Chapter 16

 The drive home lasted forever. I knew it only took 20 minutes, but it felt like a long time to me. To say I was anxious was an understatement. I decided to use one hand on the steering wheel and began chewing on my fingernails. I don’t think I’ve done that since middle school. I really needed to see for myself what was in the letter. In all the craziness and heartache over the past year, I’d forgotten about applying to the Dance Academy of Performing Arts. Goodness, I never thought I would hear from them. Back when Leo died, I was quick to let them know I had been dealt a terrible loss and was not sure what I was planning next when I deferred the first time.

I’m curious to find out what they have to say now. Just the fact they took the time to write to me made my day.

I wondered what the letter said. I’d better hurry. My mother might have

passed out by now.

I could already hear my father arguing with her about how she wants to open my letter, and my mom trying to argue her way out of it.

“But, Dan, I’m her mother; I should know all that is happening to our daughter.”

“Nice try, dear.”

I loved both my parents; they’re the best. I am trying not to laugh, but it is all true. I am sure by now she has already made several arguments for why she should be allowed to read my letter.

My dad, as usual, would save the day. He was one of a kind and it made me grateful for all he does. He’s the one that kept the peace between us at all times. I love my mom. She just seemed to overstep at times.

Now I just needed to focus on getting home. Why is the car in front of me driving so slowly?

Come on. Even a turtle can go faster than that.

Okay, I needed to take a deep breath now. I could feel myself losing patience. After I took a step back, I decided to just focus on the contents of the letter.

Well, it is not like I had a shot. They could not possibly want me now. I knew Leo would be mad at me. He would not tolerate me saying such things. I can still hear him cheering me on at each dance recital, and I can still recall the day I sent off my application.

He stared at me with such certainty and said, “Mia, I have no doubt in my mind you will get this.” Leo was always so supportive of everything I wanted to do. It was just so easy with him.

I think I must have gotten lost in my thoughts. My cell phone rings again, and I glared back at it. I don’t want to pick up the call while driving, so I tap on the Bluetooth.

“Mia, honey.”

I tried to keep from laughing, “Yes, Mom?” “Are you almost here?”

“I’m about a block away.” I can tell from her voice she is anxious. “Okay, well. We’re waiting.”

“I will be there as soon as I can, Mom.” “I know you are laughing at me, Mia!”

“I am sorry, Mom.” My father joined in.

“Okay, see you soon,” she stated while scolding my dad. I took a deep breath and kept on laughing.

“See, this is what you two do!” she exclaimed. “Love you, Mom.”

“Sure, you both do.”

I loved how my parents always know how to make me laugh. They don’t even know they are doing it. This is what I love about them. Leo was the same way. My heart was racing again. When I walked in I see my mother sitting, all bundled up, on the front porch. “Come on, Mia. The suspense is killing me.”

I waved a hand in the air. “I’m coming, Mom.” She shivered and grinned.

My dad came to the front door. “Mia, can you get your mother to come inside before she catches a cold?”

I grabbed her hand. “Come on, Mom.”

Inside the house, it was nice and toasty. I could tell Dad called Jeremy, the heating and air tech guy who had been taking care of our unit for years. He was very savvy and always did a great job. The only reason I knew anything about this is because I paid attention to my dad. That was another thing Leo loved about me. But I am getting off topic again.

“Here, Mia,” my mother said as she handed me the letter. Anxiety consumed me.

She backed out of the room and puts a hand on my father’s arm to lead him out, too. “Mia, take all the time you need.” Wow, she’s letting me read the letter alone? Well, this is new. I began to read it:


Dear Ms. Gerard:

My name is Dean Michael Array, and I wanted to congratulate you on being accepted into The New York Dance Academy of Performing Arts. We know you applied to our school for the fall semester last year and we were told about the circumstances that prevented you from attending in the fall. I am sorry for your loss and offer you my deepest sympathies. Despite the previous deferment, we wanted to give you an opportunity to come to our school when the winter semester begins this January. You have been selected because of your outstanding dance and performing arts records. It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been awarded a full scholarship and an internship with our school.


Dean Michael Array

New York Dance Academy of Performing Arts

I read the letter, like,  ten times before I screamed for my parents. They immediately come into the room.

“What is it, dear?” Mom asked.

I handed the letter over to her. “Read the letter, Mom.” “Okay.” She reads it, and then stares silently at it.

Dad tapped his foot on the floor.

“Okay, so isn’t anyone going to tell me what the letter is about?

My mother passed the letter to him. “Read it.” He reads it, and his whole face lit up. “Oh, Mia. I am so proud of you.”

“Thank you, Daddy.”

Mom remained silent for a moment. Then, she turned to me. “Yes, Mia. Congratulations.”

I was happy and confused.

Now the question was:  would  I take it?




Chasing Clarity Copyright © 2015 by Sylvia Stein . All Rights Reserved.


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