Here's a brief excerpt:
There wasn’t any reason for me to go back to school now. It was my senior year and I wouldn’t be able to be on stage for the school musical. I couldn’t hold the tears back, and Mrs. Anderson sat by me and held me and stroked my hair. I had thought things couldn’t get any worse, but they just did. I finally stood and picked up my books and the music, and she took my suitcase. I felt as if my bones were very old, and it was hard to move.
When I got back to Alice’s house I was really surprised to see Mr. Davidson there. He said all the right things, things I had already heard at least a hundred times. Then he sat down with me and said, “Melanie, we’re going to wait until next week to have auditions for the show.” I know I stared at him. I couldn’t believe what he was saying. “You’re an important part of the music program and you deserve to have the opportunity to try out. We’ve spoken to some of your friends and they agree with us. We’ve checked, and we can move the performance dates to a week later. Do you think you might feel up to singing by the end of next week?”
Would I feel up to singing? I had been in the blackest hole in the world, and suddenly Mr. Davidson had dropped down a ladder to help me try to climb out of it. He was sitting, waiting for an answer, and I knew I had to tell him something right away. If I told him no, I couldn’t sing, that would mean there was no chance I could be in the show except maybe in the ensemble. After what had happened, having a lead in the school show should have seemed minor. But it didn’t. It was something I had hoped and dreamed about for months, and now I was being offered the chance that I had just decided was gone.
I had a strong feeling suddenly that Momma was right next to me, telling me to say yes. I turned my head to look at her, but of course I couldn’t see her. But the feeling that she was there was so powerful that I said, “Yes. I’m sure I can. Thank you so much. You can’t imagine how much this means to me.”
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