Dahlia continued to work hard with her studies. She exercised regularly, and when she
had the chances, she worked on her dancing in the dance studio. She and her dance teacher, Miss Trump, worked together, perfecting each exercise. Miss Trump, knew that Dahlia wanted to become a dance instructor, so she was often harder on Dahlia, demanding perfection. She had one year to study and then if she did well, she could go to an area and teach dance herself. Dahlia was taught the moves of the Pirouette, and the Arabesque, the Rond de Jambe, and the Eleve. She also learned the Grand Plie, the Demi Plie, and many different steps.
The teacher took notice of the strong form and the slender legs that were shaped with muscles. The standing on the toes was becoming quite nicely done. She was pleased with her student. She knew that there was a class waiting for her at the end of her hard work.
Miss Trump cracked the stick against the bar, and in a firm voice, said no, not that way, the word, what does it mean, what did your book teach you? Remember the book!, now focus the correct way. Slowly Dahlia would place her feet in the correct position and the teacher would announce, very good, keep practicing, you have far ways to go!
At the end of the next two weeks, was a recital, for all parents and friends to come see the progression of the students. While Dahlia went to school, back at home Rachel was working on a costume for Dahlia. Frills and sequins was what this costume was all about. Dahlia was the lead dancer in the ballet coming up for recital.
Three times a week Dahlia met Drake after school, and helped him by grading papers. When this ended, they found themselves staying later to talk, and sometimes they stopped by the soda fountain on the way home for a quick soda.
Love was in the air. The air brought with it the senses of rose buds opening up on the dewy bushes in the early spring. Flowers of lavender could be smelled when you looked and admired the two together. Sometimes at the dinner table, conversation would all stop, when a question was giving to Drake or Dahlia about how they were enjoying this school year. Everyone waited for a hint in the words of the feelings that were growing between the two, but never a word was spoken out loud.
It was Saturday, and Dahlia had some free time, and so she was going out back in the yard to practice on her home-made bar, when Rachel came to the back door and called her to come in. She had something for her, that had come in the mail.
Dahlia, using her cane, made her way up the path to the back door, and entered in and sitting down on the kitchen chair, she opened her hand to receive what Rachel was handing her. It felt like a letter, but it was written in non-braille, so Dahlia handing it back, asked Rachel to read it to her.
Taking the letter out of the envelope, Rachel, paused, as she read ahead what the letter was saying. Rachel looked at Dahlia and said it was from her mother. The room became silent for a moment, as Dahlia had not heard from her parents since she had left home. She didn’t even realize that they knew where she lived. She asked Rachel to go on, and read what it said.
The letter stated that her father was ill, and it was too much for her to handle alone, and she needed Dahlia to come home and to help take care of him. There was nothing in the letter asking how Dahlia was, no signs of missing her or loving her, just wanting her help, needing her, just like before.
Dahlia stood up to walk away, but Rachel noticed tears running down the young girls face. She asked her not to go, to please sit back down, and the two of them would discuss this. Dahlia sat back down as asked, and immediately cried out, do I have to go back? I don’t want to go home. They never wanted me, they want me to do as they always did, be there for them, not caring about me.
Rachel, said, of course you do not have to go home. You live here now, and you are enrolled in school here, your studies are progressing nicely, and we have come to look at you as part of this family.
Dahlia stood up and buried her head into Rachel’s chest, crying softly, more for happiness than sadness that she did not have to return home. She never wanted to return to that place, until she had something to show them. She wanted to prove to them, that she could make something out of her life. Dahlia took the letter and shred it to pieces, and looked in Rachel’s direction and said softly, I know he is my father, but this is all I know. He has never given me a chance to know who he the person is. Mother will just have to do her best, after all, it is her husband, and with this, Dahlia went back to the yard to work on her bar. The subject was closed as far as the two ladies were concerned, at least for now.
Drew, and Drake, and all of the ladies were in the living room, waiting for the kitchen to empty of people, so they could go put together the menu they had made yesterday. Tonight, there was a church picnic, and everyone that went to this church, was invited. There was going to be plenty of food. Each family was to bring several dishes. There would be live music, by some local performers and there was even going to be a dance.
When Rachel came into the living room, she clapped her hands together, and with a big smile, she said, alright everyone, let’s get this menu started. Everyone pitched in with voices of cheers and they all marched to the kitchen to start the project.
Dahlia heard noises in the kitchen and stopped practicing and went to the back door and entered. She had been thinking about so much lately, that she had entirely forgotten about the picnic. She asked what she could do to help, and Drake announced to her that she could help him get the deviled eggs sliced and filled. Dahlia went straight to him and was by his side, and the others giggled. Drake with a big grin on his face, said what is all the giggles about, then all started laughing. Dahlia loved living here, she loved everyone, her school, and she knew she was also beginning to love Drake.