The next day at school, the dance teacher looked at Dahlia as she entered the door and
noticed that there was something aloof in her eyes. She went over to her and asked her how her weekend went, and Dahlia started to tear up. The teacher took her by the arm and walked her into her small office. Picking up papers and moving them to another spot, she then helped Dahlia to sit down beside her and she said tell me what is happening my best student.
Dahlia explained about the funeral for her mother and about how she never really knew how her parents felt about her until it was too late. The teacher said it is never too late my child, as long as there is breath coming from our lungs, it is never too late. You have your father, and with effort, you can involve him in your life. As far as your mother, yes, it is sad but true, it is too late, but the positive note is you know how she felt about you. The two chatted for a few moments later, and then standing she said to Dahlia that they needed to get to class, as it was about to start. Dahlia rose and the two made their way to the gym.
The teacher clapped her hands together to bring everyone’s attention on her, and all fell silent in the room as people took their places at the bar. Words that Dahlia had not heard before were being spoken in front of all. She heard the teacher say that there were a couple of students that needed some extra coaching, and that Dahlia was going to be her assistant for this week. Dahlia felt her face blush, but inside her heart beamed with pride.
The teacher started the class by telling them what exercises to do, and to work on the steps that were for the end of the school year recital. Once she saw everyone was working, she took two students and Dahlia to one corner of the room and explained to Dahlia what areas these two students needed work on. She asked Dahlia if she had any questions about what needed to be done, and Dahlia nodded now, and told her thank you for the opportunity to be of help. With this the teacher went about her work watching over the other students.
After school was over, she went to Drake’s class and the door was locked. She wondered where he was as this was not a normal thing. She then waited a few minutes to see if he would show up but he did not, so she turned away from the door and left the school. Using her cane, she walked home and entering the front door, she heard a lot of commotion.
Sue walked over to her and explained that she had been told that Drew was sick, that he had collapsed on the floor and Rachel had called the ambulance, and now the workers were here to help Drew. Sue and Dahlia walked to the kitchen to stay out-of-the-way. Although they could not see what was happening, they could tell that this must be a serious thing, if an ambulance was here.
Sue and Dahlia decided to help the other ladies start supper. To stand here and be idle was the devil’s advocate, but all ears were tuned in on the living room. They had the table set and meat and potatoes were being fried on the stove, when Rachel came in and explained everything was going to be alright. Drew had a black out, which caused him to fall and as he fell he hit the coffee table edge and cracked his forehead open, and the ambulance technicians were in the living right now sewing his head wound shut. He was going to be alright, but tomorrow they would take Drew back to the doctor to have him checked out better.
Everyone in the kitchen breathed a sigh of relief and thanked God out loud for looking out for Drew. Rachel walked back into the living room and went around and straightened up things to keep her hands busy while the techs were finishing up with Drew. Soon they were finished and had her sign some papers, and then she walked them to the door and she watched them leave, and when she could see them no longer, she shut the door and went to Drew, who was now lying on the couch resting comfortably. He had been given an injection for pain and he was quite drowsy by now and he mumbled that he was fine but he wanted to sleep. Rachel covered him up with a blanket and turned the lights off and went towards her bedroom.
Rachel checker herself in the mirror, and then went in to her bathroom and splashed water on her face and combed her hair back into place. She tugged on her dress and got the seams back in place and then she went to the kitchen and joined everyone for dinner. A special prayer was asked for Drew that he had a quick healing and all said Amen in unison, and they began their meal, talking about what had happened at school that day.
Dahlia told about how she was helping the two students in dance class and Ralph told her how proud he was of her. He told her that he could see how good she was and how much improvement there was when he watched her on her balance bar. Dahlia smiled and said thank-you. Drake asked Dahlia if she could stay a few minutes after the kitchen was cleaned up that he wanted to discuss something important with her. Dahlia said that of course she would stay, and one of the ladies snickered kiss kiss, and this broke the tenseness in the room and all started to laugh.
Supper being over and the dishes being done, all left leaving Dahlia and Drake in the room alone. He took her by the hand and led her to the table and helped her to sit and then he pulled a chair up close to her and said that he needed to get something settled, that it had been on his mind for days, and he could wait no longer for the answer. She said what is it Drake, what is so important that we need to talk about it now with Drew lying in the other room hurt.
Drake asked her if she had any change of mind about marrying him, and she laughed out loud. She asked him what would make him ask such a thing, that of course she loved him and she would never change her mind. Drake smiled and doing so he pushed back his chair a little and getting on bended knee, he pulled a black box out of his pocket, and opening her hands he placed the box in them. She felt it and asked him what this was, and he said open it, just open it. She felt for the hinge and then opened the box. She touched what was inside and felt sharp edges and also a smooth stone. It was a ring. She looked up into Drake’s face and said this is for me? You bought me a ring? He said this is not any ring, this is an engagement ring. I want the world to know that I love you. I want to scream it to the heavens that you are my girl. I want to announce to everyone that the day after graduation you are going to be my wife. She held out her hand and he slipped the perfect fit diamond ring on her finger. She twisted it with her fingers and could tell that it fit perfectly. She threw her arms around his neck, and crying and kissing him at the same time, she told him how much she loved him and she could not wait to marry him.
