Ordinary Life

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Chapter 35

Tuesday morning was just like every other. Stephanie went in early to get things ready for the day and Emmy sat in her class reading until the bell rang. When it did though, Emmy didn’t just leave, she said “see you later” and there was a big smile on her face. That smile carried Mrs. Miles through the whole day.

Emmy saw Maisy first thing, “Emmy.” Maisy practically tackled her. “I’ve been wanting to do that since last night.” Maisy had texted Emmy as soon as school was out to see how the scans had gone. When Emmy told her she unleashed a string of smiley face emoticons six lines long. Then she’d called last night and they’d talked for a while about what all of it meant. Maisy was so glad to get her friend, and teammate back.

Several of her teachers called her up and asked quietly how things had gone. They both had a feeling there was good news since Emmy had a smile that just wouldn’t wipe off her face. “So what’s the next step?” Mrs. Smith asked.

“They are going to take the central line out Friday and then just scans to keep an eye on things?”

“And basketball?”

“After a month I can play without restrictions.” Mrs. Smith saw the biggest most natural smile ever erupt across Emmy’s face as she told her the news.

“Emmy that is the best news I’ve heard all week.”

“I’m going to miss Friday, is there any makeup work you can give me to work on over the weekend?”

“Yes. We are going to work on writing a new piece about a personal experience. It won’t be due until next Friday but the students will be working on those Friday. Maybe you can use something from this week to write about. By Monday everyone needs to have the experience they are going to write about decided on.” Emmy wrote the assignment down in the agenda that every student was required to carry with them.

Wednesday was more of the same with a few more random kids finding out and saying congratulations, or way to go. Lunch was becoming more fun. Brett had taken to packing her a lunch each morning when he did his. He always stuck a sticky note in there with a drill or a series of shots he wanted her to work on after school. Today it was ball handling. She smiled and stuck the note to the inside of her agenda.

That afternoon she didn’t have any homework so she went outside immediately after school to work on the drills. She wanted to show him her progress when he got home from practice. The day was much warmer than it had been and Stephanie had opened the window over the kitchen sink.

While she was outside shooting Emmy heard the phone ring and Stephanie answer it. She looked up at the window as Stephanie returned with the phone tucked under her ear. “What?”

Emmy immediately knew that something was wrong. “How does that happen?” “Is she in danger?” Emmy laid the ball back in the garage and went inside. Stephanie was still on the phone listening to what the person on the other end had to say. “Yes sir. Thank you for calling.”

“What is it?”

Stephanie hung up the phone and wiped her hands on a dishcloth before leaning against the counter. “That was Mr. Case. Rita was released Monday from the detention center and was sent to a halfway house for juvenile defenders. She got on the bus to go to school today but never returned.”

“How was she released?”

“The judge ruled she’d served four and a half months and that was enough. Apparently she felt that Rita’s problem was you and with you out of the system. Mr. Case said it was more about the overcrowding at the detention center but either way she’s disappeared.”

“Rita knows how to live on the street. She probably just went back to the gang she grew up with.” Stephanie hoped she was right and that Rita wasn’t going to be a problem. Mr. Case felt bad that he’d asked both she and Emmy to testify. Especially since it didn’t result in any harsher punishment or additional treatment for Rita.

Brett and Emmy did work in the driveway on her ball handling and some shooting when he got home. Emmy headed inside to shower and he stopped in the kitchen for a drink of water. “Hey, Rita was released and they aren’t sure where she is.”

“OK?”

“Mr. Case called and just said to keep an eye out. She isn’t a big fan of Emmy, or me anymore.”

“Was she ever a fan of you?” Stephanie smacked him on the arm.

“No she definitely wasn’t.”

“Sure we’ll keep an eye on things.” He kissed her on the cheek and rubbed sweat on her. She said “Eww” and smacked his arm again.

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