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Amanda White pounced on the bed in her best friend Trina Lambert's room, and pressed her fist into her mouth to keep from screaming. She grabbed the phone and said, "What did you say? I couldn't have heard correctly."
Hayley's giggle trickled through the phone line. "You heard me. The band has a concert in Denver the Friday before spring break ends. Mom and Dad said I could go with them. We can ski with the guys if we can arrange a safe way for them to join us. The fans can be rough without meaning to be."
Trina's laughter echoed from the den and through the phone extension.
Amanda's heart fluttered. This could be the most exciting spring break ever.
Listening to Hayley's soft spoken plans brought back memories of their close-knit friendship and last year's spring break spent chasing the world famous rock band Millennium up and down ski slopes. Amanda's heart wrenched as her mind skipped to the day she hugged Hayley goodbye. Six months with only a bi-weekly call and random emails couldn't replace sitting in the same room, talking and making plans.
Trina's mother knocked discreetly on the door. "Time to hang up. Sorry girls."
"Okay, Mother," Trina called from the den.
Trina hurried to her room and closed the door. "Awesome. I can't wait. After I take you home, I'll call Sharon. She'll be home from the swim meet later this evening."
"Great." Amanda jumped off the bed and grabbed her already packed bag. The two girls walked down the mauve carpeted hallway toward the sunken living room. Mrs. Lambert looked up from the TV news and smiled. Amanda grinned. Trina had the same long black hair as her mother.
"Goodbye Amanda. Come again. Trina, dinner is in one hour, so come right back."
When she got home, Amanda ran up the steps of a stately Victorian house in the Denver suburbs. She paused to stare past the manmade structures to the craggy peaks above the city and grinned.
"Mom, I'm home," she shouted, as she jerked open the front door.
Kaye White hurried down the airy hallway towards Amanda. "Hello, dear. Did you and Trina have a nice visit this weekend?"
"Yes. You won't believe this. Hayley called."
"Amanda it was Hayley's turn to call this week."
"Oh, Mom. That's not the point. She's going to be here the middle of March for spring break! Millennium has a concert at the auditorium Saturday, March eighteenth! Her parents agreed for her to visit us, which means she gets to see another concert with us. And, oh, Mom! The boys in the band want to meet her friends."
"My goodness. That is news! I'm really looking forward to seeing Hayley again myself!"
"It will be so much fun."
Amanda walked toward the kitchen. The refrigerator door stood open and containers of food covered the counter. Amanda turned and stared at her mother. "This looks like more than cleaning the refrigerator."
"Yes. There's a problem." Her mother sighed.
"Your father and I had our annual check-ups. We got the blood results back Friday. We both have type II diabetes."
Amanda's mouth dropped open. "You have what?"
"Diabetes. The kind caused by age, lack of exercise, and lifestyle."
Tears stung Amanda's eyes. "Aunt Gertrude died from that last year."
Her mom tugged her into a deep embrace. "Diabetes doesn't have to be a death sentence." Holding her at arms length, her mother continued, "But, from this day forward, this family is changing lifestyles. You are at risk, too. We haven't practiced sound nutrition and exercise with you or Mindi."
"Get real, Mom. Mindi weighs about two pounds. I know I gained maybe thirty pounds or so this summer, but it's no big deal. I'll just diet for a few weeks."
Mrs. White laughed. "Honey, you have no idea what a trap that is. I've gained and lost three hundred pounds with that theory. I can't stand by and let you go down that road."
"It's not fair that Mindi never gains an ounce."
"Amanda. Everyone is different. Mindi's got the same lifestyle, which will eventually catch up to her if we don't make a difference now. So, I'd like for you to be supportive and learn to take care of your weight problem before you find yourself in my predicament–two hundred pounds overweight and taking medicine to control blood sugar and blood pressure."
Amanda gulped. "I'm sorry, Mom. It must be pretty scary."
"The worst part is worrying about you girls. Now, you go on upstairs and sort out your laundry. Tomorrow is a school day and I have to finish the refrigerator and decide what's salvageable for our first healthy meal."
"Okay." Amanda climbed the stairs to her frilly pink bedroom, dropped the heavy overnight bag next to the closet, and sat at the small writing table. Carefully lifting the lid from a pretty floral printed hatbox on the dresser next to the table, Amanda sniffed the familiar aroma of chocolate.
Thoughts mixed with the heavy sweet smell swirled in her mind. Mom might be really sick, but she's older. Surely nothing like that can touch me.
Copyright © 2003 by Wanda Horton