Jeeves faces high school graduation and one of the biggest decisions of her life so far: what next?
It’s the first time she has ever been able to decide for herself things like where to live, whether or not to go to school, how to spend most of her time. When her adoptive father died, he left a little money in a trust for Jeeves. It’s not much, but enough to give her some options.
Her mother is loving and kind, but has little advice to offer to help Jeeves at this crossroads. She has lived a life defined by caring for others and by loss. She cannot tell Jeeves how to proceed with self-determination.
Anna, on the other hand, is full of advice. Orders, Jeeves thinks at times. Anna is like a football coach directing her players to their positions, except Jeeves is her only player and Anna cannot settle on a single position.
“You should come to the community college with me,” Anna offers on one day of the week. The next: “Go work for a while, earn a lot of money, then we can get a place together.” Two days later: “We should buy a van and drive across the country, camp everywhere, find ourselves.” Then back to the start: “Let’s do two years of college and then figure it out.”
Ella comes home one weekend and takes Jeeves on a long walk. “The important thing is, don’t let anyone else tell you what you should do or who you should be,” Ella declares. “Look at me. I’m in a college I didn’t choose studying a subject I don’t really love. I wanted to be an artist, or a dancer, but there’s no money in either. My parents convinced me to go study accounting. Don’t get me wrong, I sort of like learning all the insider tricks and I’ll have plenty of job offers when I graduate. But I’m on a path someone else built, and I don’t want that for you, Jeeves.”
It seems to Jeeves that is exactly what Ella wants: to put her on the path Ella wishes she built for herself. But she doesn’t say so out loud. She’s grateful, so grateful this family took her in and she wants to please them all, if she can figure out how to do it.