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          Deryl is coming after us. He’s working on a road job in Dulce, New Mexico," Mom said with a huge smile, as she hung up the phone.
          “Mom, I don’t want to leave Albuquerque. I don’t want to leave Al!”
          She wasn’t listening to me. She was into her own plans.
          We’ll get married!” Al announced 
          Knots and butterflies alternated in my stomach as we sat before Mom in the apartment living room.
          “Wanda, I’m asking permission to marry Gloria. I know she’s only sixteen, but I promise she will finish school and get her high school diploma.”
          Mom’s face was a mask. But I could tell from her eyes, she was not happy with the proposal.
          “I’ll think about it!” she said crisply
          Mom’s answer to me the next day was, “NO!”
          “But Mom,” I negotiated, “don’t you understand how I feel? You will be with Deryl because that is what you want? You always get what you want.  I want to be with Al.”

 (This was the first time I really stood up to my mother.)
          I couldn’t believe my ears…
          “You can get married but you have to finish high school.”
                    “OK!” I was overjoyed. “If I find a place to live can I stay in Albuquerque until the wedding?”
          The answer was “yes!”
          Mom began packing. She was happy. Deryl was coming to her rescue again.
          I phoned Dottie, a former neighbor who lived in Princess Jean Park. I had cleaned her house when we lived in the neighborhood.
          Mom and Bronco left Albuquerque with Deryl. I moved into Dottie and Don’s home. I helped Dottie with her house and four children.

          As the weeks passed I saw less of Al. I wasn’t sure what was going on.  I was beginning to feel uneasy.
One night on the phone he informed me that his father had put him in a bind financially. He never did fully explain everything.

 Al became increasingly distant. After some denial on my part, I realized it was over, we were not getting married.

 My heart was heavy. I couldn’t sleep and I wasn’t interested in eating. Dottie was worried about me.
          “Gloria, you can stay with us. You can attend Sandia High this fall.”
          When I checked on enrollment at Sandia, I was in for a surprise. I was lacking credits because of our many moves.
Dottie’s mother and sister Mary Lou visited that weekend. 

Mary Lou was one year younger then me. We had become good friends.
 When Dottie’s mother saw my predicament she made a wonderful offer:
          “Gloria, come to Grants, you can live with us. You will have enough credits to graduate from Grants High,”
          Dottie was frowning at her mother’s suggestion. She didn't want me to leave.

          “Thank you for inviting me, but I can’t move to Grants with out asking my mother.”

             Mom and Deryl didn't have a phone, so I wrote her a letter and waited.