The Artemis Adventure

By Dorothy Rice Bennett

Kiki walks out the door to follow her dream, little knowing just how much her life will change.

She is barely eighteen and not yet a high school graduate, but Kiki Rodriguez already knows that the South Bronx holds no future for her. Lying on the hot rooftop, avoiding the stifling apartment and a family argument, she stares up at her star, the one she has found, the one she has named Artemis. She studies her star and knows that it is time to go. Not impulsively, for she has thought about it a long time, and she has a destination–family members near San Francisco, who hopefully can take her in and give her a chance to grow.

Packing a duffle with her few belongings, taking her hidden cache of money and a Greyhound bus ticket, she leaves a note, says goodbye to her home, and boards the nearest subway headed for New Jersey. As she travels further west, her plans begin to unravel, but she first feels fear when she is abandoned in Kansas. Alone in the middle of corn country, she appeals to her star. The answer? A friendly truck driver assists her as far as Salt Lake; an auto carrying college students pushes her forward to the Bay Area.

But disgusted by their irresponsible drug use, Kiki jumps out of the car at dusk in Oakland. And, by accident or fate, at the gates of a women’s college her real star-guided adventure begins.

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