"It's still a man's world, no matter what they say," her mom says, more to herself than to her daughter. "Doesn't make you a bad person to realize that and make the best you can with what you've got."
She watches her mom double check the locks before making a beeline to the liquor cabinet.
She's not sure what it being a "man's world" has to do with her mom telling the landlord that their rent will be late, or with her mom coming back with her hair all mussed up, but she knows now's not the time to ask.
"Your grades are excellent, but it's a cutthroat field and I'm not sure if you've got the drive to do whatever it takes to get ahead," her academic advisor says, looking over her transcript. "Convince me why I should recommend you for the internship."
She takes a breath and recites the answer she stayed up all night preparing. He cuts her off a few words in, leans back in his chair, and says "convince me" again.
This time she understands his meaning and it's an easy decision: she wants this placement and she'll do whatever it takes to get it.
"Sometimes I wonder if you're here for me or for my industry contacts," he muses after they'd spent the entire ride over to his apartment discussing the new anchor at ESPN.
He's clueless but not cruel, not thinking about what he's actually suggesting about her. He's wrong, she tells herself, she'd never.
He calls out from the bedroom, asking why she's taking so long and she follows him in, flinging her shirt to the ground. Better to get caught up in the moment than think about why she spends her evenings with a man who doesn't like her that much.