Kim walked down the dark, deserted street of the little mountain town. At 10 pm. the sidewalks rolled up, except for a couple of bars that carried a pub menu to look respectable. Nobody glanced in her direction as she ambled down the street. Kim looked down and scowled at her worn, tight jeans, and faded college t-shirt that told everyone she was just another dropout.
Kim stopped for a moment and forced herself to smile. Life was not all that bad. After all, Doreen had given her a part-time job at the tourist information center. Alice had given her a room in exchange for maintenance on the house. A glow in the sky coming from the next town over caught her eye.
She winced at the thought of the college town nearby. Self-absorbed professors strutted around like royalty. They would stroll down the sidewalks looking down their noses at the locals. The townspeople appreciated their business but scowled as the elitists left their stores. The sleepy college village was now segregated between those with PhDs and those who built the town.
These same professors would talk class after class about the oppressed, and examples of injustice weren’t hard to find on campus. Kim’s roommate slept with a professor just to get an ‘A.’ The roommate had no concerns for his wife and children, nor the fact he was sleeping with other students. Kim had grown tired of the hypocrisy. If these were the people she would spend her life working around, she preferred to walk away.
It only took a ten-mile drive to find her new world. People here welcomed everyone, even the college dropouts that meandered through town. Fashionable cars driven by stylish people would park next to old rusty pickup trucks. Vehicles that coughed and smoked would start up next to high dollar imports. Nobody minded. Everyone was equal, and everyone smiled and waved to one another.
Kim leaned against a light pole and looked towards the local bar and restaurant. Patrons filled the patio on this late summer night. The owner, Patricia, walked back from a table and spied Kim. She smiled and waved. Kim smiled, waved back, and rested her head against the pole. She was not sure where she would end up, but for now, she would stay in paradise.