Thursday, February 6, 2014

Goodbye Doesn't Mean Forever

By Lurlene McDaniel. Published August 1989.

And we’re back with Melissa and Jory. Jory is having a hard time with her mother. Her mother’s trying to make her go on a month long trip to Europe. Jory doesn’t want to go because it would mean starting a week late at school. Let me get out the world’s tiniest violin. I like Jory, but come on.

She’s also still crushing hard on Melissa’s brother, Michael. Or rather, she thinks she’s in love with him. She thinks she needs to ravish him. But she gets really down when he takes another girl, Beth, up in his hot air balloon.

She’s still being an awesome friend to Melissa, though, taking her to appointments at the clinic. And when they get the news that Melissa is a National Merit semifinalist, Jory wants to throw her a big beach party. Unfortunately, this means getting permission from her mother to have on their property. Her mother will agree to it, if Jory agrees to go to a bunch of parties during Gasparilla, a big festival in Tampa.

But on the night of the party, Melissa has bad news for Jory. She’s relapsed, and is out of remission. The only thing to do is to have a bone marrow transplant, but she’s not decided if she wants to do it or not.

Jory is trying to decide on things herself. She hasn’t decided on if she even wants to go to college, much less where. But her suddenly interested parents are already filling out paperwork for her. That really pisses Jory off.

Melissa takes a long time to make her decision about the transplant, all through the holidays. But she finally decides, on Christmas, to do it. Also that day, Michael goes all douchey and accuses Jory of just trying to get something out of being Melissa’s friend. It’s uncalled for.

There’s a guy names Lyle who’s interested in Jory. He’s on the Brain Bowl team with Melissa, and it turns out he’s a also a National Merit semifinalist. He’s always interested in how Melissa is doing. He finally asks Jory out, and she learns his mother had cancer and went through chemo. He says doing some therapy helped him, and he suggests Jory give it a try. She gets all pissy about it though.

Melissa has been in isolation at the hospital for a while, suppressing her immune system. When the day of the transplant comes, Jory skips school to be there. When it’s over, Melissa’s mother goes to be with her, and Jory sneaks into Michael’s recovery room. He’s still knocked out, so Jory caresses his face and kisses him. It’s totally creepy.

Unfortunately, a week after the transplant, Melissa has a fever and may be rejecting Michael’s bone marrow. When Melissa’s mom tells Jory she needs blood, Jory teams up with Lyle, and they have a carnival/blood drive to raise both blood and money for Melissa’s medical bills. Lyle and Jory grow closer during this, and they go to a party thrown by a couple of fraternities. They have a good time at first, but when Lyle tries to talk seriously with her, she gives him the cold shoulder, they fight, and he leaves.

But what do you know, Michael is there, and drunk off his ass. But he seems happy to see Jory. One of his friends asks her to take him home, and she’s thrilled to spend time with him. She drives them to a secluded spot, and they talk for a while, and then start kissing. Michael sobers up, though, and stops.

The next day, he calls to tell her Melissa’s made a complete turn around. The transplant seems to now be working. Jory rushes to the hospital and finally gets to see her. They talk about the carnival, and Jory catches her up on what she’s missed at school.

At home, things aren’t as good. Jory and her mom have yet another fight about her grades and her future.

Then things take a turn for the worse at the hospital. Melissa get meningitis, and her heart is very weak. It finally gives out.

At the viewing, Jory takes pride in not crying. That is, until she sees Lyle, then she tears up. That’s a little weird. And then at the actual funeral, she almost has a panic attack, but Lyle gets her out of there and calmed down.

Jory finds a letter Melissa wrote to her before she died. It’s very sweet, I probably cried over it when I was fourteen.

Jory decides to make up with Lyle, and give him another chance. They talk their shit through, and end up dating. Yay.

Jory also gets a resolution with Michael. He finally takes her up in his hot air balloon, and they talk about Melissa, and it seems that they both find some closure.

o   Jory’s party gets busted by the cops, and one of the guys says he’s on probation with his dad until 1999. That just makes me laugh.

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