It will take until Part III in my “An Operator’s Daughter” series to learn Marcus’s last name, but that is because I wanted everyone to see themselves within this amazing young man who is Ashton’s “bestie” through tough and better times.
Ashton meets Marcus when he’s assigned the role of showing her around the high school the first day she attends classes. He goes about this job with so much enthusiasm, that Ashton doesn’t quite know what to make of him. He wins her over quickly with his welcoming smile, solid advice, and loyalty.
Many high schools have opportunities for students to serve as ambassadors. In some schools this is a club one joins, and in others, it is a selection process based upon teacher recommendation, scholarship and volunteer hours. In Marcus’s case, he applied for the opportunity, and was selected because he is a solid student, willingly gives his time to make the school’s drama productions a success, and applied to be on the school’s yearbook staff–a class where he earns credit, but it will become a full-time job for him despite working afterschool and weekends at his parents’ sub sandwich shop.
Marcus aspires to sing in the school’s elect choir ensemble group and also to be selected for starring roles in the school’s drama productions–especially the musicals. He was disappointed he did not make either during his junior year in high school, but he keeps trying.
Although his parents have high expectations for him to take his education seriously, they are not of the “helicopter variety”. As busy business owners, they leave Marcus to make things happen on his own, while other students’ parents are pushy, or donate the cash, to procure plum roles or selection into elite performance groups for their sons and daughters. Heart and talent do not always equal opportunity in a suburban public high school; a lesson Marcus will come to learn from experience.
To learn more about Marcus, and his friendship with Ashton McAllister, start with “An Operator’s Daughter – Part I” on Kindle Vella where the first three episodes are free, and Amazon will give readers new to this platform another 200 free tokens to keep reading. Marcus will also make appearances in Parts II and III, and even in Part IV–currently in development.