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NF story: Audition Day
The moment she arrived at our house, crying, with her eyes shining a bright red and pink color that you’d see on early Valentines’ Day cards, was the moment that started the beginning of the rest of our lives. She was weeping so heavily that it took a few minutes before she could even try to choke up an explanation.
We were halfway through supper, when she dragged herself through the front door and finally joined us. The shock was too much for words. Jacob, Rose, and I didn’t even understand why Mama was so upset. Dad hadn’t spoken a word or reached out to comfort her, which was even more peculiar. Mama’s explanation had made no sense to any of us, but as queer as the whole situation was, we tried to stay out of her way.
A couple of days passed, when I auditioned for Honor Band. That morning, I’d tried out and the next day, I’d be able to view the results. I recall the short walk down the brightly-lit Edgar Martin school hallway and chicken scratching my name as a signature because I had arrived right on time. Looking back on my performance, I couldn’t remember much. Now was the time that anxious feeling in my stomach was present, and I felt as if I’d tried my best but still messed up.
As it had turned out, making District III Honor Band became the least of my worries. Grandma had been staying at Lafayette General for a couple of weeks now, but I wasn’t too sure why. I knew that she had something in her lungs, which is odd because she had never smoked a day in her life, but someone told me that it wasn’t serious, so I was not concerned. My parents thought it would be a nice treat to go visit her, so Rose, Jacob, and I were getting ready when I heard Mama call us to her room. I was still stuffing socks on my foot as I crossed over the threshold. She was sobbing again, and although it was not as dramatic as it was a few days before, I was puzzled. While I was lacing up my Vans and trying not to look in her direction, I heard her speak these four solemn words that had struck me down.
“Grandma has lung cancer,” Mama exhaled through tissues.
I recall slowly dropping my green shoe from my hands, followed by a tear rolling down my cheek in the same fashion. Rose ran over to Mama, already in tears, with a colliding hug. Jacob leaned against my parents’ bed, still and silent as a stone.
“And… that’s why I was upset the other day, but I didn’t to tell you all then because Kate had her audition and I knew that would mess her up,” she continued.
The atmosphere in that bedroom was so thick with silence that it left us feeling very uncomfortable. We had no idea what to say, so no one said anything.
A few minutes later, Dad came in and said that we needed to see Grandma now. The puzzle started putting itself together, as Mama revealed clear details of our present situation. Apparently when Mama found out, she called Dad at work, so he’d already know what was going on when she came home. During the ride on our way to see our sick Grandma, Rose was fighting back tears as best she could and Jacob seemed immobile. We finally arrived at Lafayette General and went up to Grandma’s room. Aunt Tricia and Rose cried softly with deep frowns laid upon their lips.
“I know,” Aunt Tricia whispered, but her face said it all.
I reached over to Grandma on the pathetic white and blue-striped bed and gave her quite an awkward hug, for the wires and tubes made any physical contact nearly impossible. I had to hug her with all my strength, because just an hour earlier, I was sure Grandma was okay. I was only thinking about myself and my audition, and now I was sure that it never mattered anyway. That hour at Lafayette General had felt like months since the audition had happened. Seven family members were packed into the dull hospital room, with only two chairs, and Grandma on the bed. We all surrounded her and talked to her, cheering her up.
True, we talked about assignments and grades, made fun of the teachers, and vented about the kids we hated, but there was something foreign that was secretly slipped in the conversation as well. No one admitted to it, and it seemed invisible, yet present. On windy days, you can’t see the wind but you can feel it. Everyone was just making up more things to say as a disguise. We weren’t thinking about school anymore, we were thinking about Grandma’s lung cancer. That day was a windy day, and so were the days that followed.
I made District III Honor Band, and was placed in one of the highest spots. I tried my best. But what I can’t do, is go back to how I felt before this happened to you.
Article posted October 23, 2011 at 01:43 PM •
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