WHEN THE MUSIC STOPS
(THE DETECTIVE SERIES)
Sydney Howard, 33, graduated from Ohio State with a Masters’ Degree in Music Theory. She played the piano with finesse, and her vocals were always in perfect pitch. Using her degree to help other aspiring entertainers, she taught music at the School of the Arts. Sydney on occasion would perform vocals as a backup singer for recording artists she’d befriended over the years, but never had any desire to be a solo artist, or become part of an elite all-girl group.
Sydney waited patiently in her classroom for the substitute teacher to arrive. Taking a tissue from her purse to wipe her eyes, Sydney reflected on her family who meant everything to her. Growing up on the lower eastside of Cleveland, she was one of the few kids on her block that had both parents living in the same house happily. Her parents were heavily involved in her life. They made time to be at every school event from grade school to college. Sydney never felt their presence was unwelcome but loving. They were parents that cared enough to guide her into a happy and healthy adulthood.
Now her mother was dying, and she held no power to stop it from happening. Her father was suffering, and she could not comfort him as he slipped into a depression. Thomas Howard insisted Sydney continue to work, and he would call with updates. Her mother’s condition had deteriorated overnight leaving her little hope she would live through the day.
Donovan rapped lightly on the door. ”Hey, Sydney, I’m coming to take you away for a little bit.”
Startled, her head turned to the voice near the door. “Donovan, hey, what are you doing on my side of town?”
“Like I said, I came to take you away for a bit. Do you have another class coming in or can you leave for lunch?”
Scooting her chair from behind her desk, she rose to acknowledge her dear friend. “No. I’m waiting for a sub to get here, actually.”
“Talk to me, Sydney. I know you’re going through a bad time with your mother. I’m here for you.”
Copyright © 2012 Toye Lawson Brown