Chapter 25

 

The day my parents and I were anticipating was upon us. I was glad to spend one last Christmas with them in Ann Arbor. I had to say it is easier to deal with the holidays with them there instead of dreading this new change.

Besides, since I’m leaving for NYC, I wanted to make sure this holiday are a memorable one. I was not saying I won’t be back to spend the holidays with them, but I will have a hectic schedule. And I didn’t  how long it would be before I could save up enough money to come back and see them. I’m already looking for an extra job just to make sure I’m able to pay all my bills.

Okay, I need to take a deep breath now. I have so much to do before I depart. Wow, I can’t believe the time is already here.

Outside, I could still hear the snow falling as the wind hit the trees and I could hear a song in the air.  Still, I decided to take the train to New York to save money. New York is not exactly cheap. I was worried about Mom and Dad. I knew this day would be emotional for all of us. I was trying not to bite my bottom lip, as I heard my mother calling me from downstairs.

“Mia, honey, come and eat breakfast.”

“Yes, Mia, there was so much to do before your departure, and time is of the essence,” hollered my dad.

“Coming guys.”

To my surprise, Mom and Dad had invited several of my closest friends to see me off. The first people I see are Courtney, Keyla, and Matt. Then I see Leo’s parents. Wow, the Dancys made it. They all smiled at me.

I was so overcome with emotion. “Mom, Dad, everyone. I d-don’t know what to say.” My voice was trembling.

“It is okay, Mia,” said a teary-eyed Courtney.

“Wow, thank you all for coming today.” As I look around the room full of people, I am a bit embarrassed.

“Mia, come here, dear,” calls Mrs. Dancy. Once I approach her, she gives me a hug. “Leo would be so proud of you.”

“Thank you.”

We both cried.

“Okay, now. This was not a sad time,” said Mr. Dancy.

Mrs. Dancy nodded and wipes tears from her eyes. “That’s right, Mia. It’s not.”

At this moment, I realized they were okay with my decision. I would never want to cause them any more pain.

“We just wanted to wish you well.”

“I am glad you both are here.”

As they smiled at me, I see that Keyla and Courtney are crying.

I hugged them both. “Oh, guys, I will miss you.”

“We are just so happy for you,” cheered Keyla.

“Yes, we are, Mia,” said Matt.

“Well, I am grateful you all took the time to come over. You know this wasn’t an easy decision for me. But after these past few months I have come to the conclusion I need to take this chance. I know this is something Leo and I had talked about for the longest time. But then—well, with all that has happened I didn’t want to think about it anymore. However, I needed to do this for me. I knew Leo would not want me to give up on my dancing dream.  His encouraging words haunted my mind all these months.”

“Oh, honey, I am so glad you and my son had so much love.  I am just heartbroken that it was cut off short.  I would have loved to have you as a daughter-in-law,” says Mrs. Dancy, wiping her tears with a tissue.

Her words made my day. This was exactly what I needed on this last day with my family. From the corner of my eye, I see my mother walking towards me.

“Okay, now everyone, let’s all sit-down and eat,” she says, giving me a tight gigantic hug.

As we all sit down to enjoy the wonderful breakfast, I can sense Leo’s spirit surrounding us.

Now to take care of one last thing.

After I packed everything up, it was time for me to visit my final destination before leaving Ann Arbor.

My dad placed a hand on my shoulder. “Okay, Mia, we will wait here, honey.”

Inside, I see my mother fidgeting with her purse. “Yes, Mia, we will be here,” she calls out the door.

“Thanks, guys,” I called before heading to Leo’s resting place.

Outside, the wind was blowing pretty hard. Ice blankets his tombstone.

I knelt down beside it.

“Hi, Leo. I just wanted to come and tell you that I was accepted into The New York Dance Academy of Performing Arts in NYC, just like you told me I would. I hadn’t thought of this for awhile since you left. But I think I am ready to take it the leap.  I needed to come and tell you that you will always be with me. I will never forget what we had. I will always cherish it, but now it is time for me to try and live my new normal. It still does not make sense, and the pain of your loss is always within me.  I need to get back into dancing, just like I did when you met me. I know I went back to work at the dance academy, but I still feel rusty. Oh, I am trying so hard to keep it together. I miss you, my love. Always remember that.”

I will love you forever, Leo.

I need to breathe again. 

A few hours later, I’m at the train station. I can already see Mom is breaking down. The tears are consuming her, and she is shaking. My father holds her while he himself tries to keep from crying.

I smiled as broadly as I could. “Well, guys, this is it.”

“Yes, honey. Please make sure to call us when you get there,”  mom said in a worried voice.

I nodded in reassurance. “I will, Mom.”

“Okay, well, we love you,” dad stated.

Both of them gave me one last hug.

“I love you guys.” I waved to them and boarded the train.

I watched them from my window. They were both crying, and the tears began to well  up in my eyes.

Goodbye for now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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