Raley D., Washington State
Fourteen-year-old Selena Hatfield got ready for school on a crisp November morning. Selena got dressed in a white lace top, a long black skirt, and her favorite pale pink scarf which was made of the lightest silk imaginable. Then to complete the outfit Selena slipped her feet into her brand new heels that she got for her birthday last week. Selena took extra care while getting ready that morning; she wanted to look her very best for her play auditions. Today was the last day of auditions and after school the cast would be posted. The drama-club was doing a rendition of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” this year. Selena wanted to get a leading part.
Selena went down to breakfast with a spring in her step. She couldn’t wait for auditions after school!
“Selena my dear, we have something to tell you.” Selena’s mom told her, leading Selena to the couch where her father was sitting.
“Honey...” her father started, “I am afraid that you will not be able to audition for the play today.”
“What!? Why not?” Selena asked, on the verge of hysterics.
“As you know, your mother owns the book shop down the street. And every year as fall changes to winter your mother and I travel out of state for our anniversary, which means every year you have to look after the shop. And unfortunately you won’t have time to be in a play right now.” said her father gently.
“Yeah, I know, but I checked and none of the rehearsals or the play will interrupt your guys’ trip. So I won’t have to drop out after all!” said Selena while smiling happily at her parents.
“Selena, I know in the past you have been able to do the play after our trip but that just won’t work this year. Your father and I want to celebrate our anniversary a bit late this time and go at Christmas time. That way we can see all the decorations. And since this year the school is doing a Christmas play, I’m afraid it just won’t work out. You see, we just don’t think that you can keep up with school, watch the book store, and do the play. We are really sorry, honey.” said her mother.
Selena fidgeted on the couch; she knew she was supposed to do the right thing and assure her parents that she didn’t mind missing the play, but the thing was, she did mind. Selena had been getting ready for this play for weeks. And to throw it all away at the last moment was unthinkable! Selena sighed internally. She knew her parents' trip was important to them. And although Selena was devastated to miss the play she knew what she had to do.
“I understand.” replied Selena dutifully. However she really didn’t understand at all. Why did her parents have to go on their trip at Christmas time? Why couldn’t she still do the play? All these questions and many more besides swam through Selena’s head as she got on the bus for school. Selena went through school in a daze that day. Simply going through the motions during her class. Selena was pretty sure that she was called upon a few times. However, if she ever was then Selena never answered the teachers. Finally, at lunch, her best friend, Grace, noticed and asked what was wrong.
“My parents said I have to drop out of the play because they are going on a trip and need me to watch the store.”
“Are you actually going to do it? I mean, if they are going to be gone then they wouldn’t even know that you were still in the play.” said Grace with a sly grin spreading across her pretty face.
Selena sighed. “I-I don’t know, I mean I guess that would work, but I’ve never lied to my parents before. And I can’t imagine breaking their trust like that… I’m sorry Gracie, but no matter how much I want to be in the play with you, I just can’t do that to my parents.” said Selena at last.
“Oh Selena you’re such a goody two-shoes. But, since I can’t change your mind, I suppose I will just have to stand by your decision.” replied Grace disappointedly.
When Selena got home from school that day she talked to her mom, she didn’t mean to say anything about what happened with Gracie in the cafeteria. But as soon as she sat down to talk to her mom it all just spilled out. And soon her mother knew the entire story.
“Selena, honey I am so proud of you for not disobeying us. And by doing the right thing you have proven that you are more than mature enough to handle the play...” started her mom.
“You mean...” Selena interrupted.
“Yes, you can still audition.”
“But I missed the final auditions! It was today!” Selena exclaimed. Here she was about to be able to pursue her dream of being in the spotlight just to have it snatched away at the last moment. Just as Selena was starting to give up hope she heard her mother’s voice saying.
“If we hurry we can get you there in time.”
Selena and her mom raced to the school only slowing down once at a red light. Selena rushed to the auditorium where they were holding auditions. She had arrived just in time to hear her name being called. Selena walked up to the stage and gave one of her best performances. Selena got a good part in the play and ended up being cast as Belle, Scrooge’s former fiance. Even though Selena had a lot on her plate while her parents were away, she was able to manage everything. When her parents came back, they saw that not only had the seasons changed while they were gone but so had their daughter. Selena had changed into a strong, confident young women. As December passed and January started, Selena continued to surprise her parents with her honesty, kindness, and most importantly, her integrity.
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