The kiss between the two would make a person melt if they had been peeking. The kiss sealed the yes to the marriage proposal and the wedding date. He kissed her eyes and kissed her tears, and then reached down and kissed her hands and kissed the ring. She leaned herself into him and pushed firmly against him, letting him know that not only did she love him but her body wanted to show him her love also. He held her passionately and tightly and the kiss was so explosive, that fireworks were exploding from the two bodies touching each other.
They finally let each other go and he said let’s go show mom and dad, and anyone else that is willing to look and listen. With this they went into the other room where most were sitting watching Drew sleep and Dahlia walked over to where Rachel was sitting and held her hand out, showing the ring on her finger. Rachel put her hands over her mouth and then wrapped them around Dahlia’s shoulders congratulating her and then hugging her son, she told him she was so happy for the two of them. Before long everyone wanted to see the symbol of love between the two. There were many congratulations going around the room.
- Continuing Story Part 9 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- My Continuing Story Part 6 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Continuing Story Part 10 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Continuing Story Part 12 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Continuing Story Part 13 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
The next day came, and with it gloom filled Dahlia’s heart. It was the day of the funeral, a
day where she was going to face her own demons, that she had well hidden for years, so she thought.
She sat on her bed, not wanting to get dressed, but instead, crawling back under her covers, bringing them up over her head and burying herself until the new dawn met her. She knew though, that she needed to go, and how disappointed Rachel and Ralph would be in her by not doing the proper thing.
She got up out of bed and making it behind her, she went to her closet and chose a dress that had no frills or lace on it. Something so drab and plain, just like her thoughts were today. She got dressed in silence, tuning all noises out around her and then took her basket and went across the hall to brush her teeth, splash cold water on her face, and run a comb through her hair. Today, she would not fuss with her hair as she usually did, today, she would leave it down, to show her own personality.
She then followed the common path to the kitchen, and only had toast and orange juice for her breakfast. No one else was in the kitchen today, she thought, but over in the corner on a stool, sat Drew. He was watching her ever so quietly, as she finished her breakfast and got up to pour herself a cup of hot coffee.
When she sat down to enjoy this one moment of the day, she heard a stirring in the kitchen and asked who was in here with her. The voice of Drew came to her and her body became stiff and rigid with fear, and she started to get up and leave, but he asked her to stay seated, that he wanted to talk to her.
His voice sounded soft and her fear let up a little, and she heard him walk over to her and set across from her at the table. He began by apologizing for his past actions with her. He explained that he did not know why he had done this at the time, for he had no interest in her in that way, and he knew that she was promised to another. He went on to explain that now he knew why he had done as he had done, and she needed to know, that he was ill. That he had discovered yesterday, that he had brain cancer. He wanted her to know how truly sorry he was, and he was moving closer to her in his seat, begging for her forgiveness. He needed to know that she forgave him before his time was up on this earth. He could not rest easy until she understood.
Stirrings moved in her heart, and she knew from the tone of his voice that he was sincere. She stood and moved closer to him, and lying her arm over his, she said that although the memories are still fresh in her mind, and she was still struggling at putting it behind her, she understood, and she forgave him. She told him that she was so sorry to hear of this illness and she was willing to lay things to rest between him and her.
He cried, and the sobbing was hard, and he was taking her hands in his and thanking her for being so kind. He told her that she was a nice woman and that Drake was so lucky to have found her, and that he hoped they truly had a good life together. He promised her that nothing like this would ever happen again. With this conversation having nothing more to be added, they both parted the kitchen together.
What Drew had told Dahlia brought comfort to her, and she prayed to her God, that this would soon be a past never to be remembered. She found Rachel and Ralph coming out of their bedroom, and they saw her and asked her if she was ready to go. It was time, and no one wanted to enter late. Dahlia nodded in affirmation, and the three of them left to go the funeral.
Dahlia’s mind drifted to her past,and she thought of her parents and wondered if they had ever loved her. Had they ever wished that this child had never been brought to this earth. How did her mother feel about her on her dying bed. Thoughts drifted in and out as they drove to the church.
Once arriving, Ralph turned the car off, and came over to Dahlia and Rachel’s side and opening the doors for each of them, helped them to get out. The three of them walked into the church, where soft organ music was playing. Dahlia stayed close to Ralph and Rachel as she was not familiar with where she was and didn’t want to collide into anything.
The door greeter met them, and after asking their names, walked them into the main area, where her mother laid. Ralph and Rachel stood by her side as they found themselves standing in front of the open casket. Silence was surrounding them, and Dahlia found it odd, to have her mother not speaking to her. Soon they made their way to their special seats and others had come in and viewed and then had walked over to Dahlia and told her how sorry they were.
Dahlia thought this was never going to end. She didn’t recognize most of the people who had introduced themselves to her, but why would she? She was always left behind to do some type of cleaning. She was not allowed to intervene with her parents.
Soon the minister began to speak, and he was telling of things that Dahlia had never known. He was speaking about what a rough life her mother had when she was a young child herself. The rape that had occurred when she was a teenager, was a terrible incident, but her mother had fought hard to over come this, but never quite made it to total healing. He spoke of the marriage between the two and the child that was born, Dahlia.
