Young Bernadette Whelan knew she was a Partridge the first time she caught a glimpse of David Cassidy on TV. His light brown eyes and androgynous looks sparked a feeling within her that she had never experienced before. Whenever he sang a song, she secretly knew that he was singing it to her. The walls of her bedroom were quickly covered with images of her new messiah, and she saved her lunch money to buy teen magazines that offered exclusive interviews with David.

She spent the next four years happily sitting in front of the TV, jumping for joy each time a new episode of The Partridge Family aired. She watched as her idol continued to grow up; she felt each of his emotions and paid close attention to the life lessons that he taught her. Then, at age 14, Bernadette’s world was shattered.

It had been a difficult day at school and Bernadette had a nagging feeling that something was wrong as she hopped off the bus. Clutching her David Cassidy lunchbox tightly she tried to ease her mind. Staring into his eyes on her walk home always made her feel better, but something was off on this particular day and she wasn’t sure what.

As she entered the house she heard her mother in the kitchen doing the dishes. She was relieved to see that it was just a normal day at home and she began to relax. Sitting down at the table, Bernadette started to unwrap a piece of cheese from the fridge when her mother turned off the sink. She had a very serious expression on her face and Bernadette became worried again.

“I’m so sorry to have to tell you this sweetheart,” her mother said, “but I heard that The Partridge Family was cancelled today.”
Bernadette burst into tears. She became dizzy and her heart felt as if it was going to beat out of her chest. She looked up at her mother, who was in tears as well.

“Honey, its going to be OK. We can get through this,” her mother sobbed.

At that very moment Bernadette’s father walked into the house. He saw his wife and daughter crying and rushed into the kitchen. He held them both and tried to comfort them.

“I know this is a hard time for all of us,” he said, “what has happened today is a complete tragedy. But I do have some good news. After I heard about the cancellation I made a few phone calls. I was able to get you a ticket, Bernadette, so you can go and see David’s farewell tour!”

Bernadette stopped crying and looked at her father. She had seen David in concert every time he had been in town; she couldn’t believe that this would be the last time. She began to tear up again, but hugged her father and thanked him for the ticket.

A few weeks later Bernadette was in line to enter the show. She was dressed for the occasion and had on her platform boots and the floral dress that she knew David would like. As she walked through the gate she heard other girls talking about how excited they were for the concert. It was their first time seeing David and they were all upset that he was retiring.

As David’s stage time neared the crowd had almost tripled; there was hardly any room to stand and people were shoving into each other to get to the front. Bernadette began to feel a warm sensation flowing through her body. She suddenly realized the importance of the situation she was in. Most of these people had never seen David in person and this was their last chance. Her mind began to race as she contemplated a world without David Cassidy; trying to imagine what it would be like to have never experienced him live.

Light flooded the stage, and the shadow of David began to appear. Bernadette knew what she had to do. The crowd began to scream and started to rush forward. Bernadette did not resist the stampede, she allowed her body to become weightless and was swept beneath the crowd.

As she lay on the floor motionless, she heard the opening lines of “I Think I Love You” and drifted away on a cloud. She saw the smiling faces of Shirley, Laurie, Danny, Chris and Tracy standing before her. The front door opened and Keith walked in exclaiming, “Guys, you won’t believe this chick I met at school today! Her name is Bernadette and man is she groovy!”

Scripture by Whale Song Partridge

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