Updated: Sep 26, 2022
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
Inhaling and exhaling deeply, Jasmine opened her eyes and waited for Yvonne to wake up. Fifteen seconds later, her roommate's familiar moan added to the noise. She raised her arm in the clock's direction, but only succeeded in knocking it off the nightstand and onto the floor, still ringing loudly in the dark. Yvonne let out another moan, but refused to get out of bed.
"Just shut it off before you wake up everyone else." Jasmine muttered.
"You shut it off." Yvonne replied.
It was all the invitation Jasmine needed. Flipping on the lamp that stood by her bed, she got up, picked up the clock, and turned off the alarm. After returning it to its original spot on Yvonne's nightstand, she stretched and quietly made her way to the door of their room.
At five in the morning, this was the best chance Jasmine had to use the bathroom before the other girls woke up. After brushing her teeth, washing her face, and combing her hair, she returned to her room and got dressed. Yvonne, in the meantime, had thrown her covers back over herself and gone back to sleep. Jasmine preferred it that way.
Now a junior in high school, Jasmine had been at Mrs. Montgomery's Home for Hope for four years. Months after solving her problem with Walter, she was called to the principal's office where she met with Nurse Phillips and a black social worker named Kimberly. After learning that Kimberly had been called on by Mrs. Ericson, Jasmine had finally felt safe explaining Mother's behavior to them.
Since then, things had been better for Jasmine. She'd met and seen lots of girls with various stories, worked with the house staff as a volunteer for different events, and been able to establish new positive norms in her life. Contact with Mother had been reduced to letters, and while Jasmine let her know she was being treated well, she hadn't physically seen her since being removed from her care.
Now, Jasmine's only problem was her current roommate. At eighteen, Yvonne was a black girl who had been at Mrs. Montgomery's for eight years. She had terrible organization skills, rarely cleaned up after herself, and didn't respect anyone else's things. She was constantly taking things from the other girls whether she needed them or not, and either refusing to give them back, or denying she'd taken them until they were found on her side of the room. Sometimes, when Jasmine noticed another girl's belongings, she gave them back and helped report Yvonne to Mrs. Montgomery herself. This lead to animosity between them. Another thing that annoyed Jasmine about Yvonne was her fake fighter attitude when altercations came up. She felt the need to do lots of yelling, finger-pointing, and shoving around, but Jasmine doubted she'd ever been in an actual fight. In her opinion, behavior like that was what would get her in real trouble one day.
For the next hour or so, Jasmine sat on her bed reading a book. At 6:17, hurried footsteps rushed down the hallway and into the bathroom. Jasmine heard the door close with a slam, and almost immediately, a baby started crying downstairs. After that, the rest of the house came awake.
By 6:30, all the house members were up and active.