He went on to say that he hoped that she felt peace now, and he said that he had spoken to her on her death-bed, letting her know that God had forgiven her of her errors in life. Dahlia sat and listened, not knowing who this person was, that the minster spoke of. This was surely not the mother that she, herself knew.
The service ended, and people shook hands and said their goodbyes and well wishes. When all had left the church, all that remained was Dahlia, Ralph, Rachel, and the minister. There was a stranger standing off to the side, as if he was waiting for approval to move. The minister went to him, and brought him along with her own father, and the two men asked Dahlia to please sit, that there was information that needed to be told.
The entire time of the funeral, her father had never made his presence known to her. She had wondered if he was even here, as even Ralph and Rachel never mentioned seeing him, and now here he was, sitting beside her.
He placed his hand on Dahlia’s hand, and commented on how beautiful she looked all grown up. He said how sorry he was for the bad treatment of his wife, her mother, and even himself. He explained that he was always trying to hide his feelings from the world, knowing he had a wife that lived in hell in her mind from the damages that had been done to her. She had never been able to get passed it, and when you, Dahlia, were born, she loved you so much. I can still see the glow in her eyes, as she held you close to her heart, showing you off to all those who paid a visit, but somewhere in the middle of all of this, nightmares would reappear, and she would hide within herself, sometimes not even speaking to him, her own husband.
Her father went on to say, that he knew of one person in her life that she loved more than even him, and this was Dahlia, but she could not get close to you, as she was so afraid that her fears and depression would enter your soul and destroy your chance of a good life.
Dahlia sat there trying to take in the new picture of who her mother really was. This was not the woman that she had grown up with, and now she was being told that her mother really loved her, so much love she felt, that she stayed away from her. She had practiced hatred so hard she had convinced her own child that she was not worthy of living.
This was a lot to digest, but before she could think farther, the strange man who no one seemed to recognize, brought forth a long envelope and opening Dahlia’s hands, he placed it in her hands, and said that this is from your mother, she wanted you to have this. It is her way of telling you how much she loved you, and also asking for your forgiveness.
Dahlia sat there with the envelope in her hands not knowing or wanting to open it. Was it a letter that she herself could not read? Perhaps a card with her own apology written inside. Rachel asked her if she would care to open it, since this man had made a point to come here in person to give it to her. Dahlia handed it to Rachel, who handed it back to the stranger, and he opened it, and inside was a letter.
There was a letter stating that her mother hoped she forgave her, and that nothing from her own sadness had ever entered her heart. She wanted to let Dahlia know that she cried every night before she went to sleep over not being able to hug her own daughter, and tell her how much she loved her. The only way she could show this now, was to let her know that in the bank downtown, was key to a special box and inside of it was money that she had been saving every day since her child had been delivered into her arms. The amount of money that her mother had left her, was $50,000.
Dahlia sat in shock, then started to sob heavily. Her mother had loved her, all these years, and had never been able to show it in order to protect this child from the same fears she had carried herself. Tears came to everyone’s eyes, as the story that was poured out, began to make sense, and people were understanding. Her father moved closer and told her that he could not expose his wife’s wishes, and that he had also loved her ever since she was born. He produced from his pocket a big envelope that was filled with pages of a journal he had been keeping for her. His thoughts for her were inside, and as he handed Dahlia the envelope, he said that maybe one day Rachel could read these to her, and as the words left his lips, he broke down and wept, letting her know how much he has always loved her and still does. He explained that he was getting old, and if he could prove to her how important she was to him, then he could be content to die in the old house.
The next day at school, went smooth, and Dahlia was able to get all of her homework
completed in each class. This left her time to meet Drake after school and help him grade papers. She knocked on the door and heard the word enter, and as she went through the door way, he was there to greet her. He took her hands and led her over to the table, where the papers were sitting.
The room filled with senses of love. There was no need to talk as the air was speaking with heavy perfume of love. Each of them took their time grading, as they didn’t want to give up this special time of them being the only two in the room. They were in school rooms, so there was no mention of love, and no exchanges made of any kind.
After there was no more time to be wasted, the two of them, walked out of the room together and out the school doors. They got half way home and Drake grabbed her hand and brought it to his lips, where he gently kissed it, grazing her hand with the touch of his lips everywhere he could feel. Emotions stirred inside of Dahlia and she never wanted him to stop. Before any words could be exchanged, he let his lips leave her and grabbed hold of her hand as they walked silently the rest of the way home.
Rachel was standing in the door, as if she was waiting on them to come home. She raised her hand to Drake signaling him to not let Dahlia enter without Rachel first speaking. The two of them stopped, and Dahlia asked why are we hesitating, is something wrong? Rachel took Dahlia’s hand and guided her to the swing, and Drake followed and they all sat down.
Rachel explained that she had received a phone call today, and that she was so sorry to have to inform Dahlia that her mother had passed away in the early morning of today. Dahlia sat in silence, not even batting an eye lash. All she could think was that the night mare was over. The dreams could be put to rest. There was no one left to use or belittle her ever again.
Rachel told her that the funeral was in two days and that she thought it appropriate, that Dahlia go. Although there had been bad times, and sad memories, and no contact, this was her mother. Dahlia knew she was right, and she did not want to go. She did not want memories brought back to the surface, but she found herself saying yes, that she would of course attend her mother’s burial. Rachel said that she and Ralph would accompany her, and Drake said that he would call the school and find a substitute teacher, that he himself, wanted to be at her side.
