You Better Breathe: Part 3

London trailed behind her family pushing her grandmother in the wheel chair as they all exited the hospital.  She watched Laerihs and her father exchange suggestions on what they felt would be best for grandma.   She secretly envied the relationship between her sister and father.  She remembered back to when they were little when she was his favorite.   When they were children Laerihs kept very much to herself, she loved to read and write, she would lock herself in their room in the summer time and keep her head glued in a book.  London on the other hand was always very athletic and into sports.  She played basketball, soccer, tennis and did gymnastics and dance.  She even played softball for a while until it started to interfere with her dancing schedule, which always took priority in her life.

Their father loved that London was into sports especially since he didn’t have a son.  He never missed one of her games, he frequented her practices and their favorite pass time was playing basketball on the hoop in their driveway.  The closest Laerihs came to athletics was when she joined the cheerleading squad and dance team in high school to boost her activities for college applications.   Her attitude sucked so she was a horrible cheerleader.  She became a living nightmare to London when she joined the dance team because she had as much rhythm as a cardboard box.  The only reason she made the team was because London was the captain and she would have never been able to explain to her parents why she didn’t put her on the team.

Everything changed their senior year of high school when Laerihs started applying to Ivy League schools with top rated medical programs and London declared she would only apply to Juilliard, Mason Gross School of Arts, Rutgers University and University of California, Berkley because of their dance programs.  Her father was furious.  Even though he always supported her extra curricular activities he always assumed they were just hobbies, he never expected her to pursue an actual career in either of them. He wanted his daughters to be doctors or lawyers, preferably one each, he never fathomed they would do anything else.  So from that moment Laerihs stole his heart and became the daughter he raised right and she became the rebellious one. Luckily for London she came from a big family because even though her father turned his nose up to her choices her grandmother, uncles and aunts supported her every step of the way.

When she got accepted to University of California, Berkley with only a partial scholarship her father refused to pay the other half of the tuition and would have no parts in assisting her to make the trip across country so her uncle Robert stepped in.   He made sure she had everything she needed to live dorm life.  He rented a U-haul and they took the three-day road trip from Connecticut to California so she could attend her dream school.   Then he supported her until she graduated and made sure he and grandma flew out to at least two of her performances each year.   Uncle Robert was her hero she didn’t know what her life would have been like if it hadn’t been for him.  She may have had to submit to her fathers demands and attended medical school with Laerihs until she couldn’t take it anymore and eventually would have probably just dropped out and ran away to pursue her dancing dreams.


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