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First Place
Brenda Ann Kenneally Freelance
"Upstate Girls"

6 of 40

"Billie Jean" Billie Jean's mother worked at a local supermarket for eight years while Billie Jean was small after Billie Jean's father left. When Billie Jean was a teenager, her mother met a man who worked with the carnival and wisked her away to a world of adventure. In the carnival Billie Jean's mother discovered drugs and Billie Jean discovered how to take care of herself on the streets of Troy. Billie Jean got an apartment in one of Troy's housing projects and had a son, Deshaun. Deshauns' father was eventually replaced by a boy that moved up from New York City and began to sell drugs from Billie Jean's apartment. Billie jean was enjoying a boost to her income and the thrill of having a boyfriend far more sophisticated that any of the locals that she had dated. Billie Jean's apartment eventually got busted. Her boyfriend got off, but she served time in the county jail for refusing to turn him in and she lost her apartment and housing benefits into perpetuity. Billie Jean is working at McDonalds to save enough money to get an apartment for her and Deshaun- until then she lives at welfare hotels, friend's apartments, and occasionally with her mother who is back in town and living in Kayla's basement in exchange for childcare.


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