This ain't the last page.
Isaac's cellphone rang around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 23, graduation day.
Congratulations Isaac, you made it!
Then another message: They called your name at rehearsal!
Stunned, Isaac thought maybe his counselors had changed their minds.
He borrowed a car from Andy and rushed to Birmingham. When Isaac finally caught up with his counselor, she said: I'm sorry, it was a mistake.
He wanted to throw up.
Andy waited at Isaac's mom's apartment. In 2004, Andy had been the second Outsider to leave. But he knew how badly Isaac had wanted to walk across that stage. Andy had wanted the same.
Nearly two years after he dropped out, Andy was at Independence High School, an alternative campus near Birmingham, chipping away at the 80 credits he needed to graduate. There, he had finished classes in computers, English and algebra. He arrived on time each morning. He didn't get into fights. He rarely cut class.
But Andy was still ashamed. He lied to out-of-town family members, telling them he was graduating with the class of 2005.
On graduation day, Isaac and Andy ate a breakfast of chorizo and French fries together in silence.
Isaac's phone rang. The caller was with a program that helped people find jobs.
"I'm 18," he said. "Right now, any kind of job."
His mom listened. She didn't want him to get a job. She wanted him to go back to summer school and finish his last three classes.
Isaac hung up. His mother studied his defeated expression, searching for reassurance.
Isaac looked away.
Graduation for some
it's already here