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First Serve

Dulcie, according to her parents, was a swimmer. It was Pat, Dulcie’s sixteen-year-old sister, who took tennis lessons, wore smashing tennis dresses, won local tournaments, and tried to use tennis and the good grades she earned in school to make up for the social life she missed because of the unsightly scar on her face. Dulcie was supposed to be content with a little swimming, a lot of housework (her mother worked and Dulcie was the chief cook and housekeeper- because she liked it, everyone said- and she did, to a point), and boys. Dulcie was petite, pretty, and thirteen. But Dulcie was tired of swimming, tired of being the pretty one. A couple of times people complimented her on her tennis, and she discovered that she really liked the game. She even enjoyed it after she was discovered by Mrs. Trask, a former star who thought Dulcie showed great promise and put her on a rigid practice schedule. But what about her parents, who really didn’t know what was happening to her? What about Pat? What would it do to her, to have Dulcie beat her? And what future did Dulcie really want? Did she have the grit, the determination, and the competitive spirit that would make professional tennis a practical goal?