And there they were, right on time. It was probably the most miraculous thing that had ever happened in the Holtson family, since her definition of “on time” was give or take an hour from the schedule, and since his job had him flying back and forth between New York, New York and Glasgow, Scotland on a cycle of about ten days at a time, he had just resigned himself to a near permanent state of jet lag and a watch that was always set to the wrong time. She remembered once they were both on time for thanksgiving dinner—but she had been in a bathrobe because he told her they were leaving at 3:30 sharp no matter what state she was in, and she decided to call his bluff only to find out it wasn’t a bluff.
But today, they were on time. Because Melissa asked them to be, and there was nothing they wouldn’t do for that girl. She came running out to meet them, her robe still open to reveal the purple sundress they knew she had bought just for the occasion. “You made it! You came!” she laughed, hugging each of her parents in turn.
“Of course we came. We’re so proud of you, we wouldn’t have missed this for the world!” He laughed, dropping a kiss on her curls.
“No, no,” Melissa laughed, “I knew you would come, I didn’t doubt that. But I thought for sure I’d be watching you sneaking into the back row when I was already on stage.”
“Not today,” Her mother laughed, “You asked, and we complied. But don’t get used to it. This is probably a once in a life time event.”
“That’s alright. I wouldn’t want you any other way.” Melissa bounced on her toes, before a burst of energy seemed to run through her, and she jumped forward to hug them both again. “It’s a good day, guys!”
“And we are so proud of you.” Her dad repeated.
“Hey Missy,” A girl in a matching robe, hers already zipped tapped Melissa on the shoulder, “They want us to get ready to go, and you are the valedictorian.”
She shared one more smile with her parents. “Yes, yes, I am.”