With the announcement of her mother, and arrangements being made, the three made their way in through the front doors of their home. Dahlia went to her room and put her ballot shoes on and went to the back yard to practice on her balancing bar. Her mind drifted back into time to the two people that she knew were her parents, but two strangers, that never allowed her to get to know them.
She could remember cleaning and never being quite good enough, fixing meals, and cleaning up after these two strangers, she was made to call mom and dad. She wondered how dad was going to handle having mom gone. Mom had been the leader in the house. She barked the orders and he followed. Did he follow her because he loved her so much, or had habit set in plus old age, and he felt it was better to stay silent then to cause more grief in his life. She wondered what he would say to her, when he saw her after all these months had gone by. Would he speak to her? She wondered how he looked, although, she had never physically seen him, she had a picture of him in her mind.
Before any more thoughts could be done, the call for supper was heard. She had worked so hard on her dancing that she had lost track of time and had not helped to prepare the meal. She made her way back to the back door and let herself in. It seemed like everyone was in their own world as conversations were minimal, and the atmosphere was stagnant.
The next morning the quietness was even thicker, as everyone knew that Drew was going back to the doctor to get his results. Breakfast was hurriedly fixed and eaten, and everyone was out the door except Drew, Ralph, and Rachel. Drew had told the office yesterday, that he would be out half of the day, and they had found a substitute to fill in the whole day, so he did not have to go in.
Lingering around the house, watching the clock tick by, waiting to go to the appointment, each of them just sat on the furniture in the living room and made useless conversation. Finally, the clocked ticked down and they all got up and let themselves into the car and took off for the doctor.
The receptionist greeted them with a smile, and said that the doctor was waiting for them in his office. Please go through the door here at the side and go back to the last door on the right. They followed her directions and found themselves knocking on the door and instantly the door was opened, and they were shown to seats that he had provided for the three of them.
He walked around to his big black leather chair behind the desk, and put his wire-rimmed glasses on and opened the chart lying in front of him. He cleared his throat and coughed, and looked up at all three of them, and said, the tests are back, and I am afraid the results are not good news.
The room grew dead in silence and everyone looked at each other, waiting for the words to come out of his mouth. The doctor hesitated a brief moment and then went on to say, that with all the years that had gone by, he had been so happy with all the progress that had been made, and he was still surprised to be sitting here with them discussing old news, but the sad news was that the scan showed brain cancer. There had been a mass found on the back side of his brain, and it was growing so quickly, that it was putting pressure on his skull, causing the headaches Drew was having.
Even sadder was that with the location of the mass, and the speed of its growth, there was no hope in surgery. He had taken the opportunity to telephone a hospital two hours away to talk to a specialist in brain cancers. The two had met and went over the x-rays, and both came to the same conclusion, no surgery.
Rachel started to cry, and Ralph put his arms around his wife to console her. Drew quietly asked how long, and the doctor said if nothing else came about, maybe six months. The doctor got up and came around to the three, and placing his arms around Drew, told him how sorry he was that he had to be the one to deliver this terrible news. He then pulled out of his jacket two prescriptions for pain medications, that may help with the headaches. He also told them that no matter what time of day or night, if any problems arose, please do not hesitate to call them.
The doctor asked them if they had any questions, and I believe that they were all in surface shock and each shook their heads in a no gesture. The doctor then said that they could stay in his office as long as they needed to and when they felt up to it, just to close the door behind them when they left. He said again how sorry he was, and then left them to their own thoughts.
Everyone did their part to get the picnic supplies needed together, and after it was all done,
each went about their own ways to make themselves presentable for the picnic. On the way to her bedroom, Dahlia bumped into Drew, and saying she was sorry, as she wasn’t sure who it was that she ran into, Drew’s silky voice, looked at her and smiled, and he took her hand and placed his other hand on her arm, rubbing it, asking at the same time if she was alright.
Dahlia, jerked her hand close to her, and quickly commented that it was just a bump, no injury transpired, and she thanked him for his help, and moved quickly past him, leaving him to stand in place and watch her walk by.
She opened her wardrobe and felt each of her dresses, and picked the prettiest one out, hoping to keep Drake’s eyes upon her. She slipped her own clothes off and slid the dress over her head. She was trying to button the buttons in the back of her dress, and she heard a knock come at her door.
Knowing it was Drake asking her if she was ready to walk to the kitchen, she hurried over to the door, and opened it without asking. The voice said, that he was just checking to make sure she was alright. It had been his fault that he had not been concentrating on where he was walking, and he was so apologizing.
He noticed that she was opened in the back of her dress and he took a quick sneak peek at her dress, and taking her by the shoulders, he spun her around, and said it was the least he could do, to help her by buttoning her dress.
She fumbled and stuttered and said that she could do it herself, and she needed no help. She told him that she had been dressing herself for years, and that he needed to leave her room at once. She pointed her finger towards the door, and he, Drew, replied, that he was so sorry, he just wanted to make amends, and as he turned around to walk out, he quickly grabbed her and kissed her straight on the lips.
In shock, her hand raised and she slapped him right across the face. She yelled, get out, now! She heard Drew’s snicker, as he turned and walked out the door, slamming the door behind him.
