Myra Jean had never entertained any thoughts of making friends in this backwater. Yet now she had invited the music teacher to her room to listen to music. She looked around at the small space. There was a radio that rarely received anything but static. A ticking clock on top of the bureau next to the wardrobe. One chair for a guest, a small body of literary works on a shelf, the narrow bed with its white chenille spread, and her beloved Victrola. She looked out the window and saw birds arise from the trees, ascending like her spirit.