i have read it but it was a long time ago and i did a search on the internet and couldnt find it however i will try
Vita, the narrator, wants to play Helen of Troy in her school play, but Helen McGuire has been cast instead. This is appropriate: Helen McGuire is a flirt. Vita is playing half of the Trojan horse. Vita lives with her mother, their cat, Marlowe, and their "pair of Keats," John and John, on West Eighty-sixth Street. Her father has been gone for three years. Vita's mother says he is "on his own odyssey." Mr. Farfel, the man she is seeing, asked why she stayed in the apartment after her husband left. "The rent's stabilized," she said, "even if the relationship wasn't." Helen McGuire is envious that Vita gets to huddle in the Trojan horse with Tommy Aldridge. Old Farfel has a chair in Vita's mother's department. She translates Greek and Latin, and is working on the longest graduate degree in the history of Columbia University. Old Farfel comes around a lot, taking Vita and her mother to dinner. Vita doesn't know how her mother can stand him. When Vita comes home from rehearsal, her mother is spinning the Greek vase that contains the ashes of Argus, their dog. Vita wants to talk about Helen. Her mother says, "her father was a swan and her mother was too young to have children. You don't want to be Helen. ...You're too smart to be ruled by your heart." Vita reminds her mother that Helen was the most beautiful woman in the world, and her mother, looking at the vase, says, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty..." Every night, Vita writes a letter to her father. She doesn't send them (she wouldn't know where) but keeps them in three shoeboxes in her closet. She wants to ask if he misses them, but instead writes about the play and how she wishes he he could come to it. Old Farfel wants Vita's mother to go with him to a convention in Atlanta. She doesn't like to travel. She once said that she travelled inside herself after Vita's father left. That night Vita dreamed of a swan, flying over the ocean. At play practice, Vita wears a plain white bedsheet. Tommy Aldridge wears a sheet with Ninja Turtles on it, and Mr. Dodd, the teacher, sends him home. Mr. Dodd tries to inspire Helen's acting. Old Farfel and Vita's mother are going out for "a very important dinner." Vita is at home with takeout. Her soup comes in a blue-and-white paper cup with a picture of the Parthenon on it. Vita's mother once explained to her how the Greeks made burnt offerings to Athena there in order to have their wishes granted. Vita cuts out the part of the cup that says, "Our Pleasure to Serve You," and the temple. She glues them to the back of her notebook. She gets Argus's big metal bowl and some matches. In her costume, she chants the only Greek words she knows -- spanakopita, moussaka, and gyro -- as she burns the letters to her father. She wishes to be Helen, to have her father come back, and, since wishes seem to come in threes, for Old Farfel to leave. When her mother comes home, she and Old Farfel seem upset. Helen McGuire gets chicken pox and is sick for two weeks. Vita knows her secret ceremony did this. When Mr. Dodd announces it, Vita stands up and recites Helen's lines. Helen recovers, but she has pockmarks and would rather be in the horse with Tommy. Vita gets the part of Helen. Her mother comes to opening night alone. She says that Vita "looks so good those ancient gods are going to come alive again with envy." Vita believes the gods are still alive, because two of her wishes came true. As she waits for her final cue, she looks out into the audience and sees no sign of her father. Mr. Dodd says, "Think loss." She makes her speech, bowing before the altar and tugging on her tunic: "Troy, I have come to ask you for forgiveness." Ignoring Mr. Dodd's coaching, she says her last line softly: "And to say goodbye." The applause surrounds her. "I look into the darkened house and, for a second, I can hear the beating of a swan's wings."