Of all the things she might have expected when she signed up for
the Latin language class two years ago before her sophomore year,
this was nowhere on her list of possibilities.
She chose it on a complete whim, unable to come up with a solid
reason as to why. Perhaps it was to rebel against her dad, who
had tries to persuade her into taking Spanish. Perhaps it was
because she thought Latin seemed more out of the ordinary
compared to the other languages Park Lake High School offered
(she always did have a fondness for anything out of the
ordinary). Perhaps it was because she had heard it looked good on
college applications. She never fully settled on any explanation.
But it turned out to be one of the smallest, yet most pivotal
decisions she had ever made, second, at that point, to another
whim she had had in the sixth grade, when she auditioned for her
middle school's production of Annie and discovered her passion
Sometimes that's just the way it is, she though. Life always
tends to bring its biggest changes when we least expect them.
Fate, she had realized long before, had a funny way of knowing
what's best for us, even if we don't know why.
1. Something From Nothing
"And so, in 1776, the Declaration of Independence…"
Blah, blah, blah. Liliane sighed and squirmed in her seat. She
glanced at the clock and bit her nail like she always did when
she was stressed or anxious.
Ordinarily, she rather enjoyed Mr. Contini's class, but today she
had things on her mind that were far more important than the
American Revolution, at least to her.
It was opening night of the Drama Club's very first play of the
year, the 1940's comedy Blithe Spirit.
And she had the best role, Elvira, the blithe spirit herself.
Drama had been her life since the sixth grade, and this was
likely to be her best show yet. It was only third period, but
Lily was already counting down the hours, minutes and seconds
until 7:30 that night.
She was vaguely aware of the lecture ending, five minutes before
the bell, and although most of the class began talking amongst
themselves, her mind remained firmly focused on the show, the
lines and blocking she had long known by heart running through
Until a rude voice in the next row brought her back to reality.
"Gabriel, stop tapping! You're driving me crazy!"
The blond boy in the seat next to Lily, who had been drumming
absent-mindedly on his desk, turned around to face the voice.
"Geez, sorry, I do it without realizing."
"Yeah, I noticed", hissed the voice, which belonged to one of
Lily's best friends, Carla. Carla's rudeness mildly shocked her;
after all, Gabriel was the son of their beloved Latin teacher,
Ms. Katz, whose class the two friends had first period. She had
no business being bitchy to someone whose mother's favor they
took pride in.
"Car, be nice! Mind your own business!" She was used to sticking
up for people around Carla. She wasn't a mean person; she just
had a tendency to speak her mind, often a bit too bluntly.
"Lily, sweetie"- Carla always called her "sweetie" when she was
being patronizing- "he was driving everyone crazy!" She said it
slowly, in the tone adults use when they try to explain difficult
concepts to 4-year-olds. "No, he wasn't. I didn't even notice!"
She wasn't sure at all how something like that could drive anyone
As usual, she thought, Carla was making something out of nothing.