She listened at the door as she heard his steps get farther and farther away. She found her way to the bathroom across the hall, and with great vigor, washed her face and mouth and her hands, scrubbing his touch from her skin and mind. Tears slipped down her face, as she kicked herself mentally, for allowing her bedroom door to be opened without asking who it was first.
She may have feelings for Drake, but she also needed to make wise decisions, and she vowed that she would be the one in charge of her life and not her heart. After cleaning her memories, she went back to her bedroom and continued to button the back of her dress up. She touched each hair pin and decided on the perfect one that would match her dress, and she sat down to comb her hair, and place the pin, finishing the final touches to her outfit.
She took some deep breaths, and stood up and smoothed her dress with her hands, and with her chin up, she went to her door and opened it up and made her way to the kitchen, where others were waiting so they could all leave together.
As they arrived at the picnic, Dahlia remained fairly quiet, but others were taking note of the music playing. The sounds of banjos and violins echoed through the air, drawing laughter and good times into people arriving, in hopes that all would have a good time.
All of their foods were placed on the main tables, and they separated and mingled with all the other people who were already there. The atmosphere was informal. Picnic tables were placed in no certain orders. Straight chairs had been brought in and were lined up on the outside of the tables, and a dance floor had been made in the middle of the setting. allowing plenty of room for anyone to dance.
It was not long before a familiar arm rested on her arm and the deep words were heard to be asking for this dance. She smiled up at Drake and took his arm, as he led her to the dance floor. Dahlia had never danced in her life, and felt like she had two left feet.
He sensed this stiffness from her body, and told her to relax, to wrap her arms around him and just feel the steps that he was making. Slowly she picked up what his feet were doing and before long they were dancing in each others arms, and soon the whole room disappeared, as the only breathing that could be heard was his and hers.
So lost were they in the music, that they both jumped when another voice asked for an interruption, and Dahlia recognized it immediately as Drew. Drake had no reason to say no, and he let Dahlia go into the arms of his brother. Drake left and went to make himself a plate of food, but his eyes followed the steps on the dance floor of his brother and the beautiful lady in his arms.
Drew drew her closer to him, holding her tighter than he need be, and she forced herself to move back a step. She told him that she did not like this and he had no right even asking for a dance, after barging in to her bedroom. He argued the point, stating that she had freely opened it for him. Silence fell between the two, him holding her close, and she not wanting to cause a scene or wanting to explain the earlier details, let him finish this dance with her, but this was the final dance, he would get.
- Continuing Story Part 18 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Continuing Story Part 17 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Continuing Story Part 16 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Continuing Story Part 15 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Continuing Story Part 14 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Continuing Story Part 13 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Continuing Story Part 12 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Continuing Story Part 11 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Continuing Story Part 10 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Continuing Story Part 9 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
The next morning came, bringing a warmth to Dahlia’s face as she moved near her window.
She laid her hand against the pane and let the heat warm her. Today, was her first day of school.
She carefully got dressed and ran her hands down her clothes in case there were any wrinkles. She made her bed and fluffed her pillows before lining them up against each other, and then picked up her books and writing supplies and walked out her door closing it behind her. She went into the kitchen, and learned that breakfast was a do it yourself and your way. She felt lost as she didn’t know what was available. Susan came up behind her and told her there were several cereals lined up in a row on the table, and she proceeded to tell her what each box held and that they would always be in the same order each morning, so she could pick the one she wanted. She explained there was milk and juice on the table, so all Dahlia had to do was get her bowl and glass and spoon. Dahlia thanked Susan and went about fixing her breakfast.
There was little chat at the kitchen table, as mornings were too rushed, because every student slept in until the last moment. After cleaning up the kitchen, and putting the drinks back in the refrigerator, Dahlia went to the bathroom and brushed her teeth. She ran her fingers over her face and mouth making sure there were no dribbles left behind. Satisfied that she was ready, she walked to the living room. All the students were there. Each had their white cane with the red stripe around it, and they all left at the same time to go to school.
When they got to school, they took Dahlia to the main office so that she could be checked in informally. After this the girls who had classes with Dahlia or near her took her to her proper classes and introduced her to the teacher.
Dahlia took her place at an empty desk, and heard the teacher call roll call, and each student said here, when their name was called. Dahlia pulled her brand new book out and placed it on her desk. She felt the braille and knew it was for this class called Science.
Drew was the teacher of this class, and he introduced Dahlia to the rest of the students and then said to them, get your books out. They were in chapter one, and were going over what they had learned yesterday. To Dahlia, this class was not very interesting, but she said nothing and listened. Soon enough the class was over and it was time to change classes.
Each class was pretty much the same and before she knew it the lunch bell rang and students either went outside to eat their packed lunches or they went to the dining hall and ate from the cafeteria. With the guidance of other students, going through the lunch line was fairly easy. She bumped into one student, and apologizing the other girl shoved her a little back. Quick thinking of the lunch room teacher and Susan, this was stopped before anything could be made out of it.
Susan guided Dahlia to a table, and said there had to be one girl in every class that had to show off, and she had bumped into her. As the two sat and ate, Susan told her about how many students were in the room with them, and described what the room looked like. Before the two knew it, the bell rang once again, announcing their half hour was over. Wow, that time went so quickly. Dahlia wished her science class went so fast.
