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The coach bus was quiet as it speed down the highway. There were about fifteen Muggle girls, all staring out the window or looking at their phones. Mary was there too, listening to an mp3 player. The memory-Teresa sat in the back seat, just thinking, her eyes unreadable. She was a teenager.
Suddenly, Mary started singing quietly. “I hopped off the plane at L.A.X., with a dream and my cardigan…”
Another girl began to sing with her in harmony. Teresa rolled her eyes, smiling to herself, as more and more girls joined in. She looked up as all the girls sang “And the Jay-Z song was on!” Then they looked at her expectantly.
She bit her lip, smiling. “So I put my-”
This was the first time Ferlen would have heard Teresa sing- and she was amazing. The girls sang through the rest of the song as the bus pulled into a theatre parking lot. When the final chorus ended, the girls clapped, Mary and Teresa included. “That was pitch perfect,” Mary commented. The other girls laughed in agreement.
The girls filed off the bus with Teresa at the rear. As she stepped onto the concrete, her arm was immediately taken by a guy. He stood at her height, wearing a blue plaid button-up and dark jeans. His hair was blond and his eyes were the same green shade as hers. “Hi, I’m Luke Chaikin, tenor. May I escort you to the theatre, my lady?”
Teresa just stared at him, a bit dumbfounded. Then she blinked and said, “Sure.”
The scene changed to a forest. Luke was climbing trees, leaping from branch to branch like a squirrel and making silly faces at her. Teresa was lying the forest floor, laughing hard.
The scene sped up, until Luke was on the ground again, in front of her. He started singing, “Na zewnątrz mgła, tylko ziąb i deszcz…”
Her eyes widened, but she didn’t interrupt him as he sang one of her favorite Polish songs. When he was finished, he smiled triumphantly at her, and she smiled back shyly.
The setting changed again, to Luke’s bedroom. He was staring solemnly and sadly at Teresa. “It’s osteosarcoma. Bone cancer.”
Teresa shivered, staring at him and biting her lip. Ferlen could see her mind racing.
Her kitchen from her childhood home appeared. Teresa was standing with her eyes darkened in anger. She was shaking violently. “Why not?”
Her mother narrowed her eyes at her. “Because it’s against the law-”
“Magic can be used in front of Muggles in life threatening situations, including the life of that Muggle! If you want to wipe his memory of curing him afterwards, fine. I asked for your help because I don’t know how to remove cancer.”
“You are also underage,” her father added sternly.
Teresa’s eyes burned with dark fire. “He is DYING!”
“What would happen if wizards and witches began to cure every Muggle and Squib with cancer, or other life-threatening ailments?” her mother asked.
“More people would live. Less hearts would be broken. Besides, I’m only asking you to save one.” Her voice grew desperate.
Her parents both shook their heads. “No. That’s final,” her father concluded.
She glared at both of them, a rage in her eyes Ferlen never would have seen before. Then she turned and raced through the front door and out of the house, running through the grass and into the trees as fast as her legs could carry her.
The scene sped up a few days. Teresa sat on the top of a hill, staring out at the calm lake at the bottom. The view didn’t match her emotions; she stared dully, her body shaking.
A young man walked up from behind her. He wasn’t Luke, but he sure looked a lot like him. He sat down beside her, his eyes searching her face.
“Is it over, Ed?” Teresa rasped, looking at her reflection in the water, avoiding the man’s gaze.
Ed wiped tears from his cheeks. “It’s over.”
Teresa buried her head in her arms. After a few moments she raised her head, looking backwards at her house in the distance. Bitterness returned to her gaze, softened only by a deep grief that swam in her dark green eyes.