Kassidy's Crescendo

Kassidy's Crescendo by Marianne Evans

Book: Kassidy's Crescendo by Marianne Evans Read Free Book Online
Authors: Marianne Evans
Tags: Christian fiction
looked at each other and burst into laughter. Before then, we knew each other from a distance, but we weren’t particularly close. She sang at church, so I saw her at Holy Spirit most weekends because we always took Gran to Mass. My life changed in that instant because of quirky body language, music, and the way Aileen accepted me.”
    “She knew your reputation?”
    “She knew who and what I was. She could have snubbed me, been justifiably self-righteous and judgmental. She wasn’t. Never has been. I sampled beer as a freshman and sophomore, and I liked it. It was anesthesia against tensions at home. I rebelled and ran with people I shouldn’t because I felt like I’d fit in. All of that changed with Aileen and the girls. In them, I found what I needed most, God, and unconditional friendship.”
    Kassidy feathered a soft caress against his chin. He tasted longing in her gaze, and that prompted a flood of yearning and life-altering love. Conversation took a rest while Mrs. Szeliga coached her students on technique then lifted her arms, directing them once more through the intro of “All Glory Laud and Honor.”
    “Those times seem so far away,” Kassidy murmured, “yet I come here, sit in this auditorium, and every memory comes to life as though high school were only yesterday.” Silence fell. “I could have written off Aileen and the others as being goody-goody, but if I had, I would have been the one to lose, not them. The four of us clicked and bonded so easily it could have only happened because of Christ. We started hanging out, and after a while Aileen invited me to youth group at Holy Spirit. Game over. I was hooked because I was loved. That’s what I want you to feel, Drew.”
    It was his turn to be revealed, and he knew it. His conscience circled back to the questions Kassidy wanted answered about Roxanne Mitchell. For better or worse, it was time to let the past out of its cage. “We share a common thread. My family life was tense growing up as well.”
    “It was? I’ve heard you talk to your brother, and I know you enjoy spending time with your parents. All of you seem close.”
    “We are, but my parents are divorced.”
    “I had no idea.”
    When words trailed off a second time, Drew stepped into the void. “Their break-up happened when I started high school, a lot like you. You found music and friends and God. I found performance. The stage. I discovered a fantasy world I could create and control.”
    “And you’re amazing at it, Drew. Staging and direction is your gift.”
    He didn’t take or leave the words of praise. Rather, he let them settle. “Performance is what I love, and it grew beyond anything I ever imagined. Stage production gave me the life I craved because to me, money, plus success, equaled security. After my parents split, that’s how I found my way to a new form of normal.”
    He settled his gaze toward the stage. “For me, it’s the floorboards, the lighting, the props, and the process of organizing all kinds of productions. I never cared to act or sing. I loved the process of bringing an alternate world to life and letting everyone know about it.” Next to him, Kassidy shifted, delivering her full attention. “I’m fulfilled by creating a performance from nothing more than a blank canvas.
    “It’s not real, though. It disappears with every city we visit.” He released a stuttered sigh. Sharing that newfound recognition with Kassidy felt right—but scary, too. Vulnerability had never rested well on Drew’s shoulders. “You asked me once what happens when the stage goes dark. I’ve thought about the answer to that question many times since, and the answer is, there’s nothing. No true meaning or depth. Until now. Until this tour. Until you.”
    Kassidy turned her head; her chest rose and fell on a deep breath. “The only missing element is God.”
    Drew propped his forearms against the chair in front of him. “He’s after me, KC, but I don’t know how to

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