The first class after lunch, Dahlia made it to an empty seat, which was closer to the front in this class. Chatter could be heard as students poured into the room and began to fill up the seats. All chatter stopped immediately, as she heard footsteps coming near her. It must be the teacher. You could hear a pin drop it was so quiet. She could feel someone standing very near to her, and she wiggled around in her chair a little nervous about the closeness.
Then a voice came through clear and deep. It was Drake’s voice, and this class was history. She had Drake for her history teacher. Suddenly she sat up straighter and straightened her clothes a little and placed a smile on her face.
Drake introduced her to the other students explaining that this was her first day, and that they should all welcome her to the class. They did this by standing and each announcing their names and saying a good morning.
Dahlia didn’t hardly remember any of the names, as the only name on her mind was Drake. He asked them to open their books and turn to page ten. He spoke a little about yesterday’s class and went on to talk about the civil war. He asked questions and then called out names for answers.
When Dahlia’s name was called, she became frozen instantly. She opened her mouth but nothing came out. She heard some giggles from behind, and suddenly remembered the answer, and out it came, and Drake stated, correct answer. Nice job Dahlia.
The next two hours were spent in dance class. Dahlia had been looking forward to this class all day, all week, and for years it seemed. When she walked into the room, the air was filled with symphony music. The teacher could be heard telling someone to stand up straighter. When all students were in the room and the big doors were shutting the world out, it was the students, teacher, and the music.
Dahlia had borrowed one of her roommates old ballet slippers for school, and she was to give them back when she was able to purchase herself a new pair. The music flowed through her veins as she practiced over and over the steps the teacher was teaching.
It was hard work, but Dahlia loved it. The bell rang and class was over. Dahlia was exhausted but excited and adrenalin was charging through her blood. Everyone sat and switched their dance shoes back to their street shoes, and slowly all left the room, and all you could hear was the echos of a ballroom.
All the boarding house girls met out front at the bottom of the steps, and together they chatted all the way home about their day at school. Dahlia piped in with chatter also, when she was not thinking about Drake.
The teacher and Dahlia arrived at home after leaving the school. Tea was made and as
they sipped it, they talked of the upcoming move and what was going to need to be packed up and moved over to Rachel and Ralph’s home. They had two days to get everything together and be moved, as school started on Monday.
After tea time was over, they both went to Dahlia’s bedroom and they began the journey of going through clothes and seeing what needed to be ironed or rewashed. Before they both knew it, the teacher was looking at clothes instead of a bed.
Dahlia was surprised at how easily she had been convinced to move to these strangers home, but deep inside her, she knew her dream of dancing had never been snuffed out. She let the teacher carry the clothing out to the living room. A pile was made on the sofa and the teacher had Dahlia put some of her personal items that she could live without, in a basket and had her bring them to the living room.
As teacher folded, and straightened clothing, Dahlia asked questions about the new home she was going to live in. The reply was that she was sure this student was going to be comfortable and it was a great opportunity for her education. The other students living there seemed well-mannered, and so she was sure all was going to be alright.
The rest of the day was spent finishing up the packing, getting a neighbor next door to bring the trunk out of the cellar, and getting things packed up and shut tight. The neighbor helped get the full trunk out on the porch, and even offered to give them each a lift to the new home.
Sunday came and by now all was empty out of Dahlia’s bedroom, except the bedding and draperies. It looked so empty to the teacher. She felt a small pinch in her heart as she realized she was letting someone go forth, that had become so important to her, but she could not hold her back for her own selfish reasons of loneliness. The two ladies went arm in arm to church, and both sang with more joy from their souls as they knew that a new adventure was being started for the student.
An announcement had been made that Dahlia would be moving for educational purposes, and after church they were invited to a friend’s home for lunch for a celebration. After this busy weekend, once they returned home from their guest’s home, they both retired to their bedrooms for a nap, that was much-needed.
The morning came and the neighbor was there bright and early. They had not made it to the home with all of her belongings,the day before, and so Dahlia started school one day later. They got everything moved into her new bedroom and the teacher cried as she hugged Dahlia, and told her how she would miss her, and how she would come to visit often, and Dahlia felt her own tears from her eyes. After hugs and goodbyes and well wishes were complete, the driver and the teacher left, and silence fell over the room for a moment.
Rachel walked Dahlia to her room and told her that lunch was at twelve sharp, and she would leave her to unpack and arrange her clothing and accessories. Once alone, Dahlia found her way to the bed and sat down and quietly sobbed, as she realized she was alone without her teacher, and fearful and excited at the same time about her tomorrows.
The house was quiet, as the students and the two sons were at the school, so she put a few items away and found herself wanting to rest her eyes for just a moment, and so she laid down on the bed, and was asleep when the sound of the knocking on the door alerted her to lunch.
She jumped and sat up and then stood and using her cane, she made her way to the kitchen. A cup of soup and an egg sandwich was waiting for her. The two ate together, and while Dahlia ate, Rachel told her more of the family living here and the students.
Dahlia found herself relaxing and soon joined in the conversation, asking questions about her husband, her two sons, what the school looked like. Rachel explained the blind school was the best in the territory. They had a way of bringing out the best in the students, and the dance classes were taught from the most updated books straight from New York.
