The play was a huge success and my part went well with the exception of one small problem. I was playing an elderly woman, in a tea room eating cake and drinking tea. The props department had placed a piece of cake on the table and I was supposed to take a small bite of it. During the rehearsal I had just pretended to take a bite of the cake, so once I was onstage it was the first time I had actually taken a bite of the cake. I used my fork to cut a piece of the chocolate fudge cake that had been placed on the table in front of me. The cake felt rather stiff and stale, so I pushed down hard with my fork. The larger piece of the cake went flying across the stage. I was so surprised and amused that I couldn't help myself, and I laughed aloud. Once I laughed the audience joined in and laughed too. I had to quickly gain control and continue the play and my lines. But I had a difficult time not showing my amusement at the situation.
During the entire play I scanned the audience looking for Tom. I never saw him. After the play ended I went to the places I'd seen Tom. I went to the geedunk, the All Hands Dances, anywhere I thought he might be, I was there, looking for Tom. I never found him.
Once the time arrived when Tom was supposed to have left the area, I became very upset and just stayed home in my bedroom. I was deeply disappointed and couldn't understand why he would leave without at least saying good-bye to me.
While I was sitting alone in my room, feeling very blue, I received a phone call from my friend Sally who lived in Munford. Her father had died suddenly of a heart attack. I hadn't really had to deal with the death of a friend or family member up until this time. Even though Sally's father and I weren't extremely close, it hit me hard. Life and love could be taken from an individual in a flash. This was a new and very difficult time, dealing with loss.