Have a rough draft of the beginning and the third part of the new novel. Have started to write the middle which is the story of the second character Michael McNally
There are times in the life cycle when everything seems to be in sync and all of the stars are in alignment. Senior year for Michael McNally had gone way beyond his wildest dreams. The first of the magical moments had been his acceptance into Notre Dame on a basketball scholarship He was class valedictorian, editor of the yearbook and in the running for Hudson County basketball player of the year. The icing on the cake came last Friday night. St Aloysius had never defeated their arch rival St Peter’s Prep twice in the same season. Almost blown away in the first half ,they railed in the second half and with a minute and a half to go they were losing by four points. St Aloysius guard Bobby Brennan stole an inbound pass dribbled the lane made a layup and was fouled.He made the foul shot, and St Al’s trailed by one point. St Peters called time out, and attempted to freeze the ball ,and kept passing the ball around the perimeter . Michael anticipated one of the passes, and slapped at the ball and one of the St Peter’s players kicked it out of bounds St Aloysius called its last time out, and Coach Bob O Connor set up an in bounds pass with eight seconds to go. Bobby Brennan threw the ball to Johnny Farawell and Center Jack Hartnett created a pick as Michel took a pass from Farawell and hit a eighteen foot jump shot.When the ball swished through the nets the home crowd went wild and stormed the court.Micheel was hoisted in glory and carried to the locker room. . St. Aloysius had never beaten their chief basketball nemesis two times in a single season before that glorious moment.
The ultimate joy for him was that his entire family was at the game. It was the first time that his father had seen him play in any sporting event.His mother and father were both hoarse from cheering, and his two younger brothers were emulating the winning shot over and over again every day in the backyard. It truly was the time when Michel had caught the brass ring on life’s merry go round. His senior year was filled with so many wonderful moments and more to come, the prom the state tournament, employment at the Jersey Shore this summer and then off to his dream school in the fall.
Michael was literally the conquering hero the Monday after the St.Peters game and he was almost late for class because so many students stopped at his locker to praise and congratulate his performance. Slamming his locker shut he bolted up the stairs to the second floor and made it to his seat as the bell rang. History class was one of Michael’s favorite classes and he was busy taking notes when the loudspeaker came on and requested that he report to the principal’s office. Michael thought little of this, and mused it probably had something to do with his being the editor of the yearbook. Despite all of his other responsibilities he had worked tirelessly on the year book, and was advised that the final copy would be available for review this week.
Bouncing down the stairs two at a time he came to the principal’s office, and was pleased to see his favorite priest Father Frank McNulty in the office with Sister Gertrude Jose. “Good morning Sister,good morning Father Frank did you need to see me?”Father McNulty usually would banter with Michael ,but there was an air of seriousness on his face ,and Michael could not initially fathom what the purpose of this summons was. Father McNulty placed his hand on Michael’s shoulder and said”Mike I am afraid that I have really bad news for you.” Michael was confused, and thought perhaps Notre Dame had revoked his scholarship. “What is it Father? “I just received a call from your Father. Your Mother had a heart attack at home.”The words took the breath away from Michel and he blurted out””is she in the hospital? Will she be alright? “Father Frank’s face betrayed that it was only the first level of the bad news. “Mike I am afraid that your Motherr did not survive the attack. she died.” He fell to his knees and all of the joy and wonder of the past few weeks evaporated. Father Frank hugged him and said.”I will get my car keys and drive you home. Your father will need you to be there when he tells your brothers.”
Michael sat in a chair trying to tell himself that this was not happening as Sister Gertrude sat by him holding his hand in loving supportive silence.
Michael’s world had changed in an instant. All the joy and wonder of senior year seemed to evaporate with his mother’s death. The wake and the funeral were a blur, and he realized that his father in many ways was more lost than he.His mother had been the heart of the family, and though his father was a good provider he was not the warm and loving presence of his mother. There was no physical contact between he and his sons, and Michel felt an overwhelming responsibility not to replace his mother, but to provide some of her caring for Danny and Donald. They were only ten and fourteen and he knew that in many respects he was their hero. Going to Notre Dame was definitely no longer a possible choice, and instead he decided to enroll at Seton Hall University.Living at Seton Hall would have been so much more rewarding than being a day hop student but he was truly needed more at home. His dream of playing college basketball seemed insignificant in light of his new fond responsibilities.