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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)

TITLE: Thriller of an Invitation
By Julie Arduini


The genesis of my friendship with Breanna Landon began when Miss Carter assigned us as kindergarten partners. Our debut project was singing the days of the week song. Breanna was animated with her extra ten pounds and rainbow poncho. I was frozen, unable to even warble, ashamed of my too short boyish looking brown hair and thick tortoise shell glasses. Miss Carter was so impressed with our polar opposite style she kept us together.

Apparently we were topics for teacher lounge chat because other teachers kept us together. Fourth grade gave me the chance to redeem my stage fright experience with a girls’ baseball song where Breanna and I shared a solo. I looked all the part of Bobbi Sue, the frustrated girl baseball player, thanks to my mom’s limited haircut repertoire. Breanna belted out the lyrics like she was auditioning for Broadway. When we took a joint bow, our friendship outgrew school boundaries.

Our middle school years were all about overnights. We listened to Breanna’s Thriller Record and pretended Michael Jackson wanted us in his next video. We cried as Lady Diana shared her vows. Those were the years I couldn’t imagine my life without Breanna. As we transitioned into the teen years Breanna’s passion for life eased me out of my shy shell.

I announced our sophomore year I was going out for track. Breanna, with her piercing blue eyes and hands on her slightly plump hips, was adamant we try out for show choir. Our bickering echoed through the East High halls until Breanna sighed.

“You have to do what you have to do, right Tara? Go for it, you’ll be great.”

We continued our friendship through high school, even though our interests changed. Breanna traveled around upstate New York with choir. I traveled the same destinations with track. Our friendship peaked when Breanna surprised me by singing the national anthem at my last all state meet.

When we entered community college Miss Carter never would’ve guessed we were the same kindergarten partners. Breanna started college with an impressive weight loss and a dream to replace Barbara Walters. She announced she didn’t have time for choir. I tackled a heavy schedule and work. We rarely socialized, going to parties where U2 and REM rotated our dance time, replacing Michael Jackson forever.

During our second year the Bobsey Twin era all but disintegrated. I met Scott Weller, something of an oddity on campus, a born again Christian. Scott drove a motorcycle and listened to Petra. I accepted his invitation to church and gave my life to Christ. Breanna was miles away interning at a TV station, peppering her college resume. When I shared my engagement she thought I was joking.

“Tara have you seen Princess Diana these days? That young bride doesn’t look so happy.”

“Who would be with royal pressure? Scott loves me. We share the same faith. Would you believe I’m thinking of trying out for the church choir?”

Breanna took a sip of her mocha and made a face.

“You have to do what you have to do, right Tara? Go for it, you’ll be great.”

I didn’t see it then, but that was her goodbye message. I made wedding plans and she transferred to a nationally ranked state college. I heard from her mom that her life was full of parties and working at a local paper. When I knew she was home for break I was devastated when she didn’t call. Scott encouraged me to pray for her. The wedding was less than three months away. I ached to have her attend, but was afraid of her rejection. I set the invitation aside and continued to pray.

At my bridal shower mom shared that Breanna was about to graduate. She had high hopes of getting a job in media relations. I was shocked to learn that through her junior and senior year she had been the object of a stalker’s affections. My compassion for her plight outweighed my fear and a week before my wedding, I called. It took three attempts before I could complete dialing.

I prayed, not sure how she would receive me. When she recognized my voice I cleared my throat.

“Michael Jackson called. He wants to know if we’re free to be in his next video.”

Breanna was silent for a moment then replied,

“We have to do what we have to do. Let’s go for it, we’ll be great.”

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This article has been read 1171 times
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Sara Harricharan 03/15/07
Heartfelt is the word that comes to mind when I read this. You did a great job of showing the bond of friendship between two completely opposite characters. I absolutely loved the twist-the ending was great with Breanna's last famous line. "We have to do what we have to do..." Wonderful writing! ^_^
Mo 03/16/07
The ending made me smile.
Leigh MacKelvey03/16/07
Wow! Fantastic writing. You'll be in Masters in no time with entires like this.
Jacquelyn Horne03/17/07
Enjoyed walking through this friendship. I'm glad you found your way to God. Hopefully Breanna will too. I liked her. Good job.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/21/07
This is a great friendship story. I like how you weaved music through it. Your ending is delightful.
Jen Davis03/21/07
I enjoyed this well written story about how these two very different girls came together as friends. Your descriptions of the two were very vivid, and the line about your mom’s limited repertoire of haircuts was also really cute. I especially liked how you brought this piece together at the end. Very well done.
Joanne Sher 03/21/07
I loved this! I can't believe how much you packed into 750 words. I feel like I lived an entire lifetime with these two. Just WONDERFUL.
Elizabeth Burton03/21/07
I felt like I was reliving my junior high and high school days with the music you mentioned! Your details are strong and the writing is very well done; I just hope this story ultimately has a happy ending...
Myrna Noyes03/21/07
Loved your title and how it connected with your story to the very end! I enjoyed watching the maturing of friendship here and was saddened by its near loss. The ending was great, though, and held out hope! :) Good writing!
T. F. Chezum03/21/07
Very good. I enjoyed everything from the title through the ending.
Donna Powers 03/21/07
A wonderful story of a wonderful friendship. I enjoyed this, and you made me feel like I got to know both girls. Thanks for sharing this
Linda Watson Owen03/21/07
What an endearing and so skillfully written story! I still have the flavor of nostalgia in my heart after reading this. I and so many friends over the years have been divided by time and miles. I need to make some phone calls! ;) Wonderful story!
Joanney Uthe03/21/07
I loved the progression from kindergarten to graduating from college and marriage. The references to pop culture made the memories more vivid. Great writing.
Mona Lisa03/23/07
Your physical descriptions of each character were unveiled at an even tempo. I loved how the characters pursued their interests and intersected at the Track Meet sharing one another's interests again. The laconic dialog between the girls is rich in divulgement. Reflecting in my past, these lines I could identify: ...'thanks to my mom's limited haircut repertoire. I was frozen, unable to even warble...' Thank you for sharing your gift of masterful writing.
Edy T Johnson 03/23/07
This is such a great story. I don't know how you covered so many years in the word limit! Your characters are delightfully winsome, and the ending, though it caught me as a bit "abrupt" (my reading was on such a roll, I was ready to keep reading another 750 words of the girls' story) was a perfect wrap.
I want to say "thank you!" for taking time to comment on my music story, too. I do appreciate it!
william price03/26/07
Julie, I know this is a little late, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your entry. It was very smooth. I like your style. Keep up the good work. You are a true blessing. God bless.
Clyde Blakely03/27/07
I want to know the "rest of the story" to this wonderful piece. Thank you for sharing your testamony. Go for it, you'll be great!

God bless and keep writing.
Janice Fitzpatrick04/13/07
The only thing have to say is when is the sequel coming out hon? This is amazing. I sure can relate to this with childhood friendships of mine that are still maintained but coould definately use more time and prayer. I think I'm going to call such a friend this weekend, it has been a little too long since we had a chance to chat and catch up on life. Great job with dialogue, description and just everything.:0) This just flowed like a fresh water stream ready to drink in. SLURRRRP. This tasted so good. Keep it flowing hon. God bless your writing.:0) Janice