Dahlia put all day dreams aside and buried her head in to her studies. Every free moment from chores at home or not in school, she studied. She even gave up her time with the television viewing.
Her teacher was so impressed with her, that she helped Dahlia fill out forms to enter the college for arts, in the city next door. The teacher came to Dahlia’s home one evening, and was invited to supper. As they sat around the table, the teacher gave the good news of acceptance into the college. A squeal of delight came out of Dahlia’s throat, but her parents were not all that impressed with this news. Who was going to help around the house? Who was going to prepare the meals? The four of them sat in discussion, each giving their own points of view on the topic, but in the end the parents could see only their own. Dahlia walked the teacher to the door to bid her goodbye, and as she lay her hand on the door knob, the teacher leaned in and whispered in her ear, that together, they would make this work. She explained to Dahlia, that a talent was here, and it should not be wasted.
It seemed from that night forward, there were more chores put on her list. More time-consuming, making Dahlia almost too tired to even dream, but she didn’t give up. She was bound to make her journey in life worth living. She dealt with all the extras in her life, and still managed to keep her grades up. Her parents saw her determination, but theirs was also a match to be contended with.
Dahlia was in her last year of high school, and was still setting her goals. She wanted to be a dancer, and nothing was going to stop her. Although, her parents saw this desire in her actions and eyes, they were unwilling to give up their daughter-maid.
Two weeks before graduation, college doors were waiting to be opened for her future. Her tuition had been paid for the first year. She had two things stopping her, one was transportation and the other was her parents blessings for a better life.
The teacher without invitation paid a visit to the family home and one more time tried to convince the parents to look at their child as an adult, to see the potential, but there was no movement. After taking a deep sigh, the teacher announces that Dahlia will come live with her through her college days, and she will be able to walk to school or ride a spare bicycle. The parents stood up and left the table, and retired to the living room, and turned on the television to watch their variety show. The teacher looked Dahlia straight in the eye, and told her, that in the end it was her decision. She could stay home and humor her parents or she could grab hold of the opportunity given to her and run with it. They both sat up, and walked together into Dahlia’s bedroom. Whatever they could grab and pack and carry in one trip,they did. With all packed and sitting at the front door, Dahlia walked into the living room, and told her parents she had decided to go. She explained for the last time her desire to be a dancer. With no expressions or words being muttered, she walked to each parent and gave each a peck on the cheek, and told them both, that she loved them,and she was sorry she was hurting them, but she must go, and she did. She turned around, without looking back, and the teacher and Dahlia walked out the door with her bags and it was a long time before she ever stepped through that door once again.
By the time they made it to the teacher’s home, it was getting dark, and both ladies were tired from the whole day, but yet when they looked into each others eyes, there was a twinkle of excitement. A new beginning, a new adventure was about to begin in a few days. With smiles on both faces, the teacher showed her to her bedroom, that would be hers for the next year.
After leaving her to herself, Dahlia looked the room over. She ran her fingers over the table tops and could almost see herself in the shine that reflected back to her. She felt the crisp, line-dried sheets on the bed. The bathroom she would share with the teacher was right across the hall, and the teacher’s bedroom was one room down from the bathroom.
The bedroom walls were a creamy yellow, and their were white flowing curtains framing the windows, with white blinds that could be pulled for privacy. Dahlia walked over to the windows, and pulled the blinds down, blacking out the unknown and thoughts of her parents. She walked over to her bags, and began to unpack the clothing and accessories she would need for tonight, and proceeded to get ready for bed. In no time, at all, she was fast asleep, dreaming about the doll, with stiff body, who had been twirled round and round.
The next morning brought a knock on the door, letting her know that the teacher was up. After admitting her into her room, the teacher walked over to the window, and rising the blind, let in all the bright sunshine, and a lift of the window pane, allowed birds to be heard. It was a beautiful day. The teacher told her to get dressed quickly and come to the kitchen, where she would be preparing their breakfast for them. Dahlia nodded and got up off of the bed, and unpacked the rest of her clothing, hanging some of the pieces in the closet, and placing others into the drawers of the dresser. She got dressed and went across the hall to the bathroom, and splashed cool water over her face, and brushed her teeth and her hair. She gazed at herself and was proud of all she had accomplished so far in her life. She thought of her parents in the city next door, and felt a sadness for the lack of their emotional support, but had to let it go, and turned around walking out of the bathroom, made her way to the kitchen.