After lunch Rachel had Dahlia help by showing her around the kitchen, teaching her where the dirty dishes went and where the trash barrel was. When this was completed, Rachel asked her if she would like to walk over to the school with her and they would announce that their new student was here and ready to start in the morning. They both left and soon arrived and walked in the big doors.
They met with the principal and he welcomed Dahlia with a big hand shake and told them that if they were quiet, they could wander the halls and peek in on the classes. Dahlia heard a few teachers. Some were talking of mathematics, others history, and then she heard the familiar sounds of music. They both stood outside the swinging doors and listened to the dance instructor talk about footing and steps that needed to be done better. The music ran through Dahlia’s veins and she became anxious to start the next day.
They left the school and once home, Rachel left Dahlia to herself for the afternoon, announcing to her that at four o’clock, she was to be in the kitchen to help prepare dinner with the other students. She expected Dahlia to have all of her belonging put in their proper place, because the supper and hours afterwards were spent together as family time.
Dahlia agreed and went to work getting her bedroom made to her liking, hanging all clothes and placing other garments on the shelves. She put her toiletries where they belonged and had a little basket that had the routine accessories ready to take to the bathroom each day for her shower.
It was four p.m. and Dahlia found herself standing in the kitchen with the other students and they all said hello to her, and then began to explain what her part of the duties were for tonight’s supper.
Dahlia didn’t say too much or stand up and walk away, so the Principal took this as his cue to explain how going to this school could all work out.
He told teacher and Dahlia that there was a home within walking distance from the school, that housed a family of two sons along with the parents and that there were also four extra bedrooms that were on the back of the house that held students going to school. The principal had already spoken to this family about Dahlia and they had said they would love to open their doors to her while she attended school.
Her duties would include helping to take care of the daily chores around the home, help prepare meals and that each student was in charge of keeping their own rooms clean, and everyone shared the duties of laundry, feeding the pets, and cleaning the bathrooms.
Each student had curfews to stick to of when they had to be in at night. There was to be no smoking or any opposite males or females in any of the bedrooms. School grades had to remain above a C average,and graduation had to be completed. If anyone chose to drop out of school or were evicted from school grounds, this was an automatic dismissal from this home also.
After the Principal told all the information about the home, he looked at Dahlia and asked her if she would like to go look at it, she said nothing but did nod her head and ask when. He stated right now, if this would be alright with the teacher, and she nodded yes.
They all stood up and with Dahlia’s arm wrapped around teacher and her cane in her other hand, they all walked over to the house. The teacher was impressed by the looks of the big house. It seemed spacious, and was a big white house with a brick porch running all the front of the house. There were two porch swings hanging from the ceiling at each end. They yard was filled with many shade trees, and the yard was quite large and neatly trimmed.
The Principal knocked on the front door announcing their arrival, and the wife of the house, Rachel opened the door and welcomed them and motioned to them to come on in and have a seat. They all entered, and Dahlia noticed there were no rails here for her to feel her way, but her new cane could help replace the rails.
They all sat in the sitting room and Rachael told the teacher and Dahlia a little bit about herself and her family. Her husband’s name was Ralph and they had two sons who lived with them, that actually taught at the school Dahlia was going to be attending, if she liked it here well enough. Their sons names were Drake and Drew.
Rachael asked if they would like to take a tour of the home, and they all stood to follow her. They went first to the spacious living room. Dahlia could hear a television in the background and used her cane to feel the couch and three chairs. There was a piano in one corner, and the television was in the opposite corner. Next they went into the dining room where there didn’t seem to be much there but a big, long table with several chairs. This is where we all eat at meal times, and no one is to miss, unless there is a school activity that prevents them from being here, Rachel said.
Next they located the kitchen, where other students were making preparations for the next meal. The ladies stopped and introduced themselves to Dahlia and welcomed her to their home and told her how much they knew she would love it here, that Ralph and Rachel were wonderful people.
Rachel showed them the bathroom and there was a shower stall in the corner, and a sink and a stool. This was sort of a small room Dahlia thought, but there were several shelves lining the floor and rising up that could hold personal items for bathing and dressing.
The last room Rachel showed them was the bedroom that would be hers, if she chose to stay here. Rachel walked using her cane and felt the bed, she sat down on it and it was nice and soft. She felt a night stand next to the bed, and walking around the room, she felt the window, that was warming her face from the sun shining through. She felt lace curtains adorning the window, and moving a bit farther, she could feel a small desk and a chair. Upon leaving the room she bumped into a large piece of furniture, and Rachel explained that this was her wardrobe closet. All of her clothes would be hung in here and there were shelves built inside for underclothing and other garments.
Rachel guided them all back to the sitting room and sitting down she asked the teacher and Dahlia what they thought of their tour and would Dahlia like to live here while going to school. Could she follow all the rules and keep her studies up. Dahlia stood up and followed the voice of Rachel and placed her arms around her giving her a warm hug and saying she would love to come here to live.
The teacher patted the Principal’s hand and they both smiled relieved that this was going to work out. Dahlia would continue with her studies to be a dancer and she would also have a safe home to live that was near by the school.
The principal thanked Rachel for the tour, and said that the teacher and Dahlia would be back in a few days with Dahlia’s belongings.
