Penny was quiet after their presentation, "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes". Her head was heavy and she put it down on a fellow alto's shoulder. I just need to close my eyes...
"Penny? You feel okay?"
Then the talk turned to the drama club and going to see the movie "Romeo and Juliet".
A movie! I will see Romeo and Juliet after we finish! I can't believe Dad let me see this... On the return bus from seeing the movie, Penny stretched out on a empty seat. Her head...the pain! My head! Cold and hot, she was cold and hot at the same time. When they arrived at school where parents waited, Penny remembered nothing.
At the hospital, her mother's face faded in and out of focus. Mama, we did so well at the contest!....my head hurts, Mama..
The following day all the students were called to the auditorium where
Principal Roberts announced a horrible truth.
That Penny had died in the night, spinal meningitis. Anyone who had been in close contact had to get examined with a prescription of antibiotic. All the students were dismissed for the rest of the day.
My folks took me to Dr. Goodman for antibiotic, for I had been the second alto. I still see Penny's freckles, red blonde hair, and big smile as we sang that song. She had been so thrilled when we won second place. Sweet sweet girl, Penny, forever 13.
The night has a thousand eyes,
And the Day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
with the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of the whole life dies
When love is done.
Frances William Bourdillon