It was a hot, humid day in the middle of August near the Texas border town of Brownsville. Sweat was pouring down the brow of Valaria's face as she moved some limbs off her driveway into her yard. They had fallen during the night from an old oak tree. She was late for school, but the branches had barely missed her car from behind. A few neighbors looked over at her, nodding and going along their way. There were plenty of stares but no help to aid her. She was used to that. It's hot, and life in this town moves rather slowly except for her. She was a go-getter with big ambitions and dreams of leaving this place for the big city. She had already planned out her life, as far as her work was concerned. She was working hard to make her dream a reality. She planned to transfer to Austin to finish her degree at the University of Texas.
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