They all walked back to the school, and once again papers were filled out for entrance to the school. A paper with all rules was given to the teacher and a dress code rule paper. A scholarship paper had been given to Dahlia for attending a blind school, so there were no worries on payments, which was a big relief to the teacher and Dahlia. Soon all was done and completed. Dahlia would be starting this school next week, and a home had been found also. A call had been made to the teacher’s friend, and when the meeting was done, they both walked out of the school and got into the waiting car.
The teacher was very frank with Dahlia, explaining that sitting back, feeling sorry for yourself, did nothing but hold you back in life, and she was not going to be a participant to these actions. Dahlia listened but made no comments. Teacher continued on that while the student sat herself in a pool of pity, she, herself had made phone calls and had gone to appointments, trying to find the best way to help her, and she had now made a choice.
She explained about a new school that was a half hour away, and they had an appointment in the morning to go visit it and to take a tour. Dahlia sat up straighter and said with no hesitation, no. She wasn’t interested and she wasn’t going. She stood up and felt her way out of the kitchen and went to her bedroom and shut her door a little too hard.
Teacher ignored her, knowing this was going to happen but was already prepared for the fight. She tidied up the kitchen and went to her own bedroom and laid her clothes out for the appointment the next day and crawled into bed and took up where she had left off on reading her book. Before, long sleepy eyes fell on to the pages, and she was fast asleep.
Meanwhile across the hall Dahlia planned out each word on how she was going to have her own way. She was not going to any school for the blind. She wasn’t going anywhere that was so far away, and she didn’t need anyone’s help. She was blind, and this is the way it was. The dancing now was nothing but a dream. She pulled the covers up over her and drifted off into dreams about her non-existence.
Before either of them realized it, the sun was shining in the windows, and the teacher was knocking on her door announcing it was time to get up and get dressed. Breakfast would be soon, so let’s get cracking!
Dahlia roller over and covered herself up with her blankets and ignored the warnings of the teacher. While breakfast was being fixed, Dahlia once again went over in her mind what she was going to say, in order not to go. Soon there was another knock and since no one answered, the teacher walked in and saw that Dahlia was not dressed and ready to eat.
She walked over to the bed and ripped the blankets off causing such a force that they ended up lying on the floor. She grabbed a hold of Dahlia’s night-gown and pulled her to a sitting position and began to take off her night-clothes. Dahlia let out a gasp and was yelling and fighting with her hands to get the teacher to go away.
Teacher said, if you are not going to do this yourself, I am going to do it for you! We are going to this school, we are going to visit it and there will be no more bad actions from your end! Now let’s get moving!
Dahlia still fought, but the teacher pulled her nightgown off and with struggling from both sides and words flying, Dahlia was dressed. She walked her over to the bathroom, and sat her on the stool, and proceeded to wash her face and then braided her hair.
After all was complete, she told Dahlia, lets’ go to the kitchen and eat our already cold food. Dahlia sat, not moving, and once again, teacher helped her up and took her hand and guided her out of the bathroom. Before Dahlia could express any of her planned arguments, she was seated in a kitchen chair, and her plate was in front of her.
Teacher said a quick thank you to God for this food and then began to eat. Dahlia realizing she was not going to win, started to eat, but taking small bites, delaying their trip and the goal to be being late for this school.
There was no winning, if Dahlia didn’t eat, teacher was going to help her. Both ate in silence. It was so quiet, you could hear a mouse running along the floor boards. After breakfast, Dahlia sat, and the teacher cleaned up the dirty dishes. Soon a car honked out front, and teacher told her that she had made arrangements for a ride to the school, so it was time to go. With a slight tug of the shoulder, Dahlia got up and they both walked out the door, teacher smiling and waving to her friend that was driving them, and Dahlia with a big frown.
They got into the car and teacher and her friend chatted all the way and Dahlia sat in the back in silence. She believed she had drifted off because before she knew it they had arrived in the parking lot of the school.
Dahlia wished she could see what this place looked like, but she was not going to give any inkling of her questions. The teacher and Dahlia got out of the car, and together hand, in hand, they walked through the front doors, where they were met by the principal of the school.
Dahlia could tell it was a man, with a deep voice, a voice of authority. They walked into his office and Dahlia was able to hear what the criteria was for this school, the goals that would be accomplished, and the different teachers that were here to help the students.
He asked if they would like to go on a tour, and although Dahlia was not very excited about this, she also knew she did not want to make a fool of herself in front of this man with the deep voice. She stood up and they all made their way through the halls, and classrooms, and the gymnasium. This school had rails on each wall, and it made it much easier for Dahlia to make her way around.
The principal explained that here in the gymnasium there were no large mirrors on the walls but there were rails on each wall, and hand felt markers placed throughout the room would make walking much easier.
Dahlia was not going to let the teacher know that some interest had been perked in her, but the teacher also recognized that she didn’t have to force her to walk any longer. They finished the tour and ended back in the office, sitting in their original chairs.
The principal asked Dahlia what she thought of everything she had heard and he waited for her response. Dahlia mentioned that it was alright, nothing special, but she could not go here, even if she wanted to, as she had no way to and from .
The principal and teacher smiled at each other, as the principal told Dahlia that he had a plan if she was interested in knowing about it.