A successful writer, Demola is a Nigerian immigrant who came to America for a better life. When he was in high school, he was bullied by a group of “popular” kids. In fact, they used to stuff him in lockers while they made fun of his accent. Mrs.Rayne, his favorite teacher, entered an essay Demola wrote into a competition, and he won a college scholarship that changed his life.
Carter is the owner of an auto repair shop, and he’s also successful. He’s been ashamed since high school because he was part of a group of boys who bullied Demola…even though he had a crush on him and was afraid to admit it. He had the same favorite teacher as Demola, and even after ten years, she’s still working her magic.
Both men receive a letter from Mrs. Rayne inviting them to take part in Career Week at the high school. They each decide to go back because they’d do just about anything to please the woman who did so much for them. Carter and Demola are a bit nervous, though, because they understand they’ll probably run into each other. What will happen when the inevitable comes to pass?
A Second Chance is a short story about forgiveness and redemption. Even though Carter liked Demola very much, he helped make his life miserable. He felt bad about it, but he saw no way to stop. After all this time, Demola can’t forget how he was treated, and even though he’s quite an accomplished writer, he still feels that pain of being an outcast.
I liked the story. The idea that time can heal deep wounds is appealing to me. When former enemies become close, it makes me feel warm inside. Also, having a common tie (Mrs. Rayne) is a nice way to pull everything together. Even though A Second Chance is short, it doesn’t feel rushed. The men meet, size each other up, spend a little time together, and realize they are more than passing acquaintances within 49 pages. It’s sweet and left me smiling. I should tell you there is no sex or intimacy in the story. In fact, there is only one kiss at the end. I would have liked this to be a novella or short book so their relationship could have been more developed. Carter and Demola are good characters who could have been great characters if given the extra time.