvin in the coffee shop was a moment etched into her memory with vivid clarity. She had just started her part-time job as a barista, trying to juggle her studies and work while adapting to her new life in America. Little did she know that this ordinary day would introduce her to someone who would eventually become a significant part of her life.

It was a crisp autumn afternoon, with the warm aroma of freshly brewed coffee lingering in the air. Grace, dressed in her coffee shop uniform, was behind the counter, learning the ropes of her job. The café was bustling with students and locals, each immersed in their world of books, laptops, or animated conversations. It was a lively atmosphere, a stark contrast to the quiet moments Grace usually cherished.

And then, he walked in.

Marvin entered the coffee shop with an air of confidence that immediately drew Grace's attention. He was tall and had a charming smile that seemed to radiate positivity. His casual attire of jeans and a well-fitted shirt only added to his allure. Grace found herself stealing glances at him, intrigued by his presence.

Marvin approached the counter, and Grace's heart raced. She couldn't help but feel a bit nervous, her hands trembling ever so slightly as she prepared to take his order. His voice, when he spoke, was smooth and friendly, putting her at ease.

As Grace made his coffee, she discreetly observed him. He seemed absorbed in his own thoughts, occasionally jotting down notes in a leather-bound notebook. Grace was captivated by his aura of intellect and mystery.The memory of that day lingered in Grace's mind, and she often found herself hoping that he would return to the coffee shop. Little did she know that fate had plans for their paths to cross once again, leading to a series of events that would change both their lives in unexpected ways.

Grace's decision to recommend Marvin as Vanessa's tutor was not solely based on academic assistance. She had secretly harbored feelings for Marvin ever since she first saw him at the coffee shop. His charming smile, the air of mystery that surrounded him, and the way he carried himself had captivated her from the start.As Grace got to know Vanessa and saw her growing fond of Marvin, an idea began to take shape in her mind. It wasn't just about helping Vanessa with her studies; it was also a way for Grace to get closer to Marvin. She knew that Vanessa had a crush on him, and Grace couldn't help but feel a pang of jealousy. She wanted to be the one who had Marvin's attention.

So, Grace decided to subtly orchestrate the situation. She introduced Marvin to Vanessa, emphasizing his tutoring skills and mentioning that he frequented the coffee shop where she worked.Grace's plan worked, and soon enough, Marvin was in Vanessa's room, helping her with her coursework. Vanessa was thrilled to have his assistance, and Grace couldn't help but feel a mix of emotions. On one hand, she was delighted that her plan had succeeded, but on the other, she couldn't ignore the jealousy that gnawed at her.

During those tutoring sessions, Grace would often find herself nearby, working on her own assignments or pretending to read a book, just to be close to Marvin. She hoped that maybe, over time, he would notice her and their paths would cross outside of Vanessa's room.

As Vanessa's crush on Marvin deepened, Grace had to tread carefully. She couldn't let Vanessa discover her true intentions. The complexities of their intertwined relationships added a layer of intrigue to their lives, one that Grace couldn't have predicted when she first recommended Marvin as Vanessa's